A bike story: How a cycling advocate rallied donations for family in need

November 29, 2023 - 12:47 PM
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Picture of cycling advocate Buji Babiera and Tatay Romy (firstbikeride/Facebook)

A bike advocate led a donation drive to help a father whose bike story moved hearts on Facebook.

Last Friday, Buji Babiera, who runs the bike blog First Bike Ride, shared a story about Romy, who made a four-hour trip on a bike to ask for financial help from a charity institution.

In the post, Babiera said that Romy brought his two children with him, namely, Jesrome and Joshua. He shared that he saw them crossing the Mabini Bridge in Manila.

The bike blogger initially thought it was just a “heartwarming” bike trip of a small family. It turns out that they traveled all the way from Parañaque City to ask for help from a charity institution in Manila.

Romy told him that their efforts were futile because they were not able to make it “in time.”

With consent, Babiera took to Facebook to share their interaction in hopes that other Filipinos would be willing to extend help to them.

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“While there’s no assurance, I told him that someone might offer help – something the institution he tirelessly biked to that day did not provide. This is for his family, and especially for his children,” the blogger said.

Babiera shared the story on November 24. It has since garnered a staggering 151,000 reactions, 7,000 comments and 94,000 shares on Facebook.

It also caught the attention of many Filipinos who have expressed willingness to help Romy and his family.

“I am willing to help po sobra! Especially this Christmas season na it’s time to love and share our blessings with others. I want to help their family,” a Facebook user said.

The social media magic

After receiving a lot of responses from his earlier post, Babiera formally launched the donation drive through his Facebook account.

He posted the QR Code of the bank account where interested individuals can send their donations to Tatay Romy.

In the post, Babiera shared that Tatay Romy was not aware that his story made rounds online.

“I spoke with Tatay Romy earlier over the phone. He was searching for a job, again with his kids, as it seems no one can attend to the small children at their home in Parañaque,” he said.

“He has no idea that his story went viral. He doesn’t have a smartphone or any internet access. He’s really thankful to know that you are interested in helping them,” Babiera also added.

He also assured Facebook users that there will be a transparency report on the donations.

“There will be a transparency report for this donation drive. First Bike Ride is solely managed by me, Buji Babiera, but my friends from the cycling community and my management are assisting in providing all the help we can extend to Tatay Romy and his family. If you are donating goods, please email me at [email protected] for coordination. Thank you!” his post reads.

On November 27, Babiera shared another update, saying how grateful Tatay Romy was for the donations.

The post was accompanied by pictures of the cyclist and Tatay Romy and his family in their home in Parañaque City.

“The whole family extends their gratitude to everyone who has shown love for them. I promise to give constant updates to everyone with the donations and rest assured that it will go to Tatay Romy and his family,” he said.