This article was first published in June 2020 on my Medium page.
We have a small beach resort in Northern Luzon in a province called Pangasinan. It was named after our mother who passed down her land to me and my 2 brothers.
COVID-19 has affected numerous businesses in the world, including ours.
Walk for less than a minute from our resort and see this low-tide beauty. Photo by the author.
Thank goodness my brothers and I have jobs and we don’t rely on this business for our basic needs. What this business earns is just enough for resort expenses like utilities, repairs, and a monthly allowance of the caretaker.
Though I'm optimistic that things will get back to normal (pre-pandemic type of normal), I had to earn extra money to pay the bills.
Ready to deliver to two houses! Photo by the author.
Because of the lockdown in my country, there was no way for anyone to travel in and out of our cities. The world stood still.
Over 7 million Filipinos lost their jobs, and the easiest - fastest - way to get back to earning income is through selling food online. People are always looking for food, and most transactions have gone digital.
Our friends and family members are our first few customers and after being stuck at home for several weeks, I was out and about.
I got my first and only bike back in 2016. Every ride was memorable. We did fun rides; we rode out to get our usual Pinoy breakfast on the street, to see fresh places or enjoy being outside.
During the lockdown, I was riding my bike for exercise.
Now, I deliver once to twice a week to houses that are easily accessible by bike. If I had the choice, I’d deliver every order on the bike. But I (luckily) get a lot of orders and the bottles are too heavy for my basket.
What makes delivering difficult is the heat of the sun and unexpected rain. Summer in Manila means living in temperatures that rise to 100F. The rainy season has arrived as I write this, and each day’s climate has become unpredictable.
I picked up my favorite banana loaf from Baker’s Gallery, a vegan bakery in my city. The heat was intense but the banana loaf was worth the trip! Photo by the author.
Another thing that makes deliveries challenging is there are no proper bike lanes in my city.
With the surge of the number of bikers and the lack of transport vehicles, we feel no protection on the road.
Up to now, I see a lot of bikers without helmets.
I’m hoping that soon our local government units will give attention to bikers’ needs.
More and more Filipinos realize that biking is so much better than riding a car, train or bus. It’s faster, more efficient, and healthier for the body.
What makes this experience especially rewarding is something as simple as receiving a tip.
On my first delivery to my friend, she told me to ‘keep the change’. Really?! I didn't know it will mean that much to me even though I have a pretty stable job and earn from writing.
Now I know how it feels like.
I never thought I’d be delivering anything in my life, but there I was smiling with my first tip.
Lesson learned? To be extra nice to delivery men and women. Be generous with tips, offer to refill their water bottles with cold water, give snacks for the road, and say a heartfelt ‘thank you’.
Adaptability is one of our superpowers are human beings. Our bodies, mindset, perspective, lifestyle — they all change based on our environment, conditions.
All of us are being asked to adapt and change during these times.
How we respond to these changes is solely up to us.
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