Sporting a black leather jacket and a pair of blue jeans, journalist Jay Taruc negotiates the vast, traffic-cursed metro every day on his big bike.
While he can very well afford a four-wheel vehicle, Jay prefers riding motorcycles for “practicality.”
“Na-obserbahan ko eh, minsan ’pag pupunta ako ng meeting, kapag motor, it takes about 20 minutes lang pero kapag naka-kotse ako, usually mahigit isang oras. Practicality lang talaga,” he explained.
Of course, there’s the “cool” factor that goes with it. Jay acknowledges many find riding motorcycles as “malakas makapogi.”
“Tipid pa sa gasolina,” he added, smiling.
But how about the heat and the smoke?
Well, Jay brings extra clothes whenever he rides.
“If you are going to ride a motorcycle on a daily basis, you have to plan ahead,” he said. “Ako gabi pa lang naglalagay na ako sa bag ng mga kailangan ko, pati na ang pamalit na damit. Siyempre ayoko naman dadating sa meeting na haggard.”
Jumpstart my heart
Jay’s passion for motorcycles started in 2000.
“My dad din kasi, meron din siyang maliit na motor dati. Nu’ng nagka-interes ako parang sabi ko, ‘Ang fun niyang sakyan, masaya.’ So from there, nagtuloy-tuloy lang,” he recalled.
The journalist-rider now has six bikes.
Adventurous as he is, the Dickies endorser always wears protective gear – something he has taken to heart after getting into a major accident two years ago.
“Actually na-trauma ako that time but buti na lang I managed to get back on the road and ride again,” he said.
Vigilance and discipline are key to safety, Jay advised.
Many couch potatoes know Jay for the TV documentary “Motorcycle Diaries,” which he hosted for a good six years.
Though that show has folded, Jay now has “Ride PH With Jay Taruc,” a 30-minute tele magazine show focused on all things about motorcycle.
Jay, who produced the show himself, considers it his way of making audiences understand motorcycle culture.
“Hindi naman kaila sa atin na sobrang dami na ng nagmo-motor sa kayle ’di ba? Gusto namin maipakita o mas maintindihan (ng mga tao) ’yung local motorcycle culture natin,” he shared.
“It’s about time na magkaroon na ng show na ganito kasi hindi naman na talaga tayo makakatakas sa presensya ng mga motor.”
Asked to differentiate “Motorcycle Diaries” from “Ride PH,” Jay said, “Biyahe din ito pero dito we will try to avoid social issues, more on riding and riding destinations lang. So meron dito ’yung kung ano ’yung madalas na pinupuntahan ng mga nagmo-motor from North to South.”
“Ride PH” is also a platform for educating the riding public about road safety.
“Etong show ang magle-legitimize sa mga katulad natin na sumasakay ng motor araw-araw. Sa show na ito tuturuan ’yung mga kabayayan natin ng proper handling ng motor, etc. Kasi andu’n din kasi ’yung key para maiwasan ang aksidente,” Jay said.
“Road safety is issue nating lahat, be it nagmo-motor, be it nagko-commute ka, concern nating lahat ’yan eh. So this is something na universal talaga. Aside from that, hindi lang ’yung road accidents (ang pag-uusapan) kung hindi pati mismo ’yung kultura ng motorsiklo,” Jay added.
“Ride PH With Jay Taruc” starts airing tonight at 10 on GMA News TV. (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)