Filipino musicians share how biking has helped them cope through the pandemic

Filipino musicians share how biking has helped them cope through the pandemic

Many musicians have faced a lot of ups and downs this year—both in the local scene (thanks to COVID-19) and along the wicked trails and routes while on the back of their bike.

Artists like Chi Resurreccion, Ean Mayor, Levi Reyes, Badjao de Castro, Jermaine Choa Peck, and Raymund Marasigan (who actually even shot a Sandwich music video while biking) have turned to their two-wheelers to get away from all the chaos and sadness this pandemic has struck the world with. The fresh breeze, the rush of the downhill slope, discovering new places—all this and more have become the cure to sluggishness and cabin fever.

Bandwagon caught up with a bunch of local musicians to talk about their love for biking, how they first got into it, and their favorite soundtracks for the rush.


Chi Resurreccion - Typecast

Tell us how you first got into biking.

My dad introduced me to biking when I was around 7 years old. I had this BMX bike that he assembled and up to this day, I still won't forget how liberating it was when we did our first out-of-fence ride. We rode through a small barangay called Pook in Pila, Laguna and went off-road straight to Laguna Lake. It was a bumpy, adventurous ride but nevertheless super fun all throughout until we reached the lake just in time to watch the sunset. 

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

I haven't tried any notable MTB trails yet because I just went back to biking a few weeks ago, and the last serious ride I had was ten years ago! I had this classic '80s Shimano road bike from my grandfather and some of my favorite provincial routes back then was those uphill roads going to Lake Caliraya, Majayjay, and the UP Los Baños campus. 

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

Besides wearing a proper helmet, my bike is equipped with front and rear lights (for night rides). I make sure that I still wear a face mask, uv glasses, I bring a handy alcohol dispenser, water bottle, and a multi tool every time I go out for a ride. 

What kind of music do you listen to while biking?

It depends on the ride but I listen mostly to fast and aggresive beats. But sometimes I swtich to some jazzy/swingy tunes if the traffic is a little overwhelming.

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

  1. Touche Amore - 'Reminders'
  2. Code Orange - 'Forever'
  3. Miles Davis - 'Milestones'
  4. Sandwich - 'Nahuhulog'
  5. Misfits - 'Hybrid Moments'

Pat Sarabia - Oh, Flamingo!

Tell us how you first got into biking.

I've always enjoyed casual biking since childhood, but this pandemic season I finally found time to be able to get into to it even more.

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

The trails in Filinvest, Alabang. Or Bike Playground in Circulo Verde, Eastwood! 

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

Wear a helmet and hope for the best!

What kind of music do you listen to while biking?

None, actually. Safety first!

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

  1. Marnie Stern - 'Year of the Glad'
  2. St. Vincent - 'Sugarboy'
  3. CAN - 'Moonshake'
  4. Louis Cole - 'Falling in a Cool Way'
  5. Paranoid London - 'Eating Glue'

Ean Mayor - UDD

Tell us how you first got into biking.

Natuto ako magbike when I was in grade school with my cousins. BMX!

2014 bumili ako ng Brompton so I could bring it sa gigs para makaride before or after soundchecks lalo na pag big venues! Nasunugan kami ng bahay kasama yung Brompton that same year. Unti-unti narestore ko naman yung Brompton with original parts and same color! Pero medyo nastop ako magbike because tinamad na din and busy with the band.

During lockdown I started to ride the bike again and met new friends who’s into classic bikes and good music! May DJ, mahilig magplaka, guitarist, drummer, etc. mas naging curious din ako sa classic parts and geometry ng road bikes and touring. Mas sobrang na-appreciate ko yung mga luma lalo na yung Japanese brands like Panasonic, Bridgestone, Nishiki, Katakura, etc.

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

I tried MTB and trails before ako mag Brompton pero mas natuwa ako mag city ride lang. I think mas relax ride lang talaga ang gusto ko and tambay with my bike.

Catching sunset in Manila Bay sobrang nakakaadik! Foodtrips and nightride! Bike and Coffee in Makati or BGC! Planning mag bike camping soon.

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

I believe mas safe pag outdoors, morning sunlight, exercise, sleep and wake up early, vitamins, healthy lifestyle! Face mask and social distancing din. At MALIGO agad pag uwi!

What kind of music do you listen to while biking?

I have this mini Polk bluetooth speakers with me every time I ride my bike! AOR playlist pang steady ride. Citypop pag morning ride. Deep House pang gabi!

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

  1. The Marias - 'Hold It Together'
  2. Friday Night Plans - 'Plastic Love'
  3. Freeez - 'Southern Freeez'
  4. Chaka Khan - 'Like Sugar'
  5. Kraftwerk - 'Tour de France'

Badjao de Castro - IV Of Spades

Tell us how you first got into biking.

