Illustrious club
A LAW EACH DAY (KEEPS TROUBLE AWAY) - Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) - October 12, 2018 - 12:00am

People join private organizations or clubs for various purposes. Sometimes they affiliate to establish connections or develop business contacts useful to their own business and/or professions. Others are primarily motivated by their spirit of pakikisama and by a pure and sincere desire to contribute to the betterment of their community while some join simply to “belong” to a prestigious group with well-known and reputable members.

One organization composed of members motivated by any and all of these purposes but with a common motive of sharing their time, talent and treasure for the betterment of their community and for the improvement of peoples’ lives particularly the poor, the less fortunate and the marginalized, is the famed and highly reputed international service club known as the Rotary International. This organization has acquired a reputation as the largest worldwide service club practicing and living the ideal of “service above self.” Rotarians of any race, color, or creed indeed perform their tasks not by artificial allegiance to this principle but by concrete actions to fulfill it.

And one of the basic sources of strength that enables this organization and its members to carry out their mission of serving others is the fellowship and close personal relationship developed among them that inspire mutual confidence. Amazingly this fellowship is not only confined within the Rotary clubs, districts and regions but also globally for the promotion of world peace, friendship and understanding. The fellowship in Rotary is usually founded on the common likes and dislikes of the members that are related to their business or profession or even their pastimes and hobbies.

Rotary is a non-government, non-political and non-sectarian organization that also helps the government solve the problems of our country especially poverty alleviation, promotion of health and education and preservation of the environment and natural resources. It likewise assists the weak and the poor in the community with numerous humanitarian services.

Worth citing anew here in the Philippines is District 3780 (D-3780), a district encompassing the whole of Quezon City. D-3780 is now on its 32nd year as the first and only “one district one city” in the Rotary organization with about 95 Rotary Cubs composed of 2,300 members deeply involved in numerous humanitarian and socio-civic projects. It can truly be said after all these years, the district and club officers and members have already embraced the heart of service in their lives.

Noteworthy among the Rotary Clubs in District 3780 is the Rotary Club of Cubao West (RCCW) because of its colorful past and its storied existence. It also started small like the first Rotary club in Chicago, USA until it grew big and strong enough to weather any “storm” that threaten its existence. In fact its strength lies in its capacity to survive and remain intact amidst the numerous “storms” it has undergone.

Indeed, despite having members with colorful, varied and sometimes clashing personalities, of different ages and persuasions like lawyers, priests, doctors, government officials, businessmen, employers, employees, leftists and rightists, RCCW has become more durable. Several times in the past, its membership dwindled into near extinction but it managed to come back stronger because of several factors: first, the hearts of its members seem to be throbbing with intense desire to help others in their community and to carry out the various humanitarian projects and club activities under the Rotary principle of “service above self’; second, members have developed closer relationship through fellowship especially during meetings which is the basic source of strength of the club in accomplishing the “Objects of Rotary” and in linking with members of other clubs for a more effective Rotary work. Every member looks forward to these weekly meetings as a way of relaxing, unwinding and relieving tensions of work; and third, due to the closeness and unity they have achieved outstanding humanitarian projects which even attracted media attention.

The “inspiring” RCCWs officers for Rotary year 2018-2019 are: Rhyan Virrey, president; Jun Gallardo, vice president and chairman, vocational service; Francis Mangilit, secretary; Mel Waje, membership committee chairman; Jaime Baniqued, treasurer; Loida Gascon, auditor; Joe Ragos, club trainer; Rodolfo Reyes, sgt at arms; Franklin Naig, Club Administrator; Robert Ambros, Legal Counsel. Heading the various services undertaken by the Club, are Jun Avecilla, international service; Santi Rodriguez, club service; Jose Sison, public image; Jocelyn Garcia, public relations; Jeff Alarilla, youth service, and Jay Emerson Lim, membership development.

Like in previous years, the club activities and projects of RCCW are the annual feeding and gift giving program especially in Smokey Mountain, Pinagkawitan Lipa, Batangas and in some poor areas of QC, like Payatas, Tatalon and Galas; the international coastal clean-up in Subic; Book donation at the C.P. Garcia High School; and the youth program for students of St. Paul’s College, QC encouraging them to embrace the principles of Rotary by joining its youth arm known as Rotaract.

One of the important events every Rotary year is the district governor’s visit. For RCCW, this event was held yesterday, Oct. 11, 2018. During the governor’s visit, the club officers and members reported on the club’s various activities on the different avenues of service specifically, the club service, vocational service, community service and the youth service. The inspiring district governor for this year is Governor Mar Reyes. He gave comments and suggestions on the improvement of various club activities of RCCW during his visit. The other inspiring district officers are: Boone Ongchoco, secretary; Winston Sia, chief of staff; Paulo Estrebillo, deputy chief of staff; Absalon Zipagan, lt. gov.; Ernesto Pranis, lt. gov. at large; Cynthia Zipagan, asst. gov., asst. gov. rep.; Mercedita Plata, asst. gov. rep.; Lovela Caabay, asst gov. at large; and Alain Jomarie Santos, asst. gov., asst. gov. rep.     

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