Biking with Benefits was launched last Holy Week 2011. It was brought up on a spur of the moment, when I realized that the misery (heat, wind, fatigue, thirst, hunger) I was experiencing through biking long distances during Holy Week (as part of my panata) is miniscule compared to the suffering experienced by many of the patients (and their family) during confinement in Alfredo E. Marañon, Sr. Memorial District Hospital (AEMSMDH); the hospital where I was working. They worry not only for their state of health and their corresponding hospital bills each day they spend confined in the hospital, but also the loss of income for each day they are unable to work because of illness; affecting their entire household. It was the intention of Biking with Benefits to ease their suffering by shouldering part of the expense in their stay and that is to cover their medicines requirement. With only a week to “promote”, friends and acquaintances supported the activity, which helped 300 patients as of last count.
Biking with Benefits 2 is more ambitious, targeting to raise enough funds to help ten times the number of our original beneficiary indigent patients. This time, I will be riding with two other bikers from the University of the Philippines Mountaineers (UPM) covering a distance approximately 750 kilometers across Central Visayas under the scorching summer heat to draw similarities the hardships experienced by the indigent hospital patients because of their lack of resources for proper health care. At the same time we will also highlight the unique tourist destinations we will pass through to symbolize the power of hope in the midst of trying times.
Aside from the cross-country ride, a charity fun run will also be held in Sagay City to send off the riders on their eight-day journey.