Monday, July 31, 2006

Club inductions

Club induction is one of those “big events”, if not the biggest event, in a club’s life where the club president and his/her club officers and directors show off what they got, and what kind of stuff they’re made of. Sort of some may be made of steel, some of wood, some of bamboo, some of dollars J. But overall, a club induction is a combination of solemnity and fun, of stress and laughter, of food and drinks, sometimes of music and dancing, of rockin’ and rollin’.

Although coming from a small club, some of my classmates who are blessed with steel and dollars really go out of their way to invite all of their classmates and a number of district officials to witness their club’s big event. If I was still a bachelor like 9 months ago, I would be tempted to attend each and every open-to-all invitation that will be thrown my way by my generous classmates. But with a working wife who is 6-7 months preggy, no driver and maid to help in the house, plus other personal constraints, not to mention some heavy rains, my time to attend those mouth-watering invitations would naturally be limited.

So I really feel bad that I have to pass on those kind invitations made by some classmates to attend their club inductions, some really grand, some really modest. Like the inductions of Jay Tambunting (Makati West), Allen Embuscado (Muntinlupa South), Ana Cawaling (Taguig West), Joey Lina (Makati Central), Tony Abella (Muntinlupa Central), and many others. There are other invitations along the line for the months of August and September, with a 50-50 chance that I will be able to attend.

Some days where my wife is feeling alive and kicking and well, and the venues are not far from our house, or the rains are more forgiving if not absent, that I get to attend some inductions. Like those of Ces Singson (Makati McKinley), Inky Reyes (Makati Dasmarias), and Boboy Intal (Rizal West). In Ces’ event, I was able to stay long in his grand party, joined the dancin’ and rollin’ on the floor. One of the female dance instructors that Ces got was good, and she also looked fantabulous. I asked her name, she said she’s “Bambi”. I quickly introduced myself as “Bamboo”, but she countered, “Eh sir, Nonoy pangalan nyo eh, nasa name nyo o!” Oo nga naman ano, hehehe.

At Inky’s induction, it was also grand, with lots of interviews and testaments from his friends shown on the projector how naughty and conspiratorial the man is. Err, I mean, how hard-working, witty and trying-hard singer he is. At Boboy’s party, equally grand and lots of familiar faces as Boboy’s club is the one which sponsored our club 6 years ago, and some of their club members would pay us a visit from time to time, cool guys like Fred Fortich and Nash Pablo.

When you attend those grand and big parties and your club membership is small and resources are so little, sometimes you feel intimidated. I thought those guys should have prepared their induction parties months in advance and contributed a fortune. While I only have a few weeks preparation. So I need to think of something new and different, that Gov. Butch, wife Maling, and a few friends can possibly remember as “Eureka! That was a slam-dunkin’ hell of a party!” Maybe a “minimalist party” where coats will be disallowed, and people come in sleeveless shirts with tie and jeans? Or a “world cup legend party” where people come in soccer shirts of Pele, Maradona, Kahn and Zidane? Or a “poetic party” where all speeches will be in the form of poetry, delivered sloooowwllyy but oratorically? Ahh, I haven’t decided on it yet. Maybe a few days before our induction party, hehehe.

District Award & Handover, 2006

June 28, 2006

The day started with a friend who texted me that he saw me in the newspaper, along with other rotary club presidents and officers of District 3830. I immediately sought Business Mirror, the paper where our pictures and names were boldly displayed in its center 2 pages. It was good not only to see your handsome or beautiful face in the papers (hehehe), but also to remember again the names and faces of some of your classmates that escape your memory.

I have never attended a district awards and handover ceremony before. My idea was that it will mainly be a formal “turn-over of command” between the outgoing governor to the incoming governor, and both will be surrounded by a phalanx of happy and unburdened outgoing club presidents and district officers on the one hand, and “hot-and-raring-for-action” incoming club presidents and district officers on the other. So I was curious what it really looks like.

The main ballroom of Manila Polo Club was already teeming with people when I registered before 6pm. The main ballroom was elaborately and colorfully decorated, from the ceiling down the stage. It was announced later that district fantastic lady Lita Wells was responsible for such an imaginative task. The “outgoing” guys, club presidents, club and district officers, on the right side (the “rightists” :-)), the “incoming" guys on the left side (the “leftists” :-0).

Of course it’s nice to see again many of my classmates. Some even brought a number of their club officers. A gathering is also never complete without picture taking with your favorite friends and famous district leaders.

Program started shortly after 7pm, with opening videos of F1 cars slamming the racetracks at nearly 300 kph average speed, signaling perhaps faster and more daring district and clubs performance for the past rotary year. The MCs for that evening were Rotarians showbiz lady Ms. Cory Quirino and flamboyant guy Mr. Rene Aquino.

And so, a District Awards night is a long list of good and outstanding clubs and club presidents in various categories and services. I thought that perhaps outgoing Gov. Jimmy Cura must have brought a van full of plaques, framed certificates and recognitions. Among the great achievements I could remember, were clubs who were able to retain 100% all of their 60+ members, like Sonny Tambunting’s RC Makati. And there was a club who was able to increase its net membership by 20+ people.

There was one part of the Awarding just for selected and outstanding district officials who gave lots of “wind beneath my wings” push for Gov. Jimmy and the various clubs. I wholeheartedly agree with the Gov. with the names that he chose – past district governors Willy Segovia and Sonny Coloma, Nash Pablo, Fed Sapitan, Fritz Ocampo, Lita Wells, Sue Sta. Maria, Al Montecilio, and another 1 or 2 whose names I forgot. For me, they are among the intellectual giants, and/or administrative giants, of the district.

And the much-awaited part of the program, the formal hand-over of leadership from ever-articulate Gov. Jimmy to ever-smiling and respected Gov. Butch Francisco, came. It was a really solemn, if not emotional, part. Gov. Butch came up stage with beautiful wife Maling and their only child Rafa. I could sense paused breath, awe and excitement amidst the silence of the crowd as they stood and watched every second and minute of that moment. It was like the crowd was treated to that scene where Frodo and Sam were approaching that narrow corridor of the Temple of Doom for Frodo to throw the “lord of the rings” into a valley of fire below, as treacherous Smeagol attempts his last hurrah to steal the ring from Frodo.

A number of really good singers were also invited to give a song or 2 in between the programs. I remember 2 professional singers there, lean and model-like Ms. Chanda and Jed Madela. My gosh, those guys really sing well live on stage than on tv. Jed sang “bridge over troubled waters” as videos and photos of selected community projects by some clubs in the district were shown on the projector, before Gov. made his acceptance speech.

The program ended around 11:30pm. No fireworks display outside; only happy faces to those club members and presidents whose efforts in the past rotary year have been recognized.