NAGA CITY, Philippines – A man dressed up as the superhero Spider-Man has been raising funds and distributing goods to poor communities in Bicol.
On the first 17 days of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the Bicolano Spider-Man handed out food packs to homeless people, street sweepers, parking attendants, and Naga City Hospital health workers
“Mayo po kitang pinipiling tabangan. Mayo kitang pinipili kun saen na lugar. Pag naghagad tabang, tatabangan. Mayong restriction. (We are not being selective of which ones to help. We are not being selective of which places to go. If they ask for help, we will help them.),” said the man, who has witheld his identity much like the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Aside from those in Naga City, the Bicolano Spider-Man has also helped farmers and fisherfolks in Burias Island, Masbate and a stranded Nagueño in Tabaco City, Albay.
Known heart to serve
The Naga City version of the superhero idolized Spider-Man because he said they have lived similar lives.
As an orphan, he was raised by his grandfather whom he thinks was like the Uncle Ben of the fictitional Peter Parker. He said his community work is what fills his heart. All this time he has never revealed his identity.
The Bicolano Spiderman said that anyone can help even without being recognized.
Though he has been wearing a Spider-Man costume since 2018, he said he has engaged in community work for 10 years now.
The ECQ, as part of the government’s effort to address the COVID-19 threat, has left many jobless and vulnerable. This has pushed him to continue helping those in need.
“Ngunyan na ECQ, nahiling ta na sakit na maray an mga kababayan ta kaya nagibo kitang paagi para matabangan an mga nangangaipuhan, an mga aki na mayong makakan, mayong mainum na gatas dahil sa krisis,” he said.
(Now that there is an ECQ, we saw how other people suffer, that’s why we find ways to help those in need, those kids who have nothing to eat and no milk to drink.)
He also encouraged others to do the same especially at a time of a health crisis. (READ: LIST: Groups help vulnerable sectors affected by coronavirus lockdown)
“May kakayahan kitang mag-ipon nin tabang kaya ginigibo ta ini. Dawa sa sadit na paagi, dawa papano malamanan nin pagkakan an mga tulak na mayong mga laman,” he added.
(We have the capacity to collect donations so that’s what we are doing. Even in simple ways, we get to feed those who are hungry.)
Naga Kontra COVID-19 (NKC19)
Mostly working alone, the Bicolano Spider-Man recalled that he would follow curfew schedules and borrow a bicycle to distribute goods.
Seeing his passion for community service, others have joined him and organized “Naga Kontra COVID-19,” a non-profit organization headed by Areiz Macaraig. The group aims to assist the local government unit, offer border assistance to nearby communities, mobilize volunteers, raise funds from sponsors, distribute food packs, and other efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
The group also wants to help those gravely affected by the crisis.
The organization has different teams namely “Burugkos Bicol,” “Kindness Team,” and “NKC19-Antonio Gomez Group (AGG) Disinfection Team.”
“Kan binuo mi po si Naga Kontra COVID-19, nagkaigwa na kaming mga ID asin naging malawak asin mabilis na an paghiro asin pagtaong ayuda,” Bicolano Spiderman said.
(When we established Naga Kontra COVID-19, we were given IDs and we were able to work faster and also to a broader scale in distributing food packs.)
He encouraged his fellow Bicolanos to never lose hope despite the uncertain times.
“Dae po kita mawaran nin pag asa. An gabos na inaagihan tang hamon ay igwang katapusan. Magsunod sa mga protocol. I-assert an mga karapatan sa ayuda hali sa lokal na gobyerno asin sa national government… Aramon an sitwasyon kan mga kataraid, mga kalugar. Kun kaipuhan tabangan, tabangan,” he said.
(We must not lose hope. There is always an end to every suffering. Follow the protocols. Assert your rights to receive help from the local and national government…Know the situation of your neighbors, the people in your community. If they need help, help them.)
Bicolano Spiderman added, “Mayong madaog sa pinag ipong kusog dawa may tarom an duros… Kaya ta ni (Nothing can beat a united force despite the sharp winds. We can do this),” he continued. – Rappler.com
Abegail Kyla Bilan is a Rappler mover from Naga City. She is an incoming 2nd year AB Journalism student in Ateneo de Naga University and the associate editor of ThePILLARS Publication.