“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's a day you've had everything to do and you've done it.” ― Margaret Thatcher
At the end of my term as District Governor, I am “supremely satisfied” that District 3850 is elevated to a pedestal of success. The best part is, I did not do it alone. Together, we made it happen. We changed thousands of lives through the works of our hands and by the grace of God. I had a wonderful Life-Changing journey with you all and my heart is full of love, happiness and gratitude. I shall unceasingly thank you for your kindness and generosity.
It was humbling and amazing how werallied and arrived at these figures in one Rotary Year, as of June 28, 2022:
1. We added 308 new Paul Harris Fellows (and counting).
2. We added 19 Major Donors (will be 22 Major Donors by June 30, 2022).
3. Our district’s The Rotary Foundation per capita giving is now $214.35, making D3850 rank number 1 amongst 10 districts in the Philippines, and our generosity also puts our district at par with the top 2 highest per capita giving countries - South Korea and Hong Kong.
4. Fifty percent (50%) of Rotarians are supporting The Rotary Foundation.
5. The district goal of $222,222.22 for the annual fund now stands at USD271,355.00 (and counting).
6. Polio Plus Fund reached $49,539.00 because of support from Rotarians especially from the 312 members of Polio Plus Society.
7. Total Giving to The Rotary Foundation is now USD 357,285.00, about a 77% increase from last rotary year. This does not include the contributions in transit. We are aspiring to reach USD 385,000.00, like our beloved District 3850, plus 2 zeros. An astounding testament to the joy in giving.
8. Three hundred (300) wheelchairs will soon be completely distributed to change lives.
9. Our district conference was well-attended by 505 Rotarians and guests.
10. Membership increased from 1,320 to 1,378.
Someone asked me how I feel about the record-breaking accomplishments. My humbly reply was “we are doing God’s Work”. Humanity needs our help more than ever and Rotary gives us the platform to do good in this world. With this in mind, I kept our vision to see, the faith to believe, and courage to do what is needed to change lives. May our actions serve as an inspiration for Rotarians to believe we can do so much more. It always seems impossible, until it done.
The governor’s visits in clubs in Negros, Panay, and Mindanao imprinted lasting reminiscences. I was awed by the notable projects of clubs, like a milk bank in a hospital, monthly wash closet distribution, a marker visibly built in a busy highway or in the airport, Rotary homes, Rotary Forest, cacao seedlings nursery, tree planting in watersheds, rehabilitation of typhoon stricken homes, mangrove forests, feeding programs, a health center in a remote community (a 5-kilometer thrilling habal habal ride away), water projects, and many more.
The best memories were, of course, the significant fellowships with fellow Rotarians and family. The eating, drinking, and laughter were endless much to my heart’s desire. I thank the Assistant Governors and Presidents who accompanied me on my visits and for facilitating meetings and assemblies. I thank the GML team for the untiring coverage of my visits, virtual and face-toface, and all district events. The GML became the repository of all beautiful memories immortalized in uplifting stories of my life as governor.
Last June 22, 2022, with 8 life-changing days to go, I joined life-changing President Edwin Caliolio in distributing 6 wheelchairs from 8:30 to 12:00 noon. It was heartwarming and truly life-changing for the recipients and for us Rotarians. Of the six recipients, one is a 90 year old woman, a midwife for 20 years and who has a record of assisting 2,000 deliveries (births) with no mortality. She has a great sense of humor and asked me if we will both appear on facebook, and perhaps go viral. The other one is a 97 year old woman. In their old age, they need wheelchairs so they can move around well and continue to enjoy life. Another recipient of the wheelchair was a 16 year old girl who was not able to walk since birth. A guy whose both legs were amputated was so thankful to receive a wheelchair from Rotary. I cannot forget the smiles and teary eyes of the recipients.
I am extra happy that through the wheelchairs we change lives, in our humble way, we made life a bit more comfortable for the beneficiaries and their family. It is not simply the wheelchair, as a thing, that we give, it is the gift of freedom to move around. I thank all People of Action Rotarians for helping me distribute the wheelchairs. Special thanks to Rtn Ej Roxas and PP Pip Acepcion, for overseeing the wheelchair acquisition at a very special price, thus we were able to give distribute 300 units of wheelchairs (instead of 222 units).
I was recently asked, “What will you do beyond your term as District Governor?” This question always lingers in my mind. Surely I want to spend more time with my family, my home club Rotary Club of Zamboanga City, and Budgetwise family. From “serve to change lives”, I will shift gear to “serve my wife”. Thank you to my lady, Mary Ann, for the love, understanding, and for being supportive throughout my term. I enjoyed our honeymoon during my governor’s visits.
Thank you for singing for our fun District.
I always wanted to leverage on my classification – Supermarket operator, to help sari-sari stores and offer micro-financing. I am excited to go back to work and with God’s Grace employ up to 8,000 employees through the years until I reach 80. I like to honor teachers, our unsung heroes. I will continue to serve the district, inspire Rotarians to step up and gather momentum and continue to do God’s Work through Rotary. I shall value the time I will spend reading books. I shall continue to work hard, pray more and thank God always for His guidance and blessings.
Time to look up and thank God, bow down in humility, and gladly pass the baton to the next district governor, Mr. John Michael “Kano” Ng. May God bless our District. Cheers!