Padyakan sa Bataan: The kick off event in celebration of Day of Valor

It was our second day in Bataan.

Early morning, Sir Alan Valbuena of Tourism Office fetched us from the resort to cover and experience the much-awaited annual event for bikers and racing enthusiasts, Padyakan sa Bataan held at Karagatan Bay View Peaks in Mariveles last March 31, 2019.

Padyakan sa Bataan is a mountain bike circuit race organized by the Provincial Government of Bataan. Local government of Mariveles, Bataan Tourism Council Foundation Inc. and the Bataan Trailriders and Adventurers Network to showcase and celebrate the talents of bikers not only in the province but even from different parts of the country.

explore, travel, padyakan sa bataan: the kick off event in celebration of day of valor

This can be a usual event and competition to some, but Padyakaan sa Bataan is actually a kick off event as the start of week long celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan. It’s good to know that aside from fostering sportsmanship and camaraderie, Padyakan sa Battan has a bigger cause and purpose and that is to pay respect and commemorate the Filipino soldiers and heroes during the World War II.

Araw ng Kagitingan or Day of Valor

The Day of Valor is an annual commemoration of the Fall of Bataan on April 9, 1942 which then marks the start of Bataan Death March where thousands of Filipino and American soldiers suffered as Japanese captors forced them to march from Bataan to San, Fernando, Pampanga.

From San Fernando, the prisoners of war were then transported on box cars to Tarlac. After that, they endured another grueling 20 kilometer march to the internment camps at Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. Thousands died and suffered during the ordeal.

Although it all happened because of a surrender, a defeat for the Filipino soldiers, still these heroes deserve the respect for their bravery and sacrifice against the invading Japanese forces during World War II.  In the end, it turned out the Fall of Bataan was not entirely a defeat after all. Because of the Japanese forces’ diversion of some of its people and resources to the death march, this hampered their growth which gave our soldiers and US forces the chance to win subsequent battles.

On its 14th year of Padyakan sa Bataan, this has instilled in the minds of the people the important message of sportsmanship as well as respect for our heroes.

Now, people of Bataan are already accustomed that whenever it is time for Padyakan, it also signifies that the Day of Valor is coming, and that they all have to pay respect and commemorate the heroes of the past.

Bikers showing off their skills

We were quite early for the event but it was still a good thing because we got the chance to witness bikers warming up and showcasing what they do best.

explore, travel, padyakan sa bataan: the kick off event in celebration of day of valor

Participants signed up as early as 5:00 AM and the race program started  at 7:30AM. The organizers did some spot checking of the participants’ gears, helmets and even bikes to ensure their safety. They reiterated that they are unable to gauge the exact level of proficiency of the bikers, the best that they could do was to ensure their safety, which the participants willingly cooperated.

There are a lot of categories for this 14th year of Padyakan sa Bataan to accommodate all biking enthusiasts of different age and level of competencies from beginners to pros. Below are the categories for this year.

Open Category
Age Category
– 60 and up (Veteran B)
– 50 to 59 (Veteran A)
– 40 to 49 (Senior)
– 30 to 39 (Master)
– 22 to 29 (Novice)
– 21 and below (Junior)

Fun category
– Women’s Solo
– Men’s Solo

Super D
Heavy Weight
Single Speed
Kids Category 7 to 12

Special Category
– Best Costume
– Push Bike Race for Toddlers

All Bataan Team Relay
– Novice (29 years old below)
– Master (30 years old above)

At the beginning of the event and race proper, we witnessed the cuteness overload of the kid participants of Push Bike Category for Toddlers for kids from 3 to 6 years old. Their race was within the camp and boy, when the umpire signaled the start of the race, these kids were too focused and exerted all their might to finish at the fastest pace that they could give. They were too adorable to watch. Here’s their video!

explore, travel, padyakan sa bataan: the kick off event in celebration of day of valor

This then followed by other categories that really showed the awesome talents of our bikers from the speed to their unbelievable stunts in passing through rough terrain. I was able to post photos and Instagram stories showing off their skills and there were quite a number of friends and followers who got curious about the Padyakan. It’s a good thing that we were able to spread awareness of this event as well as its bigger purpose.

explore, travel, padyakan sa bataan: the kick off event in celebration of day of valor

The announcement of winners of each category was something interesting during the event. Winners were awarded medals, plaque and cash prizes, but aside from winning, it is the sportsmanship and camaraderie within the biking community was special to witness. At the end of the day, all of them are winners!

explore, travel, padyakan sa bataan: the kick off event in celebration of day of valor

It has been a good experience to be in Bataan during the Padyakan. It also feels good to realize that this sporting event has a bigger cause and purpose.

Now every year of Padyakan sa Bataan, is not just an anticipation for the biking community, but an opportunity to pay respect and commemorate our heroes of the past – our soldiers who have sacrificed their lives so we can all have the freedom that we enjoy now.

Would like to join the Padyakan next year?

Well, aside from stepping up your game through practicing, you can get details and information of the next year’s categories and rules by following the event organizer’s Facebook Page which is  Payakan sa Bataan, and also like and follow the official Bataan Tourism Page here.

explore, travel, padyakan sa bataan: the kick off event in celebration of day of valor

Credit: Thank you for the photo Pia of Piathought.com

PS: Thank you so much Bataan Tourism for the warm hospitality especially to Ms. Paula Erika Gayeta, Sir Alan Valbuena, Sir Roberto Manabat a.k.a Kuya Vandolph and the rest of the team.

To my fellow travel bloggers: Pia of Piathought.com, Allan of TheFilipinoRambler.com and Armela of Aroundthemetro.ph. Thank you for the wonderful experience and friendship. See you all soon!