A group of mountain bike enthusiasts conducted Friday an outreach program that benefited some 300 Aeta students and teachers from a public integrated school in the upland villages of Porac, Pampanga.
Carrying the theme “Tulong Dunong 3.0”, the outreach activity involved the donation of school supplies, reams of bond papers, boxes of face shield, face masks and goodies.
A feeding activity for the students was also held at Barangay Villa Maria and Barangay Inararo in the town of Porac.
Fusion Bikers of Pampanga, a group of on-and off-road cycling buffs exploring Pampanga’s mountainous biking trails and scenic countryside, partnered with Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao (EsP) and English Departments of the Angeles City National Trade School (ACNTS) in holding the outreach program five days into the start of classes under the blended learning.
Emil Guevarra, president of Fusion BIkers, said that his group came up with idea of doling out school supplies, goodies and feeding young Aetas when his members stopped by a store after exploring the underprivileged community and saw the plight of young indigenous Aetas.
Some of the school supplies that included writing pads, notebooks, ball pens and pencils were donated by students of ACNTS, according to Dhick Yumul, EsP head of the said school and Secretary of the biking group.
Reams of bond paper were also donated to teachers to be used in printing learning modules for students studying under the blended learning setup being implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd).
Guevarra enthused that he encouraged his members to forego going out for a drink and instead donate the money to conduct the outreach activity in the said Aeta community renowned for its challenging uphill and thrilling downhill.
Guevarra added that they were able to raise a pool of enough sums of money to also include a feeding program during the outreach activity.
Guevarra thanked Mrs Marizen Tolentino, OIC of Villa Maria Integrated School and other teachers who prepared the food that were distributed to young Aetas.
For her part, Mrs. Tolentino expressed gratitude to the group for the donation and feeding activity.
Many of the residents of the said barangays still live off the land and sell their yield of yam, banana, ginger and gabi (taro), among others.
Government reports have it that the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened Filipino children with malnutrition and stunting as the country is still reeling from the effect of the pandemic.