It is my childhood dream that one day I will live in Cebu, the land of Sinulog Festival, the place of the magnificent Marcelo Fernan Bridge. I even considered SM City Cebu the best SM Mall in the whole country during the 90s (because we didn’t have one in General Santos City where I came from during those times). Here I am now in Cebu, staying here permanently for 13 years now. Happy? Very happy. But it never came to mind that one day, its tranquility will one day be diminished by the horror of heavy traffic.
Angkas Goals: Beat Cebu Traffic With Safe Transport And Well-Trained Riders
Oh, yes. I used to visit Manila every year for work. And every time I went there, I swear underneath my breath while riding a cab about the condition of traffic there. When the cab driver arrives in EDSA, it will show you the truest epitome of heavy traffic.
There was once a time that I needed to attend an ASUS event in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig and I have no choice but to pass the famous EDSA. Vertis North in Quezon City, where I was staying, is around 30 to 35 minutes away. Unfortunately, I arrived at my destination 2 hours after, and I cry-laughing because I missed the opportunity to meet Asia’s Next Top Model Season 5 Winner, Filipino-German model Maureen Wroblewitz in person. The saddest part of the story is this: She’s the reason why I need to be there.
It was horrible. Traffic in Manila is horrible. And I am guessing Cebu is, with full sarcasm, trying to cope up, too.
Cebu City And The So-Called Traffic Savior, Angkas
Riding a motorcycle is one thing that I don’t fancy. From a very traumatic experience when I was younger, I always make sure that there should be an alternative to transport if riding a motorcycle is the only option. It’s very ironic for me but sometimes I have no other choice.
I never have taken an Angkas ride since its conception in Cebu. I always take GrabCar or hail a taxicab in going places. It’s not that I don’t trust the service. It’s just that, again, riding a motorcycle is not an option for me.
I am glad, however, that there’s an alternative in Cebu for public transport. Angkas, according to some acquaintances who have availed the motorcycle taxi ride-hailing service, had helped them get to their destination faster and safer when heavy traffic arises in the streets.
When I was invited for an Angkas press conference, I never hesitated and signed up. I wanted to learn more about it and how can this service provider beat the traffic in Cebu.
Drumroll, please! Angkas Safety Fiesta in Cebu
With the worsening traffic situation in Metro Cebu, commuters have turned to Angkas to survive the daily traffic gridlocks and reach their destinations on time. While the increasing business activity has become a positive note for the southern business district, such industrialization brought with it an increase in the number of vehicles plying the streets and the consequent traffic jams in and around the area.
In fact, the Land Transportation Office Region VII (LTO-7) has over half a million motor vehicles and motorcycles in its registry for Cebu Province as of December 2017. In 2018, this number grew to around 800,000.
Moreover, in a recent study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the unresolved traffic congestion in Metro Cebu has resulted in at least ₱1.1 billion in economic losses a day.
“Traffic is a problem that affects all social classes,” businessman and Angkas advocate Gilbert Olan stressed. “Rich and poor alike, we are all affected by the traffic problem and are all burdened by its economic and social costs,” he added.
“Angkas is an innovative and timely traffic solution that Cebuanos need and we are happy to offer this service to help commuters reach their destinations in a fast, convenient, and affordable way,” said Angeline Tham, Angkas Founder, and CEO.
Tham adds that Angkas biker-partners are strictly screened and are given thorough safety training before being allowed to service passengers. The Angkas bikers and their passengers are also entitled to insurance on every trip.
“We are all aware of how Angkas puts a premium on the safety of the passengers, the bikers, and everyone else on the road,” she noted. “And this is something that we are proud of.”
In line with their effort to ensure the safety of the biker-partners and their passengers, Angkas held the very first “Angkas Safety Fiesta” in Cebu last Sunday at the Plaza Independencia, Cebu City. The 12-hour event, which started at 10 a.m., featured a safety seminar and skills training session for their biker-partners, a dental mission, free haircut and massage for the participants, and a Gymkhana tournament.
The Angkas Safety Fiesta also served as an onboarding activity for new Angkas biker-partners, with the objective of being able to service more Cebuano commuters at a time.
As an added treat for the bikers and their families, a musical concert was held featuring popular artists such as Andrew E. and Cueshe as well as upcoming acts like the D7G Girls, Jay R Siaboc, Crazy Duo Jr., and the Maka Girls. The show, which was hosted by DJ Chixie and DJ Ringo, was open to the public.
“Our over 5,000 Angkas biker-partners in Metro Cebu are more than prepared to take on the task of ferrying commuters to where they need to go,” Olan declared. “And this is just the beginning,” he added, stressing that while traffic continues to plague Metro Cebu, Angkas will continue to help Cebuanos by not only providing an efficient transport option but also providing a decent means of livelihood for motorcycle owners.
To know more about the Angkas and their progress to help the community beat the traffic, follow them on their official Facebook Page today.
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