Bayanihan sa Daan Awards: Recognizing Cooperative Heroism
Text by Karen S. Crisostomo
Bayanihan is a valuable Filipino custom which refers to the spirit of communal unity, work and cooperation to achieve a particular goal.
The Bayanihan sa Daan Awards (BsDA) aims to recognize pioneering initiatives of individuals, local and national government agencies, civil society, media, academe, private sector, biking organizations, and transport operatives that promote more efficient modes of transportation, improve use of public spaces and roads for more sustainable and healthier lifestyles.
Atty. Antonio Oposa Jr., environmental lawyer and convenor of the Bayanihan sa Daan Movement explains the concept of “bayanihan” in relation to road sharing.
“Bayanihan comes from two beautiful Filipino words – bayan, meaning community and bayani, meaning hero. Sharing the road is not a change, not a movement, but a mindset. This is about us working together in the spirit of cooperation. Moving from agawan at swapangan to bigayan (from being selfish and having the me-first mentality to giving way to others).”
Just last January 29, 2016, around 100 shakers and and movers of “walkable and bikeable” communities across the country were honored in the 2nd Bayanihan sa Daan Awards, held at the Kalayaan Hall in Malacañang Palace. Many BsDA honorees shared a common sentiment, that the recognition motivates and encourages them to continue doing what they are doing.
Councilor Allan Reyes of Quezon City, District III, one of the honorees for this year’s BsDA shares: “The nomination and award was truly a surprise and a big honor. With such an award, I am more challenged to do my best to make QC a bikeable and walkable city.” Reyes was honored for authoring the QC Bike Parking Ordinance and for conceptualizing the annual Quezon City Bicycle Day which aims to promote and improve cycling infrastructure that will address urban issues such as vehicle congestion, air pollution, road safety and will benefit not only cyclists but all road users as well. The 52 year old, 2-term councilor also “bikes the talk”. Reyes has been utilizing tarp decorated bicycles to roam around his district during campaign period.
For Rosar P. Crisostomo, also a recipient of the BsDA this year, the recognition for his leadership to the bicycling movement was also a pleasant surprise. Crisostomo, a veteran bike commuter and a former Theology teacher at the Ateneo de Manila has been advocating the use of the bicycle for over 20 years. Crisostomo’s active involvement in the planning and implementation of countless critical mass rides, bike clinics, road sharing activities, and general bicycle events with various organizations that promote cycling, served as a catalyst for greater bicycling interest and activities throughout the country.
For the BsD co-convenors, it is important to recognize the bayani within these people who go out of their way to introduce the idea of a radical mindshift regarding the use of roads and public spaces, pushing for urban renewal in spite of the overwhelming obstacle of society’s resistance to change.
We could all be a community of heroes if we do our part in making our cities a better place, if not for ourselves but for future generations. The Bayanihan sa Daan Awards organizers invite all mobility stakeholders and those who support sustainable transportation to nominate their heroes and champions for the 2017 BsDA.
For nominees qualifications and criteria:
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Paulo Burro (Bayanihan sa Daan) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Elenida Basug (EMB-DENR) email@example.com
Mr. Marky Castaner (OPAEP) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Quin A. Cruz (Inclusive Mobility Network) email@example.com