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    Rider helps man walking from Bulacan to Bicol for sick son, kid dies just days later

    MANILA, Philippines – He works in Bulacan but when his son got sick, Joven Opeña immediately planned to go home to their hometown in Bicol. But his journey met a lot of challenges because Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine. Thanks to many kind people who helped along the way, he was able to go home. Days later, his son died.
    Rider helps man walking from Bulacan to Bicol for sick son, kid dies just days later

    Tagging his wife Angeline Cadague Opeña, Joven shared photos as he began his journey towards his hometown. It takes about 10 hours to reach Bicol from Bulacan on a car or bus. Just imagine how long it would take for Joven to reach home if he just walked! But this determined dad was ready to do it, just to make sure he will see his son.

    Rider helps man walking from Bulacan to Bicol for sick son, kid dies just days later

    The doctor told them the prognosis is not good. Thus, he tried his best to walk as fast and as far as his body could carry.

    “Anak laban pa po hanggang kaya mo pa, ito na uuwi na si papa nag-uumpisa naq maglakad galing Bulacan to Bicol.. Sana anak antayin mo si papa ha??? Mahal na mahal kita. Kapit lang may awa ang Diyos kahit abutin paq nang isang linggo kakalakad basta antayin mo si papa,” Joven wrote last March 25, at around 2:30 p.m.

    Rider helps man walking from Bulacan to Bicol for sick son, kid dies just days later

    People were touched by his story that soon many would help him along the way. He was able to catch a ride on a tricycle and a truck; thus, he managed to reach Metro Manila. But he still has a very long way to go.

    Rider helps man walking from Bulacan to Bicol for sick son, kid dies just days later

    Rider helps man walking from Bulacan to Bicol for sick son, kid dies just days later

    From Binondo, he walked towards Pasay. To motivate himself, he posted photos of his journey and his plea for his son to hold on until he arrives in Bicol. By 5:15PM, a rider found him and offered to drive all the way to Bicol to bring him home as fast as he could to reach his son! Wow.

    The rider was later identified as Kim Kristofier Bernardo of MDPecsonLaw (Law Office). As they reached Bicol the following morning, Joven shared photos with Kim, praising the rider for helping him out. They don’t even know each other yet Kim sought him out walking in the streets of Metro Manila, bound for Bicol.

    Rider helps man walking from Bulacan to Bicol for sick son, kid dies just days later

    According to Joven, there were times when they almost met an accident yet Kim often prayed for a safe journey for them and encouraged him to stay strong.

    “Lalaban tayo! Ihahatid kita!” Kim told Joven.

    But when they reached the last checkpoint in Quezon, Kim was no longer allowed to enter. Thankfully, Joven found help in Jovit and Mitchil Pablo who offered him a ride in their car, bringing him safely to Bicol Medical Center in Naga City, Camarines Sur where his son was confined.

    Rider helps man walking from Bulacan to Bicol for sick son, kid dies just days later

    Because he traveled from Metro Manila, however, Joven was not allowed to enter the hospital. The guards refused to let him in, telling him that he would further endanger the life of his son as well potentially put his wife and other people inside the hospital in danger, in case he is carrying the virus.

    After all he had been through, Joven was shocked that he couldn't get in. But the police were later able to make him understand. He has to go home and undergo quarantine before he could eventually see his son.

    With no other choice, Joven went home. The following day, he tried to plea for a chance to see his son as the kid’s condition worsened. He asked whether it was possible for everyone to keep their distance or leave the room, as long as he can hold his son. A lot of people helped him go home and reach his son, but he’s now stuck in home quarantine. But he still wasn’t allowed, following quarantine protocols.

    All Joven could do was pray that his son would make it through. Sadly, the kid lost the battle in the early hours of March 28.

    Rider helps man walking from Bulacan to Bicol for sick son, kid dies just days later

    “Sana mapatawad mo si papa kung may pagkukulang man ako.. Patawad kung sa malayo ako nagtrabaho sana pala dito nalang si papa.. Pero anak sana alam mo po na ginawa ni papa ang lahat para maabutan ka kaso hindi po pwede pasensya na mamimiss ka namin ni kuya saka ni mama,” Joven wrote in a heartbreaking post on Facebook.

    Condolence, Joven. Rest in peace, baby Joven Angelo…

    — Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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