I want to thank each and everyone of you giving me this opportunity. I have found that the President is always fully supported. Everyone is pulled in the same direction. it is indeed satisfying and it makes the effort very worthwhile
My year as a President has gone very fast. And yes it has, though faced wd quarantine issues it has still been a lot fun and has been very rewarding. It has been a very affirming experience.
Looking forward to hand on the baton to Lhen and to be there for her. As with Presidents before me, the wheel of Rotary has to go on, so our commitment to our club, our local communities, and to the world has to go on.
Our theme this year is Rotary Opens Opportunities. In which we are in pandemic. How did we measure up?
*Our bi-weekly meetings have gone an abrupt changed from face to face to zoom meetings. Which also made our engagement tru Viber Chats and members attendance increased, and we were able to invite and listen to many interesting and inspiring resource speakers on timely topics...Same experience with many rcpm members; personally, this year I was one of those who were soaked with different webinars from other Club’s zoom meeting, District initiated like town halls wherein we were the host club, has an overwhelming attendance from participants all over the country, not to mention the rare occurrence that our new member LCP Lhen has been one of the resource speakers alongside our honorable RI President Holger , Past RI Director Guillermo Tumangan and other District Officers in the recently launched Rotary Vaccination Campaign. . Somehow, this challenges of not meeting up in person made no boundaries in terms of fellowship, sharing and learnings in Rotary.
*Our community and vocational projects have taken a different approached, since our government has restricted and installed protocols in the conduct of any community services, Yet, Our Rotarian Hearts never faltered to reinvent our ways to still reach out and serve. Thanks for the very creative minds of the committee for each projects, making it unique and still thrive amidst adversities.
Many of us were not able to go out and even our businesses and livelihood had been hardly hit by the lockdowns, but have extended prayers and assistance to one of our members who lost a father to covid19, tru the power of networks to provide available ambulance ,hospital and mortuary... Moreover, being a Rotarian, I wasn’t spared from the ill effects of pandemic, my financial services was not doing well and I contracted a lifestyle disease which aggravated due to situation in hospital, amazingly...a Rotarian heart in all you made it possible for me to proceed with my quite expensive treatment. Sending Big heartfelt thanks for the unsolicited ‘gift of love’. [despite of this health concern I never stopped and still continue to be the Club President].
*We are lucky that we have recruited new members who have shown even from the start their love for people, love for service, Lhen, Analie and Olive May your love for Rotary bloom as you join us again in the years ahead. I believe that once an rcpm member, is always an rcpm member, Welcoming back our returning Rotarians Tess and Edith. It was very evident in their participation and cooperation in many of our projects and engagement in meetings.
*Another remarkable year for our Rotary Foundation in which this year we reached and exceeded our goal, Home to Major Donors, Our club is 100%EREY Club , 100%PolioPlus giving Club, 100% Paul Harris Fellow, .... All Paul Harris Fellow recipients will have a pinning ceremony in a few days with our dearest Charter President , Catalina Hilario.. moreso, our club assisted in the first ever TRF Alumni Awards spearheaded by our Service Director Ester Florendo, our very own CP Lina and PI Director Lilibeth were distinctively awarded the Most Outstanding Rotarians in diff categories.
Let us all congratulate ourselves for being awarded the 6- Stars Presidential Citation recently. A well deserved recognition for our hard works and efforts.
This has changed my life and I am sure this has changed yours and our beneficiaries ‘ as a whole:
*We have this year our promising projects to address the pandemic. Our 3 bike projects (bike a life, bike to work buddies a joint project, business for Wheels in cooperation wd private NGOs we were able to donate almost 150 units of single bikes incorporating the Rapid Savings Mobilization for a Cause, and more than 50 bikes wd side carts)...The Bikes became an instrument for them to have a better life, continue with their employment and start a livelihood to provide for their families.
Next is our Alangan Mangyans project, aim was to alleviate the life of these indigenous people in the mountains of Calapan Mindoro, a community developed after the devastating typhoons with our very holistic approach covering different avenues of service and AOFs . Our continuing projects will be sustained this RY with the help from our foreign sister club Rotary Club of Vancouver Mountain View. Anticipating for approval of our WASH Global Grant Project this year.
