Monday, July 31, 2006

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.

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