More than 1,500 people spent their Saturday having fun at the second Ride PH Café last March 7, 2020 at the Metrotent Convention Center in Pasig City. Expanding from last year’s café racer theme, this year’s Café is a full-blown lifestyle-meets-motorcycle event, mixing features and activities never before seen in a motorcycle-centric gathering.
Headlining the list of unorthodox event features is the Art Space, a full-fledged art gallery that features artworks from accomplished artists who are also riders. From photographs of motorcycles to paintings, and even sculptures, the Art Space was designed to show the art culture prevalent within the motorcycle community.
“Unknown to many, we have lots of talented and accomplished artists/riders who have been doing this for years without the proper recognition and attention,” says Jay Taruc, president and CEO of Ride PH Productions, Inc. and an avid art collector himself. “It’s about time to let people know that riders aren’t just about their motorcycles.”
The lineup of artists wouldn’t be out of place in a standalone art exhibit: Alfred “Wild” Aranda, Bing Basit, Ben Chan, Erick Encinares, Jenna V. Genio, Krizel Hidalgo, Noel Marfori, Jigzz Pascua, Jake Verzosa, and 13 Lucky Monkey. Aranda, in particular, brought in his “Homage to Craig Rodsmith”, an art-deco, fully functional motorcycle that was among the main attractions in the recently concluded Art Fair Philippines. The Art Space was also curated by a professional team from well-known art gallery Secret Fresh by Christian “Big Boy” Cheng.
Vespa Jam and Rockers Gallery
Another subculture of riding is the Mods vs Rockers, which started in Europe in the 1960’s. The two were bitter rivals and couldn’t be more different: Rockers were the leather jacket-wearing, boots-donning riders who preffered standard bikes and café racers; the Mods were the preppy, fashion-conscious, scooter-riding crowd.
Ride PH Café recreated this scene with the Rockers Gallery and Vespa Jam competition, which was sponsored by event presenter Moto Italia – Vespa Philippines. There are only two categories for both: Best Vintage and Best Modern. Judged by industry veterans Marc Steady and Eugene Buenaventura, the best Modern Rocker was awarded to broadcast icon Kim Atienza, who brought in an ultra-rare Ducati MH900 café racer (Atienza actually entered two bikes, the other being the regular Ducati Paul Smart.) The best Vintage Rocker was given to Dave Galvez and his Triumph T140 Bonneville. Both winners got a special wristwatch courtesy of D1 Milano.
The Vespa Jam attracted more than 20 entries, ranging from small-frame Vespas to the top-ofthe-line Vespa 946. The best Vintage Vespa was given to Darwin Angeles and his Vespa VL1T, while Jevis Aguila took home the best Modern Vespa with his Vespa Sprint. A special award was also given to Chris Tajano for having the best Vespa 946 among the entries. All Vespa winners received a special Vespa helmet.
Brand partner Ducati also joined in on the art fun and launched its new Ducati Icon Dark with a twist, letting artist Krizel Hidalgo do a live painting session on the bike tank itself.
Coffee, test rides, raffles and more
Few things are as perfect as coffee and motorcycles, so the Ride PH Café, true to its name, featured a full-blown coffee bar courtesy of event partners SGD Coffee and San Remo, who are also behind the biggest coffee event in the country, the Manila Coffee Festival. Free black coffee and espresso made with award-winning Sagada coffee beans were served to everyone for free.
Of course, a motorcycle event wouldn’t be complete without raffles and giveaways. Event copresenter Pioneer Insurance launched their RideSure comprehensive motorcycle insurance in a big way. Aside from providing a real-time, online quotation system for riders, they also raffled off P25,000 worth of riding gear from Motoworld.
Major sponsor PayMaya offered instant P100 cashback to those who bought tickets using their PayMaya apps, while Infiniteserv offered exclusive event discounts for their featured brands such as Alpinestars and Motul. Premium brand and major sponsor BMW held its Bike Night at the Ride PH Café, providing free snacks and burgers, while official fuel partner Cleanfuel also offered free VIP cards and raffled of Cleanfuel merch as well.
TM Racing, a world-renowned motorcycle brand, also held its formal Philippine launch at the Ride PH Café stage. Guests also got to enjoy free test rides from major sponsor Royal Enfield, Harley-Davidson, Kymco, and others.
“The Ride PH Café, though a different from other motorcycle events, still offers a complete experience for riders. We just opted to emphasize the lifestyle aspect so that even non-riders can appreciate our culture,” says Taruc.
Truly unique event
With a host of new features and activities, Ride PH Café has become a venue for people who want to discover new things about riding and motorcycles. “Being a rider isn’t just about owning or riding a bike – it’s about the culture, the community, and the lifestyle,” explains Taruc. “The challenge now is to continue pushing the envelope and thinking of new ways to entertain and educate riders and non-riders alike. We’re certainly excited to take this on and make Ride PH Café even better next year.”