Meet ‘Mr. Terno’: Cool grandpa from Manila bikes around in vibrant colors
A 70-year-old biker from Manila has recently sparked joy in social media after flexing his hobby of sporting cool cycling outfits that always match the color of his bicycle.
Gil Gener Palomar, who is now dubbed by netizens as “Mr. Terno” (“terno” in Tagalog means “to match”) shared his photos in a Facebook post on Aug. 22. The photos were taken in Luneta Park and quickly went viral after netizens were amused by his distinct fashion style.
“Ako lang ang nagpipintura at nag-a-assemble ng mga bike ko. Nahiligan ko lang ipagpartner-partner yung kulay ng suot ko sa [kulay ng bike] dahil natutuwa ako at marami ring tao ang natutuwa kapag nakikita [nila] ako,” Palomar told INQUIRER.net in an interview.
(I am the one who paints and assembles my bikes. It has been my hobby to match the color of what I wear to the color of my bike because it makes me happy and many people also become happy when [they] see me.)
“Naging libangan ko na lang din ito dahil tumatanda na rin ako (It just became my hobby since I am getting older too),” he added.
Biking has been Palomar’s rewarding hobby for over 37 years now — five years in the province and 32 years in Metro Manila. He said that it was in 2016 or 2017, when he started wearing a colored terno for this bike, with complete cycling gear.
He has nine bikes in the following colors: yellow, blue, orange, white, green, black, purple, red and gold. Palomar said he is currently assembling a pink bicycle that will make a fine addition to his collection.
Next color? Pink!💕Thank you Bosny Aaron Mang Ondoy Sy
Palomar is turning 71 in September. He is already retired and has been receiving his pension, while his wife used to work as a manicurist. His wife almost has no income right now due to the coronavirus pandemic. They have four children: three of them had graduated and are already working professionals who provide for them, while the youngest is currently in Grade 12.
“Minsan yung anak kong bunso, sinasabihan ako ng gusto niyang kulay na isusuot ko kapag aalis ako, magsisimba o mamamasyal lang sa Luneta. Sanay na sila na ganito ang pananamit ko,” Palomar shared.
(Sometimes, my youngest child tells me which color of clothes she would want me to wear whenever I am leaving, going to church, or just going for a walk in Luneta.)
When it comes to his hobby, Palomar said his family has always been supportive of it, “Hinahayaan lang nila ako sa gusto ko, lalo na sa pagbabike. Sinusuportahan pa nga nila ako eh, dahil dito ako masaya.” (They just let me do what I want, especially biking. They even support me, because it is with this that I am happy.)
However, Palomar’s youngest child who has been his daily companion at home reminds him to always be careful and mindful, especially now that a lot of people already know him.
“Kapag may magpapakuha ng litrato, dapat daw mag social distancing. Huwag [ko raw aalisin] yung face mask. Palagi rin niya akong sinasalubong pagkauwi ko; nilalagyan niya ako ng alcohol sa kamay at sinasabihan na maligo,” Palomar said as he recalled his daughter’s safety reminders.
(When someone wants to take a photo with me, we should do social distancing. I should not remove the face mask. She always meets me outside as I came home, puts alcohol on my hand and tells me to take a bath.)
As Palomar became a social media sensation due to his striking style, this also made him feel happy and appreciated regardless of his age, “Natutuwa ako dahil maraming tao ang humahanga at nakakaappreciate sa akin sa edad kong ‘to. Parang nakakalimutan ko yung mga sakit ko, yung problema ko, kapag natutuwa ang mga taong nakakakita sa akin.”
(I am happy because a lot of people admire and appreciate me at my age. I seem to forget my illnesses, my problems, when people are happy to see me.)
If there are any pieces of advice he would like to share with other bikers, what would these be?
“Ang maipapayo ko sa kanila, mag-ingat sila palagi dahil marami nang sasakyan sa kalsada ngayon. [Alalahanin] nila na may uuwian pa [silang pamilyang naghihintay sa kanila], kaya mag-iingat sila,” he said. “Ngayong pandemya, dapat din na maging malinis sila sa katawan lalo na kapag galing sila sa labas.”
(My advice to them is to always be careful because there are already so many cars on the road nowadays. Remember that they have a family waiting for them to go home to, so they should be careful. In this time of the pandemic, they should also be physically clean, especially whenever they come from outside.) JB
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