Since the enhanced community quarantine started, public transportation has become scarce, narrowing down the options of common working people. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many Filipino workers have been left to choose between staying home with no pay or walking miles to go to work. However, there really isn’t much of an choice if you’re the only one providing for the family, right?
Bikeyanihan is a fundraising campaign founded by a group of friends to address this unfortunate reality. Bikeyanihan was derived from the words “bike” and “bayanihan”, which means to lend a helping hand. The campaign aims to raise funds to provide bicycles for Filipino workers who have to walk long distances due to limited public transportation access. I guess I speak for everyone when I say that the name Bikeyanihan is perfect for the cause.
In just five days, Bikeyanihan was able to raise Php38,450 for the first set of beneficiaries. The group has since then provided 15 bicycles for 15 workers—each with unique inspiring stories. Some of these bikeyanis include Marilyn, Antonio, and Amelito:
Marilyn, 47, Street Sweeper at Las Piñas City Hall
Being a widowed mom, Marilyn’s children rely on her to provide for the family on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, their house in Pamplona, Las Piñas was demolished. Marilyn and her family currently reside in Bacoor, Cavite, where she starts her 5-kilometer walk to work everyday.
Antonio, 54, Construction Worker in BGC, Taguig
Concerned for his wellbeing, Antonio’s son sent his story to Bikeyanihan, hoping for him to become a bike beneficiary. He lives in Bgy. Rosario, Pasig, which is an 8-kilometer walk to BGC. He shared that when there are no private vehicles willing to share a ride, his only option is to walk four hours to and from work.
Amelito, Inventory Clerk at Cubao MRT Station
Amelito lives in Sto. Niño, Marikina and works at a store near the Cubao MRT station. He shared his struggles of waking up as early as 3AM just to get to work. Despite the 2-hour walk everyday, Amelito does not hesitate to go to work so he can support his two children.
Marilyn, Antonio, and Amelito are only three of the bikeyanis that the Bikeyanihan campaign has helped so far. With more awareness, Bikeyanihan will be able to reach more deserving individuals who are struggling to make ends meet. If you support the cause, there are numerous ways of helping. You can donate any amount you are willing to give through the accounts below. You can also pledge a bike and split the cost with your friends.
Remember: help does not only come in monetary form. You can donate your old but fully functioning bike, as well. You may also send Bikeyanihan stories of potential beneficiaries who are as deserving as Marilyn, Antonio, and Amelito. Lastly, it only takes a few seconds to share their posts through Facebook or Instagram. You never know. These few seconds may change lives. Together, let’s help Bikeyanihan achieve their vision of helping Filipinos go further one bike at a time.
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