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13 August 2017

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Pedicab Driving Challenge – an Experience that Changes on How I See Things.

Beep! Beep! That was the sound that up until now I can’t forget. That beep in the busy street of Malabon City gave me more pressure that leads me pushing my limits. – Jonathan “Tansyong” Orbuda.



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August 3, 2017 – I received an email coming from an organization named *Food for the Hungry Philippines inviting me to be part of their vision trip in ***Malabon City and ****Navotas.  This is one of their projects that let the selected online personalities, vloggers and bloggers to experience the life of the selected families living in that area. I was very excited due to the fact that things like these are my interests –the so called challenges.

August 5, 2017 6:00AM. I went to the office of Food for the Hungry Philippines and together with the staff; we drove towards Katipunan, Malabon city to meet the Obido Family (my host family). I met Mang Edgar Obido and his wife Aling Irene Obido , who survived in a “below poverty line” way of living.  Mang Edgar is a **Pedicab driver. Indeed, for that day, I will replace him in driving his Pedicab. Moreover, I’ll also immerse them and have some lunch at 12NN after my task of earning money from driving his Pedicab.



I was surprised at first because I thought that I’ll just film them on how they live their daily routines but the staff told me to earn money for them. The family picked me up at the drop off location and the staff left me in Obido’s possession. I drove the Pedicab heading towards the house of Mang Edgar. He was remotely driving his bicycle, simultaneously giving me the instruction - both how to drive the Pedicab and how to reach his place.  Even if Mang Edgar was guiding me, I still didn’t rely on him because I was the one driving the Pedicab and whenever there is an accident – it’s still my responsibility.



While I started to put my force on the pedal, I saw how the van and the staff became smaller and started to fade. “I am now alone; I am now responsible for myself.” Mixed of pressure and excitement were the emotions that I felt. It was my first time to manoeuvre such vehicle. Until I didn’t notice that I hit the other side of the Pedicab into a car. The driver of the car was mad at me but I continue driving away from the location as fast as I can, because I might pay for the damage. From then, I can feel the pressure; it was not all about earning money but I have to consider my safety also.


I can feel now how difficult the life of Mang Edgar. My sweat started to drop and I can feel my shirt became wet as my thirst increases. In every pedal that I made, it was an extreme slap to my face saying “Stop complaining in your life Tansyong”. I kept on smiling but deep within I knew my tears started to fall down. Good thing, it was not noticeable since the sweat on my face was more obvious over my tears.



When I reached the house of Mang Edgar, I left my belongings and changed my get up into a comfortable one. Then, we headed towards the market to start the main challenge – to pick up a passenger.  I assumed it was just easy since I’m very talkative to convince people in riding my Pedicab; however I was wrong, there were hundreds of Pedicab and Tricycle drivers who are more competitive and powerful than me. I tried to control myself, the scenario and everything that can hinder my goal. I maintained my positive mindset and kept smiling even if the heat of the sun started to burn my skin. Fortunately, it works and I got my first passenger but another fortuitous event happened. Before I was able to pick up my passenger, while trying to manoeuvre the Pedicab, the third wheel fall down inside the open drainage and I can’t move anymore. Another Pedicab driver approached and helped me because I started to cause a heavy traffic at the area.



Beep! Beep! Beep!

It was annoying sound because it indicates that I need to hurry up. In addition, I heard some laughter from other drivers while watching me – having hard time.



Watch the video below.

PART 1

PART 2

What about the experience? It was life changing. It teaches me on how to be grateful in life that I’m currently having. I need to be thankful in every single and small blessing that I received because there are other people out there who live in scarcity yet they are happy. It opens my eyes on how to see things – I have no right to complain because there’s someone out there who’s dreaming of living the way I live my life. Instead, I need to value what I have today and start to work it out to grow.



I really appreciate to Mang Edgar Obido and family in allowing me to stay with them and experience their life. Indeed, thank you to Food for the Hungry Philippines, for having me as your guest and letting me to see the other side of Malabon and Navotas. Truly, I’ll never forget nor erase this one of a kind experience because it is already part of Jonathan “Tansyong” Orbuda.


  • * Food for the Hungry Philippines – A Christian, international, non profit organization doing development activities especially to children living in a poverty line. They served in the country for almost 39 years.  You can help them. Just visit their Facebook. Click here.
  • **Pedicab – A bicycle turned into a public utility vehicle by attaching a third wheel and side car to accommodate more passengers. 
  • ***Malabon City - (Wikipedia) Malabon, officially the City of Malabon (Filipino: Lungsod ng Malabon), is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in the Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 365,525.Located just north of Manila, it is primarily a residential and industrial town and is one of the most densely populated cities in the metropolis. It has a total land area of 15.96 square kilometers.
  • ****Navotas.- Navotas is a city in the Philippines located north of Manila that is known as the Fishing Capital of the Philippines. The city has the third largest fish port in Asia and the largest in Southeast Asia. Although it was established on December 20, 1827, Navotas celebrates its foundation day every January 16. Navotas became a highly-urbanized city on June 24, 2007.



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