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Food delivery drivers spark hope with acts of kindness during quarantine

/ 08:11 PM April 16, 2020

As Filipinos stay home to curb the spread of the coronavirus, kindness remains, even in limited interactions with frontliners, such as food delivery personnel.

This week, one food delivery man, Raymund Papellero, was recognized for his small acts of charity after a Facebook post on Easter Sunday, April 12, went viral.

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Raina Ominga, a 31-year-old government employee from San Juan, said on Sunday she discovered why he kept buying bread in bulk from their business, Raina’s Bakery.

“Sabi ni Kuya, lahat daw ng nakukuha niyang tip [every time] nagdedeliver sya, iniipon niya pambibili niya ng bread. Then pinapamigay niya sa mga taong nakikita niya sa kalsada along the way,” she said.

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(The driver said that he saves the tips he receives when he delivers so he can buy bread. Then he gives it to the people in the street along the way.)

This pizza guy have been buying bulk assorted breads from our bakery for the past few days. So our inner curiosity ends…

Posted by Raina Ominga on Sunday, April 12, 2020

Ominga admitted to INQUIRER.net that their bakery, like other businesses, was affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Bumaba ang profit (profit went down) due to curfew. But it doesn’t matter na kasi health issue ang involved e (anymore because a health issue is involved),” she said. “We just have to adapt.”

When she learned of Papellero’s routine, she said, “I was actually surprised and amazed at the same time na ganun ginagawa niya (that he was doing that). I saw the kindness and purity of his heart. Right in front of my eyes, is hope. Amazing talaga (It’s really amazing).”

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She continues to give updates through her account when Papellero comes to buy bread at their bakery; she says he comes even when it is his day off.

Our Kuya Pizza Rider is baaack!! 4th day today. Ordered 60pcs of 4 assorted breads dahil malaki daw blessing niya na…

Posted by Raina Ominga on Monday, April 13, 2020

“Kindness gives us hope. It gives us light out of darkness. Kaya naniniwala ako, malalagpasan natin itong COVID-19 (This is why I believe we’ll get through this COVID-19),” she added.

‘Laking mahirap ako’

Papellero, 34, is from Mandaluyong and has a pregnant wife and two kids, ages 8 and 3. He told INQUIRER.net he has been in food delivery for the past 11 years and is a regular employee of a pizza chain. His wife, who works in accounting, is unable to work due to the ECQ.

On why he chooses to give away food on the streets, he explained, “Laking mahirap po ako. Hindi po ako mayaman, kaya naiintindihan ko po ‘yong sitwasyon nila.”

(I grew up poor. I am not rich, which is why I understand their situation.)

He said that when he was growing up in Cebu, his parents struggled in Manila and also experienced going hungry.

Of the people he distributes bread to, he said, “Nung una, mahirap na sila, tapos ngayon wala nang taong dumadaan, talagang naghihirap talaga sila.”

(They were already poor at first, and now that there are no people passing by [to help], they are really struggling.)

He said too that he will include coffee in his food giveaway so that people can enjoy it with their bread.

Papellero’s kindness extends to his fellow drivers too. He said he went on paid leave for a few weeks after the ECQ started so others could have the chance to work.

“Marami din gustong pumasok kasi wala din silang pagkukunan (Many want to work because they don’t have a source [of income],” he said.

For those who want to help his cause, donations can be made through his own GCash number 09453895853.

Gratitude

For one customer, a good deed was repaid beyond what she expected. Preschool teacher Cha Calubaquib, who lives in Quezon City, recalled on Monday, April 13, how she was struck by the gratitude of a driver to whom she shared food with.

Today, out of all the other days, I’ve decided to have food delivered for the second time in this quarantine. Hindi ko…

Posted by Cha Calubaquib on Monday, April 13, 2020

When she decided to order food that day, she placed orders for the driver and frontliners in her building. However, that order nearly did not push through because no one was accepting her booking.

Thankfully, driver Andrew Cucal got the booking and made the delivery to Calubaquib. When she told him of his order, he said, “Sakto nga po ma’am kasi gutom na ako. Iuuwi ko na sana sa bahay namin pero may [ide-deliver] pa po ako tapos uwi na po ako, may ulam na po kami.”

(Right on time ma’am because I was getting hungry. I was going to bring this home but I still have a delivery. I will go home afterwards, with a meal.)

He also looked for her on Facebook and messaged her pictures of him sharing the meal with his kids.

“Single parent po kasi ako kaya malaking [tulong] po talaga maraming maraming [salamat] po,” he said.

(I am a single parent, which is why it is a big help. Thank you very very much.)

“When he shared the picture of him and his family eating, sobrang saya ng feeling kasi nakatulong ako sa kanila (I felt so happy because I was able to help) in that way,” Calubaquib told INQUIRER.net.

Ang saya lang ng feeling kasi sobrang grateful din ni Kuya Andrew eh (I felt so happy because Kuya Andrew was so grateful).”

“Kuya Andrew was really genuine even when I met him downstairs to get my orders. There was a different kind of warmth when I saw him and the short time na nagkausap kaming dalawa hanggang sa umalis siya (that we spoke until he left),” she added.

She said of her deed, “We’re in a very hard situation right now and I think that’s the best I can do, to also reach other people and our frontliners as thanks to whatever they’re doing.”

“It’s really hard that you don’t have any choice to continue working even if [it] means you have to go out there and risk your [life] as well.” JB

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