Another joint project was the installation of Handwash Stations in 3 different health centers and lying in , in Paranaque City. Moreover, Our 3 District Grants [ the Knowledge Channel at 4th Estate Elem School, the BFTODA maskie with donated sewing machines , and the bike donations wd trainings]
The last Holiday season, we have distributed Christmas Bags [the District Christmas Caravan] over typhoon victims in San Mateo Rizal.
I am so proud with our Public Image and Rotary Club Central Reports, I am delighted to announce that important events and information is posted in our fb page and listed complete report in Club Central. And we were able to post stories of achievements of members, project report, a number of impressive researches and articles on salient information published in Governors Monthly Letter and The Phil. Rotary Magazine.
These great services to our members, local communities, participation in the District Events and Community Services that made a great impact and changed lives should make each and everyone of you proud Rotarians because Rotary Opens Opportunities.
Believe me, we were one of the most outstanding performing Rotary Clubs in the District, a medium size club of 30 members to have accomplished so much. We have almost 70 significant projects this year.
All these great accomplishment can’t be the work of one, it’s all of us.
All of these happened because of you, the members of Rotary Club of Parañaque Metro . You regularly step forward, donate and volunteer to do so much and contribute in so many ways. Thank you for demonstrating what it means to put Service Above Self.
My dear RCPM family, I wouldn’t be here today without your support and confidence in my leadership. I am forever grateful to all of you and to Rotary for giving me this opportunity to lead and serve. Thank you.
I have so many people to thank, all the committee chairs, the active Board of Directors that put up with me all year long and to all members who did the work.
Rowena “Wheng” Lachica Reyes
Immediate Past President
Life-Changing Governor Joji Tan, Present and Past District Officers, Fellow Life-Changing Presidents, Past Presidents of RC Paranaque Metro, Fellow Rotarians and Rotaractors that are present here today, good day! Indeed, every day is a great day to serve and change lives!
My fellow Rotarians, have you ever observed ants at work? Have you seen them float together in a drop of water or a puddle and survived? Have you patiently waited for them to finally lift that piece of cookie crumb you left and successfully carried them to their hole together? These scenarios reminded me of Helen Keller’s famous quote that: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. Let me bring you to another scenario, that reminded me of H.E. Luccock’s saying that “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it”. And in this orchestra, each instrument has a unique role and that they will be played according to a certain perfect timing. The musicians have to train together, need to listen to the sounds created by others and blends in perfectly to render a beautiful timeless piece.
I have a question for all of you. Have you ever been in love? Have you ever been thinking of a million ways to make them smile, not to bore them, to let them stay? Have you ever wished it would not end? Yes, most of us will always smile, blush, feel giddy thinking about that moment with our special someone. But I will bet on one thing, that this is also how you felt, when you had your ROTARY Moment. You felt complete, your emotions soared, it was the day that you do not want to end either. Same BLISS, same contentment.
If this is ultimate joy, would you be happy experiencing that moment alone? If you are happy with where you are now or what you are doing in Rotary, aren’t it more exciting to share it with another? My fellow Rotarians, this is why today I want to challenge you: SHARE THAT LOVE…Share that Moment! Sharing means to give a portion of something you have with another. Your time, your happiness, your sorrows, your dreams, your failures, your advocacy to serve and change lives. I challenge you to be the light that let others see.
According to Booker T. Washington, if you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. I challenge you to share your rotary moment to someone whom you like to experience the true meaning of service, the Rotarian service. Let us bring at least one life to touch, one life to inspire, one life to share moments with. But this will just be the beginning, because as Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”.
My takeaways for today, it is a blissful thought to go to sleep at night knowing that our talents were used in a way that served others, but I believe it is more rewarding if this service can be multiplied. Yes, together we are stronger, but we can do more if we grow more.
Thank you and may this life-changing Rotary year serve the underserved infinitely!
Marilen "Lhen" Balolong