In this new normal, food delivery riders have become a common sight on our roads, especially the pink-clad riders of leading online food delivery platform foodpanda. With their eye-catching uniforms and loveable new mascot Pau-Pau, these Ka-panda riders have likely caught your attention—or even brought a dish or two (or more) to your doorstep.
These riders work hard day and night to deliver to Filipinos all over the country and are considered frontliners in this pandemic. Many of these delivery heroes have inspiring backgrounds, and that is exactly what foodpanda had in mind with their first-ever D’Best Ka! Panda Awards.
Held last January 21 through a virtual live event on Facebook, D’Best Ka! Panda Awards aims to pay tribute to three exceptional riders with the most inspiring stories from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, and give special awards to outstanding riders.
“This is the perfect opportunity for us to shine the spotlight on these exceptional Ka-Panda riders who have gone the extra mile in serving our customers, not to mention providing for their families,” said Patricia Jacinto, Operations Director of foodpanda Philippines. “We are thrilled to be able to give them these awards, and we thank them for inspiring all of us with their dedication and perseverance,” she added.
Among the top awardees is Peter Daniel Viana, a widower whose three children are currently living with their grandmother. He sacrificed renting a room and living by himself in Iloilo City away from his kids, working as a foodpanda rider to give them a better future.
Fellow awardee Bernel Ali is a rider with an orthopedic disability, who has time and again risen above his physical limitations to continue working as a rider, helping his mother and siblings in the process.
Mark Anthony Cortezano from Naga City likewise has an orthopedic disability, but as a father with children to support, he continues to work hard and is even able to keep up with non-disabled riders in delivering to customers.
Aside from rewarding these three inspiring riders, who were given Php 10,000.00 each, foodpanda also gave Loyalty Awards to Edwin Pineda, a biker, and Marnello Aterrado, a motorcycle rider, who have both been foodpanda partner riders for four years; and the Extra Mile Award to Good Samaritan Alfredo Mijares who went viral on social media for returning a wallet filled with cash and ATM cards to a very grateful stranger.
Other awardees include Mark Frances Jumalon, Rubie John Viña, Artemio Jr Espulgar, Charlie Mendoza, and Jeff Omega, who were hailed as Productive Riders based on number of deliveries done in 2021; and Jomak Peladraand Bon Jovi Borja, who were recognized for their creative viral content on social media and dubbed as D’Best Panda Tiktoker and D’Best Panda Vlogger, respectively. These special awards winners all received Php 5,000 each.
Many fellow riders tuned in to the live event to witness the awarding, but they also had the chance to bring home a prize as well. foodpanda raffled off a number of gadgets and appliances, including LED TVs, tablets and smartphones, with 18 riders taking home prizes.
“These awardees have shown us that not only are our Ka-Pandas hardworking and family-oriented, they are quite talented too,” Jacinto said. “They inspire us in more ways than one, and we are very excited to discover who our next batch of hero riders will be.”