Reynaldo's Story: Bike-Ability
Reynaldo Naque is another student beneficiary from Dr. Beato Macayra National High School in Davao Oriental, Philippines. He was selected by his teacher Mam Ritchie Adanza to receive a bike from the first batch released in June 2018. For Reynaldo a bike meant more than a ride to school, it completely transformed how his classmates saw and treated him.
At first, I often skipped classes because I was bullied. Now my classmates are surprised because I'm always present.Reynaldo Naque
When Mam Ritchie learned that her school would be receiving bikes from Bikes for the Philippines she immediately identified the best candidates for the program. Choosing beneficiaries is a meticulous process. The bikes are not used as a reward for good grades, they are often, quite literally, the vehicle for getting better grades. In many cases, the bikes are the difference between staying in school and dropping out.
For Reynaldo, who goes by the nickname Naque, the bike impacted his attendance, grades, and attitude. And not just his attitude about school, but also toward his classmates, and even himself.
Naque is 19 and struggled in school because he was bullied. He often skipped class rather than dealing with the taunts from the other students. His teacher knew he would skip class to hang around playing games in computer shops. She also knew a bike could change that, but didn't anticipate how much.
Naque was born with a spinal deformity which left him hunched over and much smaller than kids his own age. They called him "Buktot" which translates as "Hunchback". Because he was different, he wasn't accepted among his peers.
His bike allowed him to stand TALL among the other riders. He quickly gained confidence and was never late or absent from class again. In fact, he started liking school for the first time, making friends in the bike program and participating in group rides where the beneficiaries all bonded with each other.
I made new friends because the other bikers treat me as a friend. Having the bike it's like we're all equal. When I'm not on my bike, I look short, while they're tall. On the bike we look equal.Reynaldo Naque