The big bike enthusiasts of the Word Riders Philippines embarked on a long journey to Daet, Camarines Norte for their first Bible Ride of the year from February 21-23, 2019. The Word Riders team—composed of the riders, volunteers, and select PBS staff—travelled by land for approximately 10 hours.
They began their ride at around 4:30 am with the moon still visible in the sky. Mr. John Escobar, the Over-all Team Leader for this ride, got the team ready and assembled at their official jump-off point: Petron SLEX San Pedro.
The riders made it their mission to distribute 1,800 copies of the New Testament: Pinoy Version to the Grade 8 students of 4 public high schools in the municipality of Daet. The schools that they visited on February 22, 2019 were the following: Vicente Basit Memorial School, Camarines Norte National High School, Alawihao National High School, and Moreno Integrated School.
For the Daet, Camarines Norte Bible ride, the Word Riders gave out copies of the New Testament: Pinoy Version—also known as the “Pinoy NT.” This translation project was just launched last year in 2018 at the 39th Manila International Book Fair. Ever since its September 13 debut, the Pinoy NT has sparked a lot of interest over the language it used, the fun new features it contained, and the space it provided for personalization.
THE PINOY NT HAS ACCESSIBLE LANGUAGE
Atty. Gerard Mosquera, who is the Word Riders leader and founder, got an unexpected tap on the back at a gas station in Daet once the Bible ride was over. He turned around and was greeted by the smiling face of a woman. She introduced herself as the mom of two Grade 8 students who received their own copies of the Pinoy NT.
Though her identity remained anonymous, what she said was so strikingly true. Regarding the easy to understand language of the Pinoy NT, she had this to say: There’s no more reason to not read the Bible because [the language] was made more accessible and easier to understand.
She thanked the Word Riders Philippines and the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) for bringing this translation project into the lives of her children.
THE PINOY NT HAS UNIQUE PERSONALIZATION FEATURES
Since their first official Bible Ride in 2015, the Word Riders have already completed many successful rides to different provinces all over the Philippines. It would be safe to say that they have somehow mastered the art of facilitating classroom discussions, especially because of their experience. But the overwhelmingly positive response they received from the Grade 8 students regarding the Pinoy NT was probably one thing they didn’t expect from this Bible ride.
In previous rides, the students already seem to be taken and fascinated by the May They Be One Bibles. But the very first page of the Pinoy NT—the one that provided its owner with a space to write his or her name—was a feature that these young people really got excited over.
One could see this common sight in each classroom throughout the 4 public high schools visited: heads bowed down towards opened copies of the Pinoy NT and eyes scrunched together in concentration as names were written. The students’ cheeks puffed out while they exchanged smiles, comparing their decorated first pages with one another.
THE PINOY NT HAS ENGAGING CONTENT
Atty. Rupert Bustamante, one of the Word Riders, noted how he enjoyed presenting the Pinoy NT’s famous Bible Hugots feature. He had matching words of wisdom for every Bible Hugot that he asked the students to search for and read. The connection he developed with the young people he handled made Atty. Bustamante’s classrooms the loudest, most lively, and most interactive during the Daet Bible Ride.
Mr. John Escobar, the Word Riders Philippines Secretary General and Over-all Team Leader for this ride, made sure to always highlight the calendar feature located in the last few pages of the Pinoy NT. In all of the classrooms he handled, Mr. Escobar made sure to stress the importance of using the calendar so that the students could finish reading the New Testament in just one year or less.
Aside from the Bible Hugot lines and the calendar feature, the Pinoy NT has still so much more to offer. There are spaces for journaling and answering reflection questions. There are pieces of typography art scattered throughout the different chapters. There are also helpful guides like the “Where to Find” and the “Word List” features.
We praise the Lord for the passion and firm resolve of these Word Riders who embarked on the 10-hour journey to Daet, Camarines Norte to distribute copies of the Pinoy NT. We are grateful for all the volunteers and PBS staff members who made sure that the ride ran smoothly and successfully. Lastly, we would like to thank our Word Riders prayer warriors who prayed for good weather, safety, and strength for the whole team.
Praise the Lord for His grace, faithfulness, and provision!