While some find recreation in handicrafts like pottery or knitting, others have turned to outdoor sports like cycling and roller skating as a temporary escape from their reality.
“Rolling away from my problems” Chai Timbungco captioned in her video as rolled down a pavement with blue sky after sunset as the backdrop.
This is a familiar sight on TikTok, where similar clips of people elegantly cruising along boardwalks and suburban streets have gone viral around the world over the past year.
The only difference is that Timbungco is not in a skate park in California nor in Hong Kong.
It’s located on a newly opened street in Quezon City where roller skating is the newest cycling sport that’s trending among Millennials and Generation Z.
The caption of her video fits into a country where a slow pandemic response has forced many of its citizens to stay indoors.
Many young professionals like Timbungco have turned to various hobbies to cope with it.
And while some find recreation in handicrafts like pottery or knitting, others have turned to outdoor sports like cycling and roller skating as a temporary escape from their reality.
Roller skating was one of the biggest hits of the 80s and 90s.
It was then when the Baguio Skating Rink at Burnham Park was erected, and when in place of the now Lapu-Lapu monument at Rizal Park was a skating rink surrounding a globe fountain.
It was precisely because of the growth and interest in roller skating that figure skating was made possible in a tropical country, in the form of mall rinks inside SM Megamall and SM Mall of Asia.
While figure skating continued to thrive—creating national figure skating athletes and enabling the Philippines to send Michael Martinez, the first Southeast Asian, to the Olympics—roller skating began to fade in the background.
Just until the pandemic broke out in 2020.
The slow-moving pandemic response in the country has forced many Filipinos to stay indoors.
Philippines, known as having one of the longest lockdowns in the world, many young professionals like Timbungco have turned to different hobbies to cope.
Everywhere We Skate PH (EWSPH), is an online community she founded in June last year with Cloe Cabral, 20, and Pat Epistola, 18.
Everywhere We Skate Ph photo from Facebook
The three initially met online through a local Facebook group for inline skating.
A post led to a group chat to buy roller skates from Hong Kong, which then became the seed for EWSPH.
The current EWSPH team, composed of Timbungco, Cabral, and members-turned-group admins Raqs Regalado, 37, and Adrian Duarte, 24, are in charge of maintaining order in the group and coming up with different activities to build the skate community.
Upon joining, members get access to a document with everything they’ll need to know as a beginner—from shops to check out, to guides on skate sizing, parts, safety gear, and more.
Posts are generally very welcoming, with members hyping each others’ videos up, asking for skate companions in their area, or just asking for advice.
The EWSPH Facebook group may not be as huge as other hobby groups, but it is definitely one of the most active for roller skating fanatics.
Browse the group feed and you’ll see roller skate OOTDs, skating videos, tips and tricks, and budol pasabuys.
The new roller-skating community in the country is just regrowing and hopefully we can grow the roller-skating culture once again.
Aiming for the sky, roller skating should not just restore its former glory, but to grow it even further and make the international competitive stage. (NP)
Tags: #Covid19, #copingmechanisms, #sports, #rollerskating