Hundreds join Maguindanao provincial mountain bike challenge

Tourism • Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:03 AM  •  201   0
By John Unson
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Many grade school children joined the  provincial mountain bike challenge on Sunday.
Many grade school children joined the provincial mountain bike challenge on Sunday.
MAGUINDANAO --- More than 700 bikers from across the country competed in the Maguindanao provincial mountain bike challenge (MBC) meant to prove that outsiders are safe in the province.

The competition was held Sunday in Buluan, capital town of Maguindanao.

Maguindanao has 36 towns whose residents are stakeholders to the current peace overture between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The event was the symbolic start of the Nov. 22, 2017 commemoration of the 44th founding anniversary of Maguindanao province, carved from what began as the American-era Cotabato Empire Province.

The empire province evolved into what are now Maguindanao in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, and the adjoining provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, all in Administrative Region 12.

From the vast territory of the historic empire province also sprung Region 12’s now chartered cities of Cotabato, General Santos, Kidapawan, Tacurong and Koronadal.

Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu told reporters Monday that their mountain bike challenge on Sunday disproved beliefs by outsiders that Maguindanao is unsafe for people from outside of the province.

“The military and the police have a strong partner in maintaining law and order in our province, the MILF, so how can we not be safe here? There are isolated conflicts once in a while but in very far-flung areas,” Mangudadatu said.

Lynette Estandarte, chief budget officer in Mangudadatu’s office, said on Monday that some of the bikers who joined in the day-long mountain bike challenge were from Metro Manila and other regions in Mindanao.

The contest was supervised by senior provincial officials led by Jhazzer Mangudadatu, a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

The youngest biker who joined the mountain bike challenge was six-year-old Kian Leosana of Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat, who was born on December 12, 2010.

The oldest from among more 700 competing bikers, Armand Guintua, 73, born on January 10, 1946, hails from Kidapawan City.

The final tally of competition results indicated that bikers Jaynard Daraydo, Red Fortuza and Rey Navarro excelled in the veteran, junior and master’s category, respectively.

Michael Abad, a member of the Philippine Army, topped in the lawmen-military category while Angelica Acedo emerged as champion woman biker.

Other category champions were James Perfas (senior), Dominic Carpio (grand master) and Rosell Leysander (fat boys).
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