Advocacy group: ‘Bring back the fireflies’
CLARK FREEPORT An official of the Tour of the Fireflies (TOF), an environmental protection and cycling advocacy group, has underscored the need to “bring back the fireflies.” Pio Fortuno Jr., vice president of the Fireflies Brigade, stressed this during a press briefing at the Asia’s China Boy here the other day. The Fireflies Brigade recently organized a local committee, consisting of some 70 volunteers from Angeles City, to handle the 18th Tour of the Fireflies bike caravan on November 18 inside the Freeport and nearby Angeles City. Fireflies disappeared in Metro Manila because of pollution, according to Fortuno. “When I was a kid, in Quezon City, I used to catch fireflies in our backyard and our church at the U.P. It’s beautiful, but now there are no more fireflies in Metro Manila,” Fortuno said.
“Fireflies, it turns out, are indicators of good and clean air. If the air is clean around, you will see fireflies,” he added. Fortuno cited the qualities of Clark and Angeles City as a biking area. “I look at Angeles City, I bike here and I love it here. Dito kasi sa Clark may fireflies pa e. Let us all work to retain those fireflies here in Angeles City. We do not want Angeles to turn into something like Metro Manila which is congested and polluted. We are here to promote consciousness of cycling,” Fortuno said. Edna De Jesus Eufemio, a member of the TOF Clark organizing committee and proprietor of Ad Central, said that they are expecting 600 bikers during the event. “Our advocacy is for bicycle promotion as well as clean air and sustainable transportation.
We are lobbying for legislation especially for cities like Angeles to come up with legislation to create and establish bike lanes. The idea is share the road,” Eufemio said. She said that they will be giving away bikes for several lucky raffle winners during the fun ride. Eufemio reminded the participants to bring their protective gears and illuminations during the night ride. The TOF Clark committee expressed gratitude to Clark Development Corporation, North Luzon Expressway Corporation, Eurotel Hotel, Pampanga Directory, Joy Ride Bike Shop, the local government of Angeles City, and others. Eufemio also thanked Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan who expressed support to the cycling event.