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Remarkable group

Today is national heroes’ day. Hence for a refreshing change, let us set aside in the meanwhile the deplorable lying, cheating and stealing still happening in our government up to now, and focus our attention more on the men and women in our midst who have silently done and continue to carry out exceptionally admirable deeds of helping the less fortunate and impoverished people in our communities. They may not be as famous as the heroes we honor today, but they can also be considered as “heroes” because of their remarkable propensity to do good to others in their own small and quiet way.   

Indeed our country is still fortunate for having such kind of people. And there are still plenty of them especially those belonging to authentic and dyed in the wool non-government service organizations like the Rotary Club International which has been in existence for more than one hundred years already. It has now over a million members worldwide commonly known as Rotarians who are committed to render “service above self” through their respective clubs organized in various districts throughout the country.

Special mention at this time is the Rotary Club of Cubao West (RCCW) in District 3780 with Francis Rivera as District Governor (DG) covering the entire Quezon City, the biggest and the richest city in the country. RCCW was chartered on January 22, 1985, and continues to serve its community on its 29th year covering Barangays west of Cubao. From an initial of more than 20 members gathered together by its founding father, Past District Governor (PDG) Oscar Innocentes, the club has now 63 active male and female professionals, executives, business people and community leaders as members.

Over the years the club has undertaken various humanitarian projects notably: the “Heart Matters”, providing free heart surgery to indigent patients usually performed by Past President (PP) Dr. Rommel Carino, a renowned cardiovascular surgeon; the “Alay Paa at Kamay:Gabay ng Buhay”, supplying destitute beneficiaries, artificial arms or legs (prosthesis) produced in a specially made oven funded by a matching grant under the supervision of PP Dr. Santi Rodriguez; the free legal, dental and medical services to QC jail inmates; and various other Environmental, Health care, Educational, Calamity, Poverty alleviation, Livelihood, medical outreach projects.

For this year alone, RCCW has already undertaken numerous projects. Even before the start of the Rotary year, it already launched a school opening clean up in the Cubao Elementary School. Then on day one, it conducted tree planting at the MWSS Treatment plant in the Payatas followed by the Lingap sa Pangkalusugan sa Kapwa held at the Freedom Park. A few days later, the Club held the Linis Estero and anti Dengue campaign at Barangays Masambong and Talayan. It also conducted the training of call center students at the ICCS in Anonas and the massage therapy instructions to residents of Barangay Batasan. On July 19, 2013, it held the first fund racing fun run campaign in the evening dubbed as “Flash Night Out” at the QC Circle followed by the Sinagtala Home for the aged visitation and livelihood donation. And at the height of the recent habagat, the members were distributing relief goods to the stricken residents of Barangays Baogong Silang and Roxas.

The club will also donate wheelchairs obtained through a Matching Grant No. 77750 approved by the Rotary Foundation in August 2012, with matched funds from the Rotary Club of Foster City, R.I. District 7670, USA. Under this program, a total of 560 wheelchairs in six sizes will be given to needy beneficiaries with mobile disabilities in District 3820 (Southern Luzon) and 3780 (Quezon City) Philippines, at 280 wheelchairs per district. Local project partners are the Rotary Club of Lucena South. A visiting team from RI District 7670 composed of Rotarians from North Carolina headed by Bill Biddie, with Wade Hampton, Peggy Wike, Ross Sloan and Everett Stiles will help distribute the wheelchairs in the two districts from August 25 to September 8, 2013. Chairman of this project is Past President (PP) Ed Trinidad with Past District Governor Bobby Viray, the only RI governor who served for two terms, as Adviser and President Josie Garcia, PP Joel Guillermo and President elect Ed Zaragosa as members.

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On March 18, 1989, the club also organized the first International Yachting Fellowship of Rotarians (IYFR) in the Philippines, one of the many fellowship organizations recognized by Rotary International. IYFR Cubao West Fleet has spawned several other fleets in the district. Next year, a very active businessman and award-winning yacht-man of RC Cubao West, PP Jun Avecilla will become the head of this worldwide IYFR organization as International Commodore.

This coming August 29, 2013, RCCW will hold its Induction of Officers for Rotary Year 2013-2014. To be inducted as President is Jocelyn “Josie” Maclang Garcia, the first woman president of the Club in 29 years who joined Rotary only in 2009. Josie has a Masters Degree in Education, her thesis focusing on a revolutionary educational system called “E-LEARNING”, an educational concept inspired by Fr. Ben Beltran “that addresses the growing number of out of school youths at the High School level. President Josie also has a degree in Industrial Psychology and Science major in Nursing.  She heads several companies engaged in services and development catering to the needs of banks, hotels, schools, business franchises and oil companies. Despite her busy schedule as an academician and entrepreneur, she remains the loving and caring wife of the Businessman Mr. Geraldo “Warrior” Garcia and their six children: John Ruzzelle, Shumi, Patrick Luiz, Patricia, Pauleene and Pythia. Her guiding motto during her term aptly says that: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

The other officers who will be inducted are: Ed Zaragoza, President-elect 2014-15; Jaime Baniqued Vice President / Internal Affairs; Michelle Cabrera-Manuel Vice President / External Affairs; Melchor Waje Secretary; Maximiano R. Tan Treasurer; Nestor Atienza Immediate Past President; Edwin Marcos Director, Club Administration; PP Joe Ragos Director, Membership Development; PP Santiago Rodriguez Director, Service Projects; PP Joel Guillermo Director, The Rotary Foundation; PP Ping Sison Director, Public Relations; Jhun Sadiarin Auditor; Domingo Manuel Protocol Officer; PP Ed Trinidad Club Trainer PP Rommel Carino Heart Matters Chair; PP Jun Avecilla IYFR; and PP Norman Verzosa Legal Counsel.

So, cheers and all the best to the RC of Cubao West.

E-mail: attyjosesison@gmail.com


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