I started biking when I was very young, with friends around the neighborhood and it kinda paused because of my schedule. I was invited by Raymund Marasigan and Shinji Tanaka last year to ride again and it rained the whole ride but I remembered how fun it was to ride especially with friends. After that ride halos every week na kami nag bbike. After ECQ halos everyday na.

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

My daily ride is going around Marikina City. It's just a great and safe place to ride your bike. Lately I started to learn how to bike on a pump track (bike playground) in Circulo Verde. The people there are just so nice. Si Bans Mendoza laging andun nagpapahiram ng bike at nagtuturo saming group how to ride the right way sa pump track.

I was also invited to do light trails by Carlos Castaño and Mike Gemina. The place is in Alabang near Westgate. There's a lot of trails around the area and lahat masaya sobra grabe yung adrenaline rush and yung sunburn.

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

Wear a helmet and wear a face mask especially when going through a crowd of people.

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

Marikina or city ride:

  1. Anderson Paak - 'Tints'
  2. Mac Miller - 'What's the Use'
  3. Michael Jackson - 'PYT'

Adrenaline rush:

  1. Foo Fighters - 'All My Life'
  2. Incubus - 'Anna Molly'
  3. Crash King - 'Mountain Man'

Levi Reyes - Thirds

Tell us how you first got into biking.

Whenever I visit Japan, I use bikes as my main mode of our transportation. So I thought, if I could do it in Japan, why not do it in Metro Manila? So that’s what I did. I started using manual kick scooters to go around Makati. Then I switched to biking so I can go farther. I got addicted to it that I was able to ride my city bike to Clark, Pampanga. Been doing this for 5 years now. My bike has more mileage than my car! 

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

On a regular day, I bike around Makati then head to McKinley, Highstreet, and around the International schools. On weekends, I do long rides. 

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

I ALWAYS wear a helmet no matter how long or how short my trip is. I have headlights, tail lights and bike horn. I always wear colorful clothes. If not, I wear reflectors. Bringing tools and extra innertube is a must too.

What kind of music do you listen to while biking?

I like to listen to upbeat music in the morning. At night I usually listen to slow songs. 

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

Bike Mornings:

  1. 'Ruby' by Origami Angel
  2. 'Night of Pencils' by Tubelord
  3. 'A Praise Chorus' by Jimmy Eat World
  4. 'Good Enough' by Tiny Moving Parts
  5. 'Above me' by Rufio

Bike Nights:

  1. 'Everthing Changes' by Uchu Conbini
  2. 'グラスの底は' by Jyocho
  3. 'Onset' by Hikes
  4. 'Comforting Sounds' by Mew
  5. 'District Sleeps Alone Tonight' by the Postal Service

Myrene Academia - Sandwich, Imago

Tell us how you first got into biking.

College friends tried to teach me, Diego tried to teach me, Raymund tried to teach me while Atari was learning. All the guys in Sandwich are serious bikers. We have a song called 'Bisikleta.' But it wouldn't stick. Until last September.

I went to the Japanese surplus and picked out a yellow folding bike and that's what I've been using around the village to learn. It's great because I get out of the house and the only thing I'm thinking of is how to get from point A to point B.

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

The routes on both sides of the Marikina Riverbanks are nice. I drive there with the foldie. And the roads around SSS village I like because it's flatter than where I live. I'm not confident to go out in traffic yet so I go out at 4 a.m. and it's perfect. Then I'll pass by for pandesal on my way home.

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

I have a helmet and a mask.

What kind of music do you listen to while biking?

I've been discouraged from wearing earphones while I'm learning hahaha, but when I was still walking my bike to the safe street I'd have 'Dynamite' on. That was when it was really new.

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

  1. Weezer - 'The World Has Turned And Left Me Here'
  2. Arcade Fire - 'Everything Now'
  3. Autotelic - 'Languyin'
  4. Bruce Springsteen - 'Tunnel of Love'
  5. Bjork - 'Hyperballad'

Dani Pajarillo II - Giniling Festival

Tell us how you first got into biking.

I don't exactly have a car, so I guess out of necessity, to get to my home studio, which is like 40-min ride from my actual house. But I got in deep, and quick, haha for the past few months since lockdown, I've owned a folding bike, mountain bike, a mini velo, and now i'm down to my third road bike. lol. Dyusko pigilan nyo na ko.

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

I usually start at Pasig, to Marikina, circle back to Pasig, to Makati then BGC, then back to Pasig. I don't know a lot of bike-friendly routes, kaya i'm glad I've made new friends and get invited to some out of town rides.

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

Maintained lang social distancing even with friends, I always wear face mask, I carry a face shield in my bag para if ever kailangan pumasok ng establishment. Generally I just avoid crowded places.

What kind of music do you listen to while biking?

My music tends to get heavier through the day, haha, siguro from Kenny Loggins in the morning to A Perfect Circle sa gabi, hahaha.

