The first ‘J&T Hero’ shares his experiences as a delivery frontliner
During the early months of the pandemic when people were advised to stay indoors, among those who frequented the empty roads alongside medical workers were delivery riders. Touted as the unsung heroes, they wear not costumes and capes but their protective gears and helmets to go on their duty not to save the world but to serve as the public’s lifeline to the essentials.
Included in the thousands of delivery riders who continue to embrace their mission of safely delivering parcels every day is thirty one-year-old Edison Awa, a J&T Express delivery rider from Muntinlupa City. Awa shared he had to adapt to the dire adjustments the pandemic entailed, just like everyone else. Nevertheless, he’s proud to be among the country’s frontliners.
“Nung kasagsagan ng lockdown, may pangamba po. Pero hindi po ako nagsawa na mag-deliver kasi alam ko may mga taong naghihintay sa mga bahay nila na kailangang-kailangan ‘yung parcel nila,” Awa said.
He added that seeing the sad news about Filipinos losing their jobs due to the economic effects of the pandemic made him realize how fortunate he is to continue working in a position that he puts honor in doing. “Masaya ako kasi hindi ako nawalan ng trabaho, tuloy ang laban,” Awa said.
The first ‘J&T Hero’
Awa was recently awarded as the first J&T Hero, emerging as the top candidate from hundreds of nominations for outstanding J&T delivery riders across the Philippines. According to his branch supervisor, Awa can deliver 100 to 300 parcels, making him one of the top couriers in his branch.
But the quantity of delivered parcels is just a menial parameter of Awa receiving the said recognition. For the delivery rider, being a hero is as simple as being kind.
“‘Yung pagiging matulungin mo sa tao, pagiging mabuti sa mga customers, ‘yung pagsaalang-alang mo ng tamang paraan at tamang approach kung paano sila babatiin at kakausapin araw-araw, ‘yun para sa akin ay pagiging bayani na rin,” Awa said.
Even before being given the award, Awa was already a hero for his wife and his children, whom he considers his motivation in life. He shared that all he’s doing is for his three kids to finish school and not miss opportunities in life — a story that he was familiar with.
Prior to being a J&T delivery rider, Awa worked in a company where he was up for regularization, but it was halted because he wasn’t a college graduate. “Ako sa sarili ko nanliit ako kasi kumbaga naisip ko kung nakapagtapos lang siguro ako, or kahit two years course, naregular na ako sa trabaho,” he said.
But just like how an old saying goes, when a door closes, another one opens. From a referral of a friend, Awa is now two years into a company where he feels seen and valued.
“Sa lahat ng naging trabaho ko, ito talaga ang nagustuhan ko. Lagi akong excited pumasok. Talagang komportable sa akin ang pagiging rider,” Awa said. “Naging proud din ako sa sarili ko na mayroon pala akong skills na dito ko mailalabas at magagamit sa J&T at sa pagiging rider,” he added.
For Awa, one of the most meaningful results that came from being a J&T Express rider is how he can support the needs of his own family and his parents. He recounted how with the minimum wage salary in his previous job, he often had no choice but to say no when his parents asked for financial assistance. Awa added that he’s relieved now that he has a stable source of income as well as good benefits and incentives with J&T Express.
“Masakit at nakakalungkot para sa akin na matanggihan mo ‘yung mga magulang mo na nanghihingi ng tulong pinansiyal sa’yo. Pero ngayon na sa J&T na ako nagtatrabaho, hindi ko na natatanggihan mga magulang ko kasi ‘yung kinikita ko, sobra-sobra pa para sa amin ng mga anak ko at ng asawa ko,” he said.
As the first J&T Hero, Awa received gifts from J&T Express that include a brand new motorcycle and smartphone. He said that he’s grateful for the prizes, especially since he’s also saving up money to buy another motorcycle he can use as a backup. With the new unit J&T Express gave him, he can allocate the money to their family’s other expenses.
Awa said that what he also appreciates about J&T Express is how it assigns delivery areas to drivers near their respective residences. He noted that this helps them save travel time and money while doing deliveries, and gives them the efficiency and freedom to have their own “diskarte” on how they can finish bringing parcels within the day. He also said that the management of J&T Express sees to it that the concerns and needs of delivery riders are always addressed.
“Sobrang alaga po kami sa J&T Express. Kapag may concerns po kami, nagagawan po ng paraan. Kapag may hiling po kami na kailangan, nabibigay naman,” Awa said, adding that he sees himself working with J&T Express until he gets old. “”Sabi ko nga po, sa J&T na po ako tatanda. Pero masaya po akong tatanda bilang J&T rider.”
J&T Express said that the search for J&T Hero is their way of giving back to their partner riders and making them feel that their efforts and contributions don’t go unnoticed.
“They have shown valor, creativity, ingenuity, and resilience in every parcel delivered. We are honored to have them in our J&T family. May you continue to serve as inspirations to every person you meet on the road,” said J&T Express Philippines Vice President Zoe Chi.
More than 190,000 viewers tuned in to the the livestream event dubbed “J&T Heroes: Bayani sa Makabagong Panahon” held on July 2, 2021 via the official Facebook page and Youtube channel of J&T Express Philippines.
Awa got the main J&T Hero award, while Daryl Ocenar from Tacloban and Ricky Frias from Taguig were given the second and third place respectively.
Ocenar and Frias also received special prizes from J&T Express including wireless earphones, an action camera, and P5,000 worth of gift certificates.
Other finalists for the search for the J&T Hero namely Raniel Pawilan from Quezon City, Russel Agullo from Makati City, Alan Guillen from Cebu City, and Jecel Beniga from Davao City were also given special items and gift certificates from J&T Express. To know more about J&T Express, its services and initiatives for its delivery riders, visit https://www.jtexpress.ph/