Nowadays, fandoms aren’t just a collection of fans – they’re a community of people who come together – not only to talk about their admiration and love of a band, group, or celebrity – but most of all, to share.
And that’s something BTS fans, more commonly referred to as ARMYs, across the Philippines proved when they helped raise money for Foodpanda delivery rider James Baetiong.
According to Baetiong, he treated June 18 like any other day, a time to work to help sustain his family. The day in question coincided with the release of McDo Philippines’ collaboration with K-pop group BTS, which is one of the most popular idol groups in the country.
Due to the BTS meal’s high demand, Baetiong was flooded with delivery orders. As thanks to the many Filipino fans who ordered through Foodpanda, Baetiong shared his appreciation on Facebook.
In his post, Beationg said: “Lakas ng BTS Meal ngayon. Umaarangkada na kaming mga foodpanda riders, masayang ide-deliver sa inyo ang BTS Meals. Kaya mga BTS fans diyan, gogogogo, order na kayo.”
To his surprise, the post immediately blew up on social media through fans who found his sentiments touching after a lot of negativity was spread online against the K-pop group and its collaboration with McDonald’s.
“Nagulat ako nung nag viral! Naninginig ako sa tuwa, lalo sa mga comments na BTS fans din,” Baetiong shared.
In appreciation, a Twitter user held a fundraiser for Baetiong with an initial target of Php 7,000.
However, money kept pouring in, and eventually, they raised Php 45,000 – almost six times the amount they were hoping to gift to Baetiong.
On June 20, the organizers of the fundraiser met with Baetiong at a McDo branch in Cubao, Quezon City to hand over their token of appreciation.
Baetiong noted that he’ll be using the money to support his dad, who recently suffered a stroke as well as the rest of his siblings.
“Para ito sa papa ko na stroke patient, ngayon kasi nakahiga na lang at wheelchair at ako ang kasama sa bahay. Gagamitin ko din para sa gastusin sa bahay,” he said.
Baetiong, who has worked as a Foodpanda rider for a year, also took the opportunity to thank the people who helped him.
“Hindi ko ine-expect na ako ay hahanapin at bibigyan pa ng tulong dahil lamang sa simpleng post na iyon. Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanila,” he said fondly.
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Image credit: James Baetiong’s Official Facebook Page