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

  1. Tom Waits - 'Ice Cream Man'
  2. Company of Thieves - 'Oscar Wild'
  3. POT - 'FYB'
  4. Incubus - 'Azwethinkweiz'
  5. APC - 'The Outsider'

Raymund Marasigan - Sandwich

Tell us how you first got into biking.

My parents taught me to ride as a child. Growing up, everyone around me rode bikes. My parents, siblings, cousins, playmates. I even brought my BMX to the dorm in college. As an adult, (my drummer) Mike Dizon got me into mountain bikes and Mon Punzalan introduced me to fixed gear and gravel bikes.

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

I enjoy short rides from my house (in Marikina) to the Riverbanks and back. My friends and I also frequent the Circulo Verde bike park.

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

Social distancing is still key. Staying away from crowds. And practicing strict disinfecting protocols when I get home.

What kind of music do you listen to while biking?

I found that it’s usually dangerous to wear earphones riding in the city. But in the bike park where they have speakers, Eco del Rio (Chicosci) is in charge of the playlist.

He plays a mix of 2010-present tunes. When riding with friends in the south, Peding Narvaja (Teeth) rides with a blue tooth speaker bumping a mix of '80s new wave and '90s alt rock.

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

  1. 'Bicycle' by Queen - An obvious choice but it takes me back to riding bikes as a kid.
  2. 'Sembreak' by Eraserheads - I know its not cool to pick your own songs but that song is me biking with my buddies when we come home to the province from college in Manila
  3. 'Bisikleta' by Sandwich - My whole band love bikes and biking. On tour, we try to find time to explore the places on borrowed or rented bikes.
  4. 'Safe and Sound' by Justice - Something about that sampled slap bass that gets me excited to ride.
  5. 'Tour de France' by Kraftwerk - Marikina has a lot of hills and this is what I sound like on those uphill climbs.

Jermaine Choa Peck - The Ransom Collective

Tell us how you first got into biking.

I got into biking when I was in college, it was basically my mode of transportation. Since UP was quiet big I would usually bike from building to building to go to my classses. I would bike everywhere—to school, to training, to go to my friend's house, etc. It was convenient and tipid

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

We've recently been biking at the Filinvest Trails and Bike Playground. The trails are super fun and there are varieties for beginners to advanced bikers and the road is also nice if you just want to stroll or skate. It makes you feel like you're out of town but you're actually just in the city. It's quite a trip going through the different trails! One of my other favorite places is UP Diliman Campus, it just brings back alot of memories and the whole place is surrounded by trees, like a big park in the middle of the city!

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

I always have my helmet on because you'll never know when an accident will happen. I also keep my mask on aside from protection from COVID it also protects you from the pollution in the city. When biking at night, I make sure I have all the lights and reflectors on and I also wear those reflective vests for extra safety.

What kind of music do you listen to while biking?

It depends on the biking mood, if the trail is more scenic and easy, I like going for a more chill laid-back easy listening playlist but if it's more intense and hardcore, definitely rock or anything that will keep the adrenaline going!

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

  1. Tune Yards - 'Heart Attack'
  2. Knower - 'Hanging On'
  3. Paramore - 'Hard Times'
  4. Sandwich - 'Sunburn'
  5. Retro Dizzy - 'Morning Rush'

Shinji Tanaka - Squid 9, Gaijin

Tell us how you first got into biking.

Mga 2006 or 2007 pumasyal kami mga member ng Sandwich sa UP para mag bike, skateboard, jogging, kasama mga family, si Mike Dizon may dalang mountain bike at pinahiram sa akin, at nagustuhan ko agad. Sabi niya tulungan niya ako mag-buo ng bike. Yon, pabuo na ako agad.

Do you have any favorite bike trails or favorite bike routes around the city you'd like to share with our readers?

Marikina Riverside, pinaka-safe, pwede The Bike Playground sa Circulo Verde. Timberland Wall, Shotgun sa kabila ng Timberland. Sandugo Basekamp trail. Kung medyo extreme Patiis downhill.

How do you stay safe biking during the pandemic?

Normal or pandemic, parehas din pero sa totoo lang mahirap magbike na naka-mask. Parang kulang sa hangin. Masama yata yon, so ginagawa ko niluluwagan ko yung tali ng mask para hindi dikit sa mukha. Pag magpahinga at may kausap ka, ayusin na lang yung mask. Inom water, after bike mumog at hugas kamay agad.

What kind of music do you listen to while biking?

Hindi ako nakikinig ng sound pag biking, at para sa akin delikado naka earphone..

Give us a 5-track playlist featuring the rush you get when biking.

Sa bike playground pala pwede magpatugtog!
  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'The Power of Equality'
  2. Sandwich - 'Walang Kadala-dala'
  3. Detroit Rock City
  4. Nine Inch Nails
  5. Gorillaz