Freedom Ride and Freedom Concert mark Independence Day
Thousands of cyclists and advocates to ride and rock for freedom
All roads lead to the Eastwood Central Plaza on June 12, 7:00 am as thousands of cyclists and advocates raise the flag of freedom on Independence Day for the Freedom Ride and Freedom Concert to stop human trafficking and end modern day slavery. Coordinated Freedom Rides shall also be held in Iloilo (June 12, 7am Jaro Belfry), Dumaguete (June 11, 4pm Silliman University Church) and Zamboanga (June 12, 7am, Plaza del Pilar).
“We believe that while it is important to celebrate our freedom from colonial rule, it is also important for us to realize that many Filipinos are still enslaved. We want to celebrate our 115th year of independence by continuing the fight for the freedom of others,” Noel Cabangon, Dakila Vice President, said.
The Freedom Ride is part of the Stop Look Listen campaign of Dakila against human trafficking. The Stop Look Listen campaign kicked off last March 9 with a Freedom Ride held in McKinley Hill, Taguig City participated by around 1,000 cyclists. The bike ride was aimed to popularize the 1343 Anti Trafficking Hotline. The Freedom Ride was also held in different provinces known as trafficking hotspots of the country: Iloilo City (April 20), Zamboanga City (April 27), and Dumaguete City (May 5). This paved way to the biggest bike rides ever organized in Panay Island (500), Dumaguete City (400) and Zamboanga (250).
“Human trafficking is a serious problem especially in our country because we offer cheap labor. A lot of times we only see women being trafficked for sexual exploitation but in fact, human trafficking can happen to both men and women and for different reasons other than sexual exploitation, such as forced labor. There are even cases of professionals such as doctors who experienced being trafficked,” Cabangon added.
Every year around 300,000 to 400,000 Filipinos fall prey to human trafficking in their own country and abroad.
“The cycling community has become involved in this campaign against human trafficking. And we see more and more people who are now becoming interested to become an advocate and a Freedom Warrior. People from different sectors—government, non-government, youth—have been challenged to heed the call to continuously fight for freedom,” Nityalila Saulo, cyclist, musician and advocate, said.
“Anyone can be a Freedom Warrior. By educating ourselves and sharing what we have learned to others, we can help save at least one person from enslavement,” Saulo added.
The Freedom Ride is part of the Project Freedom Campaign of Dakila in partnership with the Manila Fixed Gear, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Department of Justice Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking (DOJ-IACAT) and the Presidential Anti Organized Crime Commission. It aims to raise public awareness on Human Trafficking and empower advocates and citizens to become watchdogs in their own communities by driving them into action through grassroots involvement and amplified action through mainstream and digital media.
A Freedom Concert will be held after the Freedom Ride, at 9:30 am. Performers include Noel Cabangon, Radioactive Sago Project, Up Dharma Down, and many more.
The Freedom Ride and Freedom Concert is free and open to the public. For more information about the Freedom Rides and the campaign, visit http://dakila.org.ph/projectfreedom.
Jeffrey Reyes 09151780240
Ayeen Karunungan 09175057055
10 June 2013
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