Two Filipinos showed that grit and determination can reach their dreams after they recently graduated from college while working as food delivery riders.
Bernardo Paderan obtained his bachelor’s degree in information technology, cum laude, from Access Computer College, while Junifer Dimaano finished his bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management in the same college.
Paderan, a working student since 2017, said he would ride a bike to his job and to his classes afterward.
“Nakikiusap na lang ako sa professor at nag-aadvanced studies,” he said in a statement.
He was a former production worker at several factories. In 2019, Paderan applied as a Foodpanda rider after he and his wife decided to invest in a motorcycle.
“I was able to manage my time better, kahit kayod pa din. Ang shifts ko before or after ng classes,” Paderan said.
The 31-year-old father and fresh graduate also have advice for those who are facing challenges.
“Huwag silang tumigil sa gusto nila mangyari. Kung may problema ka, harapin mo, huwag mong iwasan. Laging may paraan para dyan,” Paderan said.
Meanwhile, Dimaano applied for the job as his earnings helped fund his education.
“Third year, first sem ko na noon. Kinausap ko ang mga foodpanda riders na nagdedeliver sa amin tapos may nagpadala sa akin ng application form. Ang laking tuwa ko nung natanggap ako,” Dimaano said.
“Nagulat ako na one-week pa lang akong rider ng foodpanda, naka-ipon ako ng pambili ng sarili kong bike,” he added.
Dimaano also learned how to multi-task while delivering food or drinks to his customers.
“Since online naman ang classes, nag-aaral ako habang nag dedeliver. Mababait pa ang mga deliveries ko, kasi kapag sinasabi ko na mage-exam lang ako pumapayag sila,” he said.
At 18, Dimaano previously served as a fast food crew member after moving to Manila from Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental.
“Yung mga kaklase ko nung high school nakikita ko magaganda na ang buhay kasi nakapag tapos na sila,” Dimaano shared.
He encouraged Filipinos to persevere in their everyday tasks.
“For those who are still struggling with life, lumaban ka lang ng patas sa buhay, huwag ka mag-isip na gumawa ng masama. Samahan mo lang ng sipag at tiyaga at gagabayan ka ng Diyos,” Dimaano said.
Daniel Marogy, director of Foodpanda Philippines, said the firm is “inspired” by Paderan’s and Dimaano’s success stories.
“Bernardo and Junifer who are among our riders who continue to strive for greatness amidst hardship. [f]oodpanda will continue to provide opportunities for those who aspire to do the same,” he said.
Launched in the Philippines in June 2014, the food delivery service aims “to conveniently discover food around their neighborhood and directly order their favorite meals online or via mobile.”