The renewable vehicle that is powered by a combination of solar, wind, and pedal force.
In a show of strength in unity, Cebuanos trooped last Sunday to the city's 2.5 kilometers long main and historial road – the Osmeña Boulevard, to express their disgust for fossil fuel, and to demand from the city government much needed measures for a cleaner and healthier environment.
“We take to the streets when everything else fails. That’s how political battles are fought aboveground.
And in Cebu, we take it to Osmeña Boulevard (a.k.a. Jones Boulevard),” said former student activist now turned newspaper columnist, Radel Paredes.
“The Road Revolution is therefore about changing habits and attitudes regarding transportation towards healthier, safer, more equitable and environment-friendly options.”
The Road Revolution, although more of a big picnic and walk in the park rather than armed struggle, the activity was part of the Independence Day celebration of a declaration of “Freedom from Oil and Air Pollution.”
The event was headed by Ramon Magsaysay awardee and environmentalist lawyer Antonio Oposa.
“ The roads are owned by the people. They should be able to enjoy it,” Oposa said during the event.
The activity began with the Freedom Walk, Run and Bike to the equally historic Plaza Independencia where signatures from participants were turned over to Cebu City Councilor Edu Rama for the proposed petition to reform the road system in the City.
“Our current system is not sustainable. There needs to be a paradigm shift,” Rama said in a press conference.
Citing Sections 120-127 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code, which states that it would need only 1,000 registered voters in cities,100 voters in municipalities to initiate a petition for the city council to propose or amend an ordinance, the Road Revolution was able to gather 20,000 signatures for the petition to reform the road system that seeks the allocation of 30 percent of the road to pedestrians, 30 percent to bike riders, 30 percent to collective transportation and 10 percent to road gardens planted mostly with vegetables.
One of the highlights of the Road Revolution was the first solar, wind- and pedal-powered vehicle in the country, which gave free rides to the walking participants.
The 18-foot renewable minitrain, created by Cebuano engineer Bryan Yuson of the Saint James Academy of Skills Technology Inc., can carry up to 10 passengers and has a capacity of one horsepower. It runs at a slow speed of up to 20 kilometers per hour.
The minitrain's body and roof were made of wood, with lighting systems, solar panels and foot pedals. The batteries can store energy to keep the vehicle running for 10 hours.
Since Cebu has no railroads, the vehicle was fitted with wheels for now.
Oposa and other environmental advocates will propose to the council that the vehicle become a regular item on Cebu City's roads.
Environment enthusiast and former Cebu city councilor Nestor Archival also showed off his solar-powered refrigerator, television and water pump.
Stalls of organic produce were put up for sale along the road. Aerobics and other exercise routines were also conducted.
Through people’s initiative and active legislation, the Road Revolution organizers and participants alike hope that Cebu City become totally free from cars and fossil fuels.
Check out the photos of the event here.