Faces of Cebu Life! People and Ideas

FACES OF CEBU: Khirsten Zia Giango, 19, Miss Sikad Sugbo 2021

Khirsten Zia Giango. | Photo courtesy of Indy Cabanes

During the pandemic, many people discovered new interests.

For 19-year-old Khirsten Zia Giango, the quarantine period made her rediscover her love for a former hobby–cycling.

Giango is among many who got hooked into bicycles in the past year although she says she actually started falling in love with cycling when she was young.

She started biking when she was a child but this hobby did not last long because of her engagements in other sports at school.

With the COVID-19 pandemic suspending school and other sports activities in 2020, Giango started looking for something to keep her fit and busy. She didn’t have to look far.

“When this pandemic started, my body couldn’t take the boredom by just staying home. And so, I started to think ‘maybe I should bike again’,” Giango said.

It turned out to be a good idea.

She started biking again in January 2021. She once again fell in love with biking and vice versa.

In fact, she was recently crowned Miss Sikad Sugbo 2021 last July.


Photo by Janeane Cinco

Giango said she actually loves joining sports and extracurricular activities that involve training.

She also tried swimming, ballet, dance classes and even was once a volleyball varsity during her grade school years.

But biking has a special place in her heart.

Photo courtesy of Stefners Fotographia FB page

“I just love the sense of freedom while riding a bike and of course the sense of accomplishment whenever I reach a certain destination regardless of how long or short the ride is,” she said.

Aside from the benefits of cycling in well-being, Giango also enjoys her rides because of the people she meets on the road.

“Wherever you go, you meet friends or even strangers who would always greet you a ‘good morning’ or they simply nod or wave when they go past you,” Giango said. “It just feels like one big family for all cyclists despite having differences of the kinds of bike they use.”

Time management

As a nursing student, Giango also juggles studies and sports.

Planning ahead of time helps her not to stress out, she said.

Despite her hectic schedule, she always makes time to rest and chill.

Favorite ‘pitik’ subject

Giango has been one of the favorite subjects of the street photographers who cover Cebu’s bike routes.

“It’s really flattering to be featured by the mamitikays. At first, I wasn’t expecting them to reach out and ask if they could have a fun shoot with me during rides since I’m just a starter in biking,” Giango said.

Giango praised all the street photographers who endure the heat of the sun to get that great photo of cyclists passing by.

READ: Meet Cebu cycling’s camera magnet, Joanna Gairanod

Here are some of her photos:

Photo courtesy of Shotster FB page

Photo courtesy of Paksit Photos FB page

Message to a fellow biker

She encouraged bikers not to be afraid to go wherever their hearts desire.

“To all new bikers out there, I know some of you are still afraid to bike along the roads, climb the mountains, or are shy to do it. Well, don’t be. We all are different, we all have a unique way of biking, and we all have different strengths and weaknesses, and riding confidently will take you to places you’ve never been,” she said.

Wanna meet our reigning Miss Sikad Sugbo?

Hop into your bike and if you’re lucky, you might can catch her in some of Cebu’s many bike routes.


READ MORE: FACES OF CEBU: Kap Lourdes Ramirez, 66, food package controversy mediator

TAGS: cycling, Khirsten Zia Giango, Miss Sikad Sugbo
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