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Lakbay2Love - A First Biking Feature Film

We don't normally see local movies that features an advocacy, much more about our environment from protection, preservation, to the nurturing, and to re-building those that have already lost its gem.

When I first heard the movie title Lakbay2Love around November last year, I wrongly judged it as another movie genre with a predictable ending of "...and they found each other and lived happily ever-afer..." story. My judgment didn't end there as when I saw the trailer, I dismissed it again as a movie revolving just about love but masked under the hood of biking with the same predictable ending.

Dennis Trillo, Solenn Heussaff, and the Firefly brigade members during Lakbay2Love's Outdoor premier at UP Diliman

I am not much of a movie-goer but I also admit that I seldom watch our local movies aside from those with social relevance such as Juana C the Movie and Erik Matti's OTJ.

Taking back my negative judgments of Lakbay2Love, it defied my stereotype judgment about our local movies. It still has the love story around it yet it is not filled with so much cheesiness and corny lines. The movie's storyline is actually simple, with pivoting love-triangle between Solenn Heussaff (Lianne, videographer), Dennis Trillo (Jay-R, biker/forester), and Kit Thompson (ex-BF/biker). Mind you though as the ending is not what you might expect where the other guy went heart-broken and the other one winning the girl's heart at last!

The whole story was balanced between the journey of love and the joy of biking with some comedic touch from Ms. Patricia Ismael (Monday, Lianne's friend). It will definitely attract the attention of the millennial generation and make them stay at the same time to become aware about what's facing us with the destruction of our forests.

I've watched the movie during its outdoor premier last January 29 at the Ampitheater of the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Bikers and other viewers at the Concert party before the movie premier

Spearheaded by UP bike share, the premier started with a bike ride around the academic oval led by Dennis Trillo and Solenn Heusaff together with the Firefly brigade members. Journalist Howie Severino who is still limping from his recent bike mishap was also present. The bike ride was followed by a concert from the UP Music Circle and other performers such as Joey Ayala, Gig Manila, ‘lil Noizy, The Ransom Collective, and Oh, Flamingo! Dennis and Solenn also serenaded us with their bike-version of the song "Overdrive" by Eraserheads.

Dennis Trillo and Solenn Heussaff singing their version of "Overdrive"

Different biking destinations in Luzon where also featured in this movie. The La Mesa Forest Reserve at Quirino Highway, in Quezon City; the blue zone and Roxas Loop at Timberland Heights, in San Mateo, Rizal; the Ten Commandments at Camp Sinai in Pintong Bukawe, also located at San Mateo, Rizal; Gungol Rock in Ampucao Ridge, Itogon, Benguet; Bzkleta Classic bikes in Parang, Marikina; the crowded streets in Quiapo, Manila; and several locations in Benguet featuring the Ifugao wooden scooters where our Forest-builder, environment advocate, Cordilleran-biker Mr. JP Alipio was also featured for a few seconds.

The most exciting part was the raffling of the three Trek bikes that were used in the movie by Solenn, Dennis, and Patricia. I think my luck was rubbed-off as I didn't win any of the three bikes, or any of the consolation raffle prizes that were drawn from the start until the end of the premier. The sadness though was augmented with a photo-op with Solenn Heussaff at the backstage.

Last photo-op with Solenn after raffling her Trek bike

Lakbay2Love catches both the attention of biking enthusiasts, the not-so-hopeful romantics, and environmentalists. While for people who are not into biking, or have grudge with bikers, I urge you to watch this movie and understand biking from this viewpoint.

Bikers don't just pedal their lives away because they don't have money to buy a 4-wheeled vehicle, but because of what it can do for the personal health and the zero-carbon footprint of biking. It is a movie where viewers will come to realize that the appreciation of nature must also come with the responsibility of taking care of our environment.

Director Ms. Ellen Marfil narrating what inspired her to do the film

Trip: Lakbay2Love as directed by Ms. Ellen Marfil under Erasto Films is considered the first biking-feature film in the Philippine Cinema, a first also in the "green-carpet" outdoor premier.

The movie will open in Cinemas tomorrow, February 3, 2016.

*Special thanks to Ms. Gay Domingo for the invitation.

Ifugao wooden scooter that were also used at the movie
1 of 10 pure metal Batavus delivery bikes around the Philippines w/rich features such as integrated rear-wheel lock, 3-speed internal hub, RFID security tag, and coaster-brake hubs
The UP bikes
Mr. Joey Ayala, whose bike was stolen long ago, sang his rendition of the Lupang Hinirang
Great young talents of The Ransom Collective - you should hear their piece along with Oh, Flamingo!, Gig Manila, and UP Music Circle

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