“Na-shoot ako sa imburnal. Gabi kasi, wala akong ilaw. Hindi ko nakita.”
Those were the words of 47-year-old tile setter Jonie Payod when he recalled the accidents he encountered when he’s cycling.
The sewage was in a dark area near the Malabon-Navotas border. After he fell, he just got up as if nothing happened. Thankfully, there were no big injuries.
He also recalled that there was a time when he was sent to a hospital after an owner-type jeep bumped him in a street in Manila.
“Nabangga ako tapos tumama ‘yung ulo ko sa gutter kasi umover take ‘yung owner. Dinala niya ako sa hospital kasi nahilo ako,” he said. “Bukol lang tsaka kaunting sugat. Nahilo lang talaga ako.
“Sinagot nila ‘yung reseta ng gamot basta huwag lang ako magde-demanda. Baka raw kasi magka-hemorrhage sabi ng doktor.”
In all those times that he fell on his bicycle, Jonie was not wearing a helmet.
Like thousands of other Filipino bike commuters, Jonie still can’t buy a helmet and a bike light — even after figuring in multiple accidents.
“Paano ako makakabili? Eh sahod ko kulang na kulang pa nga sa aking mag-anak,” he said.
This construction worker only earns 600 pesos a day and he told us that it’s sometimes not enough to feed his three children and wife. Two if his kids are still studying and the wife doesn’t have a job.
“Talagang importante sa akin ang bisikleta na ito kasi ang laki ng nase-save ko sa pamasahe. Malaki kasi ‘yung gastos sa commute, umaabot ng 200 kada araw,” he said.
Jonie is using a worn-out single-speed bike that he purchased three years ago for 1,000 pesos. He bought it in installment, he recalled. His daily route is from Malabon to Manila.
The bike still works but it’s in a really bad condition. The stem wobbles because it got bent after he figured in a recent accident with an E-bike.
We gave Jonie a helmet and lights to help him with his commutes. He wants to thank those who have donated.