ALLEZ - JV Araneta (The Freeman) - November 2, 2020 - 12:00am

I would like to extend my deepest condolences the the family of my colleague, Rico Navarro. It was a shocker, I had just watch his show on FB the night before. I don’t know Rico personally but I’ve been interviewed by him over his radio show and just a few weeks ago, over the same FB show he hosted called, “Bleacher Talk” with Coach Alan Choachuy. While I am not a passionate basketball fan nowadays, it was very easy to deduce Rico’s passion when to when you read his column.

As a columnist, it was easy for Rico to write about the NBA, but no, his love for the sport was more local than the NBA. And I know its not easy to build up a network of people who can supply information about local and national basketball. And it would have been easy if the NBA was his main topic since you can just google any information you need for your column.

Rico never did that. He cultivated his network on his hands and knees and developed them. I could only read and watched with amazement about the personalities he interviewed- probably the only locally based writer ever who did that. Rico has gone to the Great Beyond, and he will leave a gaping abyss in local sports that is impossible to fill.

Buses and Cyclists

I am a proponent of the phasing out of jeepneys in our streets. If we want to call Cebu as a Metro, then then jeepneys should be retired.

During this pandemic, I have seen how buses can efficiently and comfortably move people around but of course, without students, its not a valid observation. But I can see how the landscape of Cebu would change if we don’t see jeepneys in our streets.

Last week, I wrote about how cyclists are the whipping boys of almost everybody driving a motorized vehicle in our streets. Cyclists are considered as a bane to our roads, delaying other people who think their “businesses” are more important than the human powered, energy efficient, eco-friendly vehicle.

I fired back, asking people when they have seen a cyclist that create a 3-hour traffic jam- none. I asked people, when have they seen bicycles illegally parked along our roads-none. I asked people, if they have seen bicycles being washed on busy highways? But I have seen cars, motorcycles, delivery trucks parked on bicycle lanes.

So what has this got to do with buses and bicycles? Well, this constant belittling, complaining, about how undisciplined cyclist are has most likely led to drivers showing no respect for cyclist. I have seen that video last week when a yellow bus side swept a bicycle rider and upon impact was thrown under the bus. The accident was so horrific that I didn’t continue watching it. If the bus driver had even just an iota of respect for the cyclist, he could have slowed down, or give him a wide berth, that poor man could have gone home to his family. On the other hand, the driver stays in jail for a few days and goes back to hurt cyclists and pedestrians again. Why can’t we have a law that jails these killers for 20 years?

You can paint the roads of Cebu green for bicycle lanes but until this bicycle-hating culture is finally stopped, then we can stop calling our city as a metro.

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