An interesting story from one of the young Peace Presidents of RI District 3830. I wrote this after interviewing him sometime in May this year, but again, this is not the draft published in ROTARY MOMENTS as this is a third person story.
Rotary Club of Muntinlupa North
Way back in 2011, Bien (rightmost in photo) was just a two years old Rotarian but he already showed leadership potential that his club mates were convinced that he could be a good Club President someday. So when the club voted for their President-Elect in 2011, he was nominated and out of the 19 members who were present that day, the result was an overwhelming 18-1 in his favor. Everyone voted for him, except himself as he voted another clubmate that he nominated. So his Presidency started with a solid and full support by his clubmates.
And still, like many incoming Club Presidents, he was also hesitant at the start to assume the Club leadership given the amount of time and commitment expected of a President. But the PETS, the continued support of his clubmates and District officials enabled him to proceed with enthusiasm. He later got the “hang” of rendering various community services to the less privilege people with passion.
The club has two signature projects that are focused on the youth and children. The first is the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). This is a special training program by Rotary International via the thousands of Rotary Clubs worldwide to cultivate leadership ability of people between 14 to 30 years old through seminars and awards recognition. The District RYLA as hosted by the club was made last November 2012.
The second important project of the club is the “Teach a Child Project”, an educational program for 50+ children aged 3 to 4 years old, covering eight sessions from December 2012 to March 2013. The kids are not only taught some introductory academic exercises and introduced to some games, they are also well fed. Parents and guardians of the kids are very happy with this opportunity given to their children at no cost to them.
Bien recalls that he has many unforgettable moments in Rotary during his term, but three occasions stood out. First was during their PETS training, the friendship and instant bonding with fellow professionals and businessmen bounded by a common ideals of “service above self”. It was simply overwhelming. Plus the friendship and guidance of Governor Sue Sta. Maria and other District officials.
The conclusion of their PETS was that they wrote down the things and projects that they planned to achieve as President. The papers were put in a bamboo container that will be opened only at the end of their term, in late June 2013.
The second most unforgettable moment he experienced was during his club induction of officers and oath-taking, where many of his classmates and district officers joined him and cheered with him. It was like the PETS camaraderie again except that he was the “star” of the night. And the third was during the District Conference (DISCON) in March 2013 where they were especially mentioned for significantly improving their club membership.
Other important club activities during his term were (a) the Children’s Christmas party last December, (b) Medicines Donation last April, (c) Fun Run last May, (d) fire truck delivery, a matching grant application of IPP Romel Abanto that was approved during Bien’s term, and (e) club participation in the Philippine Rotary Homes. The last initiative was started by the District in Paranaque a few years ago. It yielded good results so the program will soon be replicated in Muntinlupa and other areas of District 3830.
Bien takes pride in being supported fully by his clubmates from the beginning to the end of his term. Also by the warm support by District Governor Sue Sta. Maria and other district officials.
Before Bien became President, the club used to meet in just one restaurant for many years. Bien brought the club members to various restaurants and venues, something that excited many members. They looked up to new venues, new food, new environment. The best venue they found and they later made as their regular meeting place, is Vivere Hotel. The hotel manager also became their club member. A cool and mutually beneficial arrangement.
Now that his term is ending, Bien summarizes his experience as a Club President: “Masarap at kakatuwa pala tumulong sa iba nang walang kapalit.”