The pandemic and the resulting community quarantines have given birth to the rise of modern-day heroes whose main roles were to deliver the necessities of life despite restrictions. As the country celebrated Bonifacio Day this year, quick commerce company—foodpanda, honored its riders who serve as modern-day heroes for those who need a safe, convenient and quick source of food delivery.
Our relentless riders
With the spread of the virus limiting the economy and heavily affecting the livelihood of lots of Filipinos, many workers lost their jobs and were forced to look for different ways to earn a living. Such was the case for Regie Gonzales, a 29-year-old foodpanda rider who lost his job in April of 2021, and is now juggling his new job as a security guard for a bank and a foodpanda rider to support his two children.
“Nagsimula po akong maging foodpanda rider ng April 23, 2021. Gusto ko po maging foodpanda rider dahil gusto kong magkaroon ng extra income. Kaya naman talagang nagpursigi akong pagsabayin ang pagigingsecurity guard ko sa umaga at foodpanda rider sa gabi. Nakakapagod, oo, pero kung talagang mahal mo ang ginagawa mo, hindi mo na iindahin iyon,” Regie said. “Ang laki na ng naitulong ng foodpanda sa akin. Naipaayos na namin ang aming bahay, nagkaroon na din kami ng aircon, at higit sa lahat, nakakapagbigay na din ako ng pera para sa aking mga magulang.”
Another remarkable rider of foodpanda is Emelinda Galuara, a senior citizen, who at 61-years-old, remains a modern-day hero as she continues delivering food to the customers of foodpanda. Emelinda was previously a tricycle driver who was converted into a foodpanda rider in July 2020 through PandaToda Bacoor, foodpanda’s project in partnership with the Bacoor local government unit centered on helping tricycle drivers register and train to become a foodpanda rider.
“Ako po ay dating miyembro ng SM Molino Toda, subalit, nung nagkaroon ng pandemic ay nawalan kami ng biyahe. Kaya naman noong nagkaroon ng oportunidad na maging foodpanda rider ako ay di na ako nagdalawang isip na mag-apply. Malaking tulong sa akin ang pagiging foodpanda rider sapagkat ito ang pinagkukunan namin ng pera upang maitawid namin ang mga pangangailangan sa araw-araw lalo na’t mayroon pa akong pinagaaral at ako lang ang maaasahan sa amin,” Emelinda said.
Despite her age, Emelinda is still one of the most active riders that foodpanda has. She claims that she is enjoying what she’s doing and is encouraging her co-senior citizens to try being a foodpanda rider as well so they can continue to serve the country and the Filipino people through their delivery services.
A foodpanda champion for cancer patients
In an effort to help those who are struggling to survive because of their cancer sickness, Denyo Jovero, a 36-year-old rider of foodpanda is offering tattoos in exchange for donations for cancer patients who need help. He started this drive in 2018, and has been continuing these efforts until now, even though the pandemic has also hit him hard.
“Nanggaling na ako sa iba’t ibang apps, pero ang foodpanda talaga ang isa sa mga madaming naitulong sa’kin at sa pamilya ko lalong lalo na ngayong pandemya,” Denyo said. “Ang sinasahod ko, at minsan, pati na rin ng aking mga kaibigang rider, ay nagagamit namin na pangtulong sa mga nangangailangan.”
Denyo’s project for cancer patients is entitled “Tattoo Ko, Tulong Mo.” He, along with other tattoo artists, creates tattoo events wherein they donate all their income to cancer patients, so they can buy their medicines, and other expenses such as food, water and diapers. On top of this, Denyo and his friends are also active in aiding those who were affected by natural calamities such as storms, fire, and volcanic eruptions. They visit households along with out-of-school youth to distribute their help to those who were heavily affected.
“Sa pamamagitan ng social media, maraming tao ang nag-so-sponsor sa amin upang makatulong sa mga naapektuhan ng mga sakuna. Si foodpanda naman ay ina-assist kami sa pamamagitan ng pagtupad sa aming mgarequest via rider support o email. Nag-so-sponsor sila ng goods na pwede naming maibahagi sa mga nasalanta.” Denyo added. “Bukod pa dito, ay marami sa mga out-of-school youths na nakakasama namin ang ine-encourage naming maging foodpanda rider, at awa ng Diyos, sa tulong ng kinikita nila sa foodpanda, ay naiipagpatuloy na nila ang kanilang pag-aaral at ang iba ay mga professional na ngayon.”
In his message for his co-riders, Denyo mentioned that they should always aim high, but should also keep their feet on the ground. He also told them to always thank the Lord for all the blessings that they have received, and to continue reaching their dreams without stepping on other people.
As the country celebrated this year’s Bonifacio Day, foodpanda continued to honor its riders who are an essential part of not just the company’s success, but also the recovery of the country’s economic status.
“We recognize our riders as the modern-day heroes that they are. We salute them for their hard work and their services that have helped the Filipinos enjoy good food safely and conveniently. This Bonifacio Day, we want to honor their efforts and reward them with initiatives that will motivate them and help them in their everyday lives. We will continue to expand their benefits that will ensure their safety and well-being as they remain one of the country’s frontliners and modern-day heroes,” Daniel Marogy, Managing Director of foodpanda Philippines concluded.