A group of teachers in Dumangas, a town in Iloilo, have found a smarter, fun and cheaper way to ride out the stresses brought about by the pandemic.
Sapao Elementary School’s “Team Centipede” or “Cent-tipid” goes to school and back home in trendy, tri-wheeler cargo bikes to help them transport the bulky modules and other materials for their students.
One of the teachers, Alona Romulo Fernandez, shares in a Facebook post that she started biking middle of last year and has been trying to convince her co-teachers to also buy a bike and join her. “But it seemed difficult for them because they were afraid of falling,” says Alona.
So when they discovered the tri-wheeler cargo bikes in an advertisement posted on social media, the group found a solution. Two of Alona’s co-teachers bought their own cargo bikes. And then, realizing the convenience of having one, five other teachers also bought one each. That was how “Team Centipede” or “Cent-tipid” was born.
“We call ourselves Team Centipede or ‘Cent-tipid’ because when we bike together we look like a centipede—me in front, on my mountain bike, and my co-teachers behind me in one line—AND we save money,” Alona says in her post.
The teacher says there are six reasons why the group decided to purchase cargo bikes. First, the bike is “affordable and cool (swak sa uso at swak sa presyo).” Second, it’s beginner friendly—“there is less danger of falling and riding them.” Third, it allows them to exercise and boost their immune system. Fourth, they can transport heavy modules and learning materials to and from school.
Fifth, they can ride their bikes to conveniently do their domestic errands—say, go to the public market, drug store, or grocery—without having to take public transport that could possibly expose them to the Covid virus.
Sixth, their group can hang out and bond with each other, by riding their bikes to the seawall (coastal area) and other places around Dumangas. Teacher Alona says riding a bike has been a way for them to release the stress brought by the pandemic and it keeps their life stress-free and hassle-free.