BY RICKY MONTECILLO
Last September 27-29, The Long Riders held a Dental /Charity Mission for the Salacsac, Malico Community up in the mountains of Nueva Vizcaya.
Salacsac and Malico has lately been our camp and ride destination because of its unspoiled nature. The weather is always cool, there are no crowds and not much commercial activity save for the small roadside vendors of saluyot or Kamote.
We have grown attached to the Malico community ever since we first discovered this quaint place about 2 years ago.
Our leader, adventurist artist Restie Renia, has befriended the tribal leaders in Malico, and promised the community that we were going to hold a dental mission there.
The community is visibly poor and the people are very simple.
And when we trooped up there last weekend with two of our tireless and generous dentists, Von Evangelio and Glen Latorre, and the gang of riders on motorcycles and pick up trucks, the townsfolks gathered in the school grounds with the look of innocent wonder in their faces.
We were surprised of the crowd that came. All expecting to bring home something. Getting free dental teeth extraction, free reading glasses and new pairs of rubber slippers. We also distributed basic Medicine packs for each family.
It is always deeply heart warming to witness and be part of The Long Riders’ charitable events.
Here we are, fun loving macho men and glam women with some extra resources to share, giving out a part of ourselves and bonding with the wonderful people of Salacsac and Malico.
Many riders from other groups gamely supported the Mission too and it is gratifying to see that the riding community is quick to lend their time, talent and friendship to The Long Riders.
Some of our wives and children also joined the mission.
It made it more special to bond with the next generation whom we want to imbibe the lessons of what we do as motorcycle riders, as a tribe, as one big happy and intoxicated comrades.
We capped the mission the our traditional ritual of downing bottle upon bottle of alcohol. What a scene. With the cool and scenic nature as our venue, we drank the night away, laughing and hugging and telling old and new stories again and again.
This story seems to have already been told many times over, about our rides and the anecdotes and funny times. It’s funny but we never tire of living the dream and telling them over and over again, and still laughing like we’ve heard them for the first time.
The Long Riders Mission in Salacsac, Malico was a huge success and we made the people there feel special. I guess that is the essence of charity. It’s not so much of the toys and goodies that we giveaway.
I guess it’s because we make them feel special. It’s getting to know their names, their stories and giving them hope.
In turn, we also value their acceptance to be part of their tribe. Part of their family.