Gingoog Rotarians changing guards
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - September 1, 2020 - 12:00am

There are 1.2 million Rotarians in the world, and 23 of them were at the Gingoog City hall penthouse last Saturday, as they celebrated the 57th changeover of the Rotary Club of Gingoog and the induction of officers and 11 new members. Under the present circumstances, they wore face masks, but their jubilation could not be contained, as what usually happens when Rotarians meet.

The Rtns of the hour were Thaddeus “Tadoy” P. Lugod, who turned over the president’s gavel to Conrado “Anjun” R. Gomez, Jr. The program was stepped up by the city’s government officials delivering messages: No. One councilor Evelyn Canosa who represented her son, Mayor Erick Canosa, and Vice-Mayor Peter “Sr. Pedro” M. Unabia. Energy Undersecretary Benito “Ben” L. Ranque, welcomed the participants. And there was the awaited address of District Gov. Rogelio “Bong” A. Buot, Jr.

Councilor Canosa spoke about the importance of being “nice,” which gives one opportunities for rendering service to others. Vice-Mayor Unabia, a former congressman, and a legendary figure in the poultry business, spoke at length about giving the administration a chance to prove that it can transform the city into a model of development, and praised Mayor Canosa for his dedication as a public servant. He felt pissed off, he said, when Gingoog city was judged as one of the poorest cities in the country, but added that in five years, Gingoog will be on the best cities list.

In his valedictory address, Tadoy Lugod, 41, said he dreamed of following in the footsteps of his grandfather, the late Sulpicio V. Lugod who was charter president of the Rotary Club of Gingoog, and his father, Antonio F. Lugod, who was its president in 1983. His dream became a reality when he was elected president last year. He has accomplished more than his predecessors by being elected the No. One councilor in two consecutive city elections. This after he finished his BS agribusiness management and master in public administration at Xavier university in Cagayan de Oro City.

During his term, he wanted to build strong relationships with other service groups such as the Rotary Club of Gingoog Bay, the Apo Kahoy Lodge 166 of the FJA Mason Dental Mission and the Rotaract, and also had projects with the Philippine National Police. Symposiums were also held with local government units.

The new president, Anjun, was a member of the club only last year, at the same time that he started performing his duties as a first-time city councilor. At last Saturday’s event, in a talk with staccatos of humor, he listed a good leader’s being a role model by observing the Trible T’s, namely, time, talo-talo, and tapal. In other words, coming to meetings on time, engaging in friendly banter, and covering a deficiency in fund collections.

A leader, he said, observes 4 Ds: dedication, dependability, discipline and decorum. As to the members, everyone must fulfill duties and obligations, attend meetings and pay dues, and, above all, practice the Rotary tenet, “Service Above Self.”

“Together, let us unite for the good of our club,” Anjun said. This includes actively participating in the Gingoog LGU’s newly created council aimed at protecting the environment.

Anjun finished high school at Gingoog Christian College (formerly Gingoog Institute), and his bachelor of arts major in economics and criminology at Christ the King College, and a masters degree at Cagayan de Oro College.

Discipline is no stranger to Anjun, who was connected with the Philippine National Police and for his performance, received a number of presidential citation awards and medals. In 2018 during his optional retirement as CDO police officer, he was awarded the “Salamat Kapatid” medal.

He was also a two-term president of the Green CDO Eagles Club, a vice governor of the Northern Mindanao Region of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and in 2017, was awarded most outstanding governor for the various outreach programs helping people in need.

Worth mentioning for their participation in the event are David Stephen “Boy” Pascual, Rubio “Jake” Sia Lopez, Ansell Byron S. Barba, Luis Mario F. Prado, Judith “Ding” Ng Suy Ubalde of Rotary Club of Gingoog Bay, and Rotaract president Ma. Mercedes C. Guirnela.

No Rotary event is held in the 46 clubs of District 3870 which cover the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Camiguin Island, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao without the presence of District Gov. Rogelio “Bong” Agne Buot Jr. He is actually a member of the Rotary Club of Kalayaan CDO 51712. I guess district governors are like emperors.

Buot has a BS in International Relations from the King Faisal Center of Mindanao State University with full scholarship grants for five years. Founder and CEO of RBJ Commodities Trading Exponent (RBJ Comtrex), he is a leading distributor and reseller of clinical laboratory and medical imaging instruments and supplies in Mindanao that carry world-renowned brands, among them Nihon Kohden Japan, Biomerieux France, Siemens Healthcare and Roche Diagnostics.

He praised the Gingoog club as “a rock-solid club . . . a fireball of great and fine leaders.” He challenged the new president “to unlock your TEAM’s potential power by exhibiting a type of leadership that is very fitting in this extraordinary time.”

I quote portions of his message with the theme “Transformational Leadership”.

A transformational leader, said Buot, “has a vision for the future and clearly articulates this vision to his members through the use of inspiring words, stories and vivid imagery. To motivate his members, he appeals to their emotion and urges them to work harder beyond their roles and responsibilities in the pursuit of a shared vision. Such emotional appeal often results in a high level of engagement and performance.”

The transformational leader, Buot continued, coaches and helps his members achieve their goals. He must be an “intellectual stimulator,” encouraging his members “to resolve problems from different perspectives and allowing them to make ‘creative solutions’ – to think outside the box, to innovate, to try new methods and ideas, and to take risks.

“The last five months have been a grueling and debilitating experience of the life-changing effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic… These shared experiences – the fear of being infected or any family members getting sick, losing jobs, not being able to travel nor move freely… most of us share the same doubts and fears.

“But what do doubt and fear bring us? Fear breeds panic, and doubt breeds distrust. While we have every right to be afraid because of the imminent threats of this global pandemic, we also have the CHOICE not to be afraid.

“This global pandemic is not a death sentence. . . What we are currently experiencing had been experienced by other generations in the past. Therefore any catastrophe of this kind is a natural occurrence of human life.

“No matter how dark the times are and how grim the realities are, when we stick together, work together as a TEAM, and take care of one another, no catastrophe nor pandemic of any magnitude will ever break us apart.”

*      *      *

Email: dominitorrevillas@gmail.com

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