A local motorcycle club in Puerto Princesa City recently donated school supplies to about 100 Tagbanua indigenous peoples (IP) students in Barangay Caramay, Roxas to give their learning continuity a chance to progress under the new normal.
Members of the Rouser Group of the Philippines (RGP)-Palawan Chapter said Monday their visit to the IP children of the Nanabu Indigenous Peoples Elementary School (NIPES) in Barangay Caramay, Roxas on November 8 is part of their goal to set the bar high among the young riders of Palawan.
Jesher Jed Arquisola, one of the board of directors of the motorcycle club, said that their 18th charity ride was the most challenging they have done so far to help in the learning continuity of the Tagbanua IPs in partnership with a missionary couple and the Department of Education (DepEd).
“Hindi ito ‘yong first namin na outreach sa IP community, it’s not just basically IP ang target namin. What we do, our target sa outreach ay mga community na mahirap abutin ng tulong, usually ito ‘yong mga tao na nasa bundok. Madalas kasi ‘yong mga tao sa patag ay madaling abutan ng tulong, yong malapit sa city. We, as a motorcycle group, from the other side of the charity, gusto rin namin ng adventure,” he said.
“The purpose is just basically to give love, yong pagmamahal namin sa kapwa, the satisfaction of having the group is makapagbigay ng saya, makapagbigay ng pag-ibig kaya out of our own pocket, we pull out money para makabigay ng tulong para sa kanila,” Arquisola added.
The group became active with charity events a year after the local chapter was established in 2016. It aims to reach different communities each quarter of the year.
He said they decided to extend help to IP school after a group of teachers informed them about the area.
Arquisola said they did not mind even if they had to face several challenges such as crossing dangerous rivers and getting in minor accidents as long as they achieve their goals.
The donations they brought to the IPs were from sponsors, personal friends, and online sellers who reached out to them by sharing some of their earnings to buy food for their beneficiaries.
“May kasamahan kami na nadisgrasya kasi hindi rin maiwasan ‘yon, noong umakyat kami ng bundok. Hindi in-expect ‘yong lalim ng ilog, maraming nasiraan, natumba pero pasalamat kami sa putik sila natumba, more on nasiraan,” he said.
“This was the most challenging talaga na event namin– last time, that’s 16 rivers going up and the way down, medyo tumaas na ‘yong ilog so we had to find another route so naging 24 na yong ilog going down,” he said.
Rouser Group of the Philippines-Palawan Chapter is one of the local motorcycle clubs in the province made up of riders using Kawasaki Rouser motorbikes.
The group has 187 members and has already conducted charity visits to Brgy. Tinitian in Roxas, Brgy. Napsan, Brgy. Tanabag, and Brgy. Cabayugan in Puerto Princesa, and other towns in Palawan where IP communities and indigent families reside.
They are still working out to end the year with two following outreach activities in some far-flung areas in the city. The group believes that every outreach they are doing is part of their significant milestone as local motorcycle club.
Setting as an example for fellow riders
Arquisola believes that it is a good thing to share blessings with less fortunate individuals, especially during pandemic times where many are struggling. The group realized that there is no harm in helping others and giving is also a blessing even if their jobs are also affected.
“Kung ano man ang nabigay namin na tulong, siguro pagdating ng future, kung sakali man na ‘yong nabigyan namin ng notebook ay naging engineer, masaya na kami doon, naging part kami ng pagiging engineer niya,” he said.
Edrick Codiam Allig, president of the local chapter, said Wednesday that they are happy to see the smiles of the children and everyone in the communities they are helping.
“Alam ko rin kasi ‘yong hirap ng buhay, dumaan din kami sa hirap, syempre kung pinagpapala ka rin, i-share mo. Minsan kasi kapag nababalita, iisipin ng iba na nagpapasikat. Iyong pagtulong namin, sa harap o likod man ng camera ay patuloy pa rin ginagawa iyong adhikain ng grupo. Ang impact kasi sa amin na nakakatulong, masaya na kaming makita ‘yong ngiti at kasiyahan ng mga bata,” Allig said.
Allig would like to change how the public perceives the image of riders on the road. He believed that as individuals who are known to be “rude” across the streets, he wants their charity events to serve as an avenue to change that perception towards them.
“Kasi kapag sinabi mo na motorcycle riders, ang expectation ng tao ngayon ay ‘yong mga nakikipagkarera, pasikat sa daan. Gusto namin baguhin ‘yong pananaw din ng tao, gusto namin maging inspirasyon na baguhin din ang pananaw ng tao na bilang isang motorcycle rider ay hindi lang ‘yon ang magagawa. Gusto namin na baliktarin, na kapag narinig ‘yong motorcycle riders, iyon yong riders na tumutulong sa mga nangangailangan,” he said.
“Basically, what we are doing is we are setting an example to the young riders na usually hot sila ngayon, gusto nila sikat sila ngayon sa kalsada. What we are doing is we are setting an example na dapat kapag rider ay kilala kang sumusunod sa batas, you set also as an example sa ibang rider na tumulong, in the humanitarian side of being a rider,” Arquisola added.