Filipino skateboarder Ansey Flores jumps over an obstacle during Go Skateboarding Day in Pasay City. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA -- Hundreds of Filipinos skated through a main avenue in Manila on Saturday, joining in a worldwide celebration of Go Skateboarding Day.
Go Skateboarding Day was created by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) to give enthusiasts a chance to have fun and celebrate their passion, IASC website said.
THe IASC said the skateboarding holiday began in June 21, 2004.
Skateboarders helped to kick off events in Manila, skating through a three-kilometer stretch of traffic while doing tricks and board flips.
John Peralta has been skating for the last 10 years and can't imagine his life without it.
"When I get into it, I can't take it out of my life. It's a lifestyle. From a hobby, it turned into a lifestyle," he sais.
Some skateboarders have said they want the Philippine government to provide them with skate parks in order that they can practice safely.
Skateboard parade organizer June Taduran said some Filipino skaters have got a bad name due to breaking traffic laws when skating on the streets.
Taduran called for a safe place for the skaters to gather and practice their skills which would help keep them off the roads.
"This is not only about us playing, but also about our safety; to have a place where we can ride safely and out of the streets," Taduran said.
Organizers said they hope that by coming out in a large number, they will grab the attention of the city's government.
Manila has only a few skate parks to accommodate thousands of skaters, Taduran said, with many resorting to building their own ramps and grills made out of substandard materials constructed on empty lots.
The Philippines is also notorious for its poor traffic safety record, as well as its congested lines of traffic in major cities.
In 2011, the Asian Development Bank said nearly 1,900 people had been killed in more than 85,000 road accidents in the Philippines.