Baguio City will witness a momentous event that blends history and sportsmanship. The inaugural Victory Day Ride spearheaded by the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) slated on September 3, 2023, will take cycling enthusiasts and history aficionados on a journey to honor the sacrifices of World War II veterans and raise awareness about Baguio Victory Day.
Mike Villa-Real, PVB first vice president for marketing and communications, said “the enactment of R.A. 11216 in 2018, marks September 3rd of each year as a special working holiday, marking Yamashita’s surrender and Victory Day in the Philippines. This day in 1945 is clearly a significant historical event marking the success and along with it, the toil and sacrifices, of the soldiers of both the United States and the Philippines. However, it is not as well-known as the “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Day of Valor) commemorated April 9 each year.”
Organized in partnership with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), City Government of Baguio, Wartime Heritage Guild Philippines (WHG), Without Limits, Salgado PR, this ride aims to foster a deeper understanding of the city’s significant role during WWII while encouraging active participation in the sport of cyclists of all ages and backgrounds.
Inspired by the annual Ride for Valor that retraces the infamous Death March, the Victory Day Bike Ride takes a different route, focusing on the historical sites and landmarks associated with Baguio City’s role in World War II. Cyclists and participants will embark on a 44.5 kilometer route that meanders through the city’s picturesque landscapes and historical spots, providing a unique opportunity to relive the past and honor the heroes who fought valiantly for freedom.
While the Ride for Valor primarily focuses on the Death March, the Victory Day Bike Ride aims to balance the narrative by shedding light on the broader scope of World War II history in the Philippines. The Victory Day Bike Ride seeks to increase awareness about Baguio City’s role during the war. The event intends to give due recognition to the countless Filipino and American soldiers who fought for the country’s liberation
The Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) invites sports and cycling enthusiasts to join the Ride for Victory Day, a bike-for-a-cause event that aims to raise funds for the maintenance of the country’s historical markers and other World War 2 heritage sites.
The ride is open to fully vaccinated cyclists and all types of bikes with brakes. Villa-Real said participants may ride at their own pace, and will also implement a “No Helmet, No Ride” policy to ensure the safety of the participants.
Villa-Real also said a mechanic will be available to help those who encounter mechanical difficulties, while roving marshals will be present to keep track of the riders’ progress. Support vehicles are allowed, but riders should only ride in the vehicle if they choose to drop out of the event.
The non-competitive bike ride will have 5 pitstops:
- Start at Baguio City Hall,
- First Stop, Camp Allen,
- Second Stop, USAFIP-NL Marker,
- Third Stop, Sablan View Deck,
- Fourth Stop, Fort Del Pilar (Philippine Military Academy),
- Fifth and Final Stop, US Embassy in Camp John Hay.
The registration fee for the Ride for Victory Day is P600, which includes an official event shirt, a race bib and passport, a loot bag, post-ride meal, and commemorative medal.
Interested individuals may register online at https://bit.ly/victorydayride-regform while groups may email email@example.com until September 1.
PVB is a private, commercial bank owned by World War 2 veterans and their families. With its new Charter signed into law, the Bank’s ownership now includes Post War Veterans and AFP Retirees.
For more information about the event, follow Victory Day Ride on Facebook.