ILOILO City – President Rodrigo Duterte is gracing today’s national convention of the National Federation of Motorcycle Clubs of the Philippines (NFMCP) at the Iloilo Convention Center in Mandurriao district.
The President is a motorcycle enthusiast. He will be welcomed at the Iloilo Airport by Iloilo’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. and Iloilo City’s Mayor Jose Espinosa III.
The two-day national convention opened yesterday. Between 3,000 to 4,000 motorcycle enthusiasts from across the country are in attendance.
Duterte himself is a member of “On Any Sunday Riders” (OASR) motorcycle club based in Davao City. He joined the club in 1992 yet.
The Iloilo Motorcycle Club (IMC), the oldest bike club in the country, is hosting this year’s 25th edition of the national convention – the first to be held in this city.
One of the matters to be discussed is the new law requiring motorcycles to have bigger number plates in a bid to combat motorcycle-riding criminals.
It was unclear as of this writing what the President’s other activities today would be. There were unconfirmed reports that senatorial candidates of Hugpong ng Pagbabago that Duterte supports would have a campaign rally here.
Iloilo City Hall building administrator Victor Facultad, a bike enthusiast, is the chairman of the 25th National Motorcycle Convention.
According to topgear.com.ph, IMC has lined up several activities such as fun races, entertainment programs, and display booths.
There will also be a parade of exotic bikes in an 11 km “unity ride” from the Iloilo Convention Center to Anhawan Beach in Oton, Iloilo where authentic Ilonggo dishes would be served the participants.
IMC also prepared a video presentation of its history beginning on February 1948 when burly Harley-Davidson motorcycles of affluent hacienderos ruled the roads of Iloilo.
Initially called the Panay Motorcycle Club, the group adopted its current name in 1955 since majority of its members were from Iloilo City.
To be featured in the video are mostly old photographs taken by Francisco Daban Jr., IMC’s 82-year-old member who has consistently documented many of the club’s significant activities since the 1950s.
There could have been more IMC photos but many of Daban’s old pictures were destroyed during the massive flooding triggered by Typhoon “Frank” in June 2008. These included photos of IMC riders escorting General Douglas MacArthur during his Iloilo visit in 1956, and being part of Pope John Paul II’s entourage in Manila in 1983. (With a report from topgear.com.ph/PN)