Fathers are men turned by love into heroes. They are deemed as strong, hardworking, and always ready to take risks for their family and keep every member safe.
Much has been said about the challenges of being a father, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of people were laid off or lost their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak but three Ka-Panda delivery partners found hope and joy when they joined leading quick-commerce digital platform foodpanda. All are driven by different reasons and dreams but bound by their mission to deliver quality service and go beyond the extra mile to provide for their families.
For 43-year-old Alfred C. Macalinao Jr. from Talisay, Cebu, he doesn’t mind working two jobs to sustain the needs of their family. The father of three is a college professor by day and a delivery rider by night.
“Mina-manage kong maigi ang oras para makabyahe ako sa foodpanda. Gagawin ko ang lahat para sa pamilya at maibigay ang pangangailangan nila. Minsan nga nagiging main source of income ko na itong foodpanda compared sa pagtuturo,” says Alfred.
(I make sure to manage my time well so I can work in foodpanda. I’ll do everything so I can provide for my family’s needs. Sometimes, being a foodpanda rider becomes my main source of income more than teaching.)
His positive disposition in life and desire to serve his customers also keeps him going, “Gusto ko talagang nakakatulong sa mga taong ayaw at hindi makalabas. Naisip ko na baka ito yung tsansa na makatulong ako sa ibang tao kahit sa simple kong paraan.”
(I really want to help those who don’t want to and can’t go out. I thought that this is my chance to help other people in my own simple way.)
Meanwhile, Eleuterio Magnanao Jr. or fondly known as Ka Ely, is a senior citizen who still braves the roads of Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur just to be able to earn a living for his family and grandchildren while supporting his own medication at the same time.
After working for almost 31 years in Saudi Arabia as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), the 65-year-old Ka-Panda rider thought he wouldn’t be able to find a job here in the country due to his old age until he was warmly welcomed by foodpanda. Ka Ely was one of the many OFWs who weren’t able to return to their respective host countries when the pandemic struck.
“Malaking tulong ang foodpanda sa amin ng pamilya ko dahil kasama ko rin sa bahay yung isa kong anak at ang pamilya niya. Meron din akong maintenance medicine kaya hindi ako pwedeng hindi magtatrabaho sa ganitong edad,” he says.
(foodpanda is a huge help to us. I live with one of my children and his family. I also have maintenance medicines so I really have to work despite my age.)
Through being a rider, he’s also found a new purpose and met new friends along the way. He happily quips, “Maganda ang kita and at the same time, naaaliw ako kasi may ginagawa ako kaysa nakatambay ako sa bahay. Nalulungkot kasi ako at parang magkakasakit lang ako doon. Marami akong nagiging kaibigan lalo na sa mga customer. Respectful sila lalo na sa mga katulad kong senior citizen.”
(The pay is good and at the same time, I am entertained and productive instead of being at home all day. It only makes me sad and I feel like I will get sick. I also gained a lot of friends through the customers. They are respectful, especially to us senior citizens.)
Like Ka Ely, Raul Pulgo‘s previous job was also greatly affected by the pandemic. He and his wife used to work as massage therapists until the establishment they’re working at temporarily closed in accordance with the quarantine restrictions in Cebu City.
“Noong time na yun, wala akong mapagkakitaan. May kaibigan ako na sabi niya sa akin, bakit hindi ko subukang mag-foodpanda. Sabi ko, pwede ba ako kasi alam mo naman PWD ako. Isang araw lang, pagka-apply ko, natanggap ako agad kaya thankful ako,” recalls the 38-year-old person with disability (PWD) rider.
(During that time, I had no source of income. I have a friend who suggested that I try applying at foodpanda. I told him I doubt I’m eligible since I’m a PWD. I am very thankful because I was immediately hired the next day I applied.)
Despite many challenges caused by polio, Raul is grateful that he can navigate the streets carefully and deliver orders and inspiration. However, his path is not always filled with sunshine and rainbows as there are instances he would encounter irate customers.
“Minsan napapagalitan ako ng customer kasi gusto nila ihatid doon sa taas. Sinasabi ko na hindi ko kaya dahil PWD ako. Sabi niya trabaho ko raw yun kaya wala akong magawa. Pinupuntahan ko na lang para walang problema. Pagdating ko sa kanila, nakikita nilang totoo naman kaya humihingi sila ng paumanhin at binigyan na lang din ako ng tip,” he relates.
(Sometimes, customers would get mad whenever I’d tell them that I can’t take their orders upstairs to them because of my condition as a PWD. They say it’s my job so I have no choice but to do as requested to avoid problems. When I get to them, they’d see that what I’m telling them is true. They would say sorry and they’d give me a tip.)
As foodpanda promises a convenient and quick source of food delivery, road safety and safe delivery practices remain to be the main principles that it promotes among its riders especially to those with disabilities like Raul.
Whenever he feels tired, he thinks of his wife and two sons whom he draws strength and inspiration from. ”Sobrang hirap ng buhay ngayon pero lahat gagawin ko para sa pamilya ko. Kaya malaki talaga ang pasasalamat ko kay foodpanda. Kung hindi niya ako tinanggap, walang makakain ang pamilya ko.”
(Life is so hard but I’ll do everything for my family. That’s why I’m really thankful to foodpanda. We won’t be eating anything if foodpanda didn’t hire me.)
Throughout the years, our delivery partners have proven their indispensable role as our modern-day heroes in pink who deliver food and essentials straight to our doorsteps. As we celebrate Father’s Day this year, there are different ways we can show some love and appreciation to our Ka-panDADs and heroes on the road. We can give them a five-star rating, consider buying them a meal or drink with our order, or reward them through foodpanda’s tipping feature. Customers can easily tip Ka-Panda partner riders with a minimum amount of Php 20 when you order from foodpanda via credit card or e-wallet.
Meanwhile, Ka-panDads nationwide will get a chance to win awesome prizes such as brand-new motorcycles, dinner treats and special vouchers on this special day. All they have to do is share their #kapanDAD story on the Official Kapanda Community Facebook Group.
Let us honor foodpanda riders – the heart of delivery service – who demonstrate perseverance and compassion to the community, all for their families.