by Clarissa G. Rodriguez
Have you ever heard an unknown voice at the back of your head?
Empty stomachs, unjust killings and inhumane arrests, the rueful cries of people who are in need and in vain keep ringing inside your brain. Whispering your name and calling for help, the coalesced voice asks and begs you to stop and listen just for a second:
Are you willing to steer your W.H.E.E.L. on their side?
W-ASIWAS: Rotary Club wags to help for a cause
“Together we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. We are one for this cause.”
On February 24, 2020, Interact District 3800: Rotary Connects the World has recognized the Most Outstanding Clubs awardees wherein three schools from Malabon City aced the race among the other clubs in CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela), Pasig, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Marikina, and Rizal. The said clubs are Malabon National High School (MNHS), Potrero National High School (PNHS), and Tugatog National High School (TNHS).
The District 3800 Interact Committee selected Interact clubs that have successfully accomplished projects and activities aligned to the Rotary International area of focus. The award was based on how active the clubs regarding community service, duties and responsibilities and how the club was involved in Rotary’s vision and mission.
Oftentimes, some voices might distract us as we try to focus on driving towards our own goals. Yet sometimes, when our strength fades and instant relief evades us, hiding and ignoring them might seem like a fair idea. But three schools have proven that responding to their call would drive us to better paths.
“Service Above Self.”
H-IYAS: Malabon National High School IAC keeps the gem of service
Finding a treasure might be the hardest thing to do; but once you find it, it is worth it.
Led by Mrs. Kristine Rodriguez-Cruz, the Interact Club of Malabon NHS has notched up selfless projects for the betterment of its city through community service.
In October 2019, after the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of polio in the Philippines, Mrs. Cruz led her team in volunteering to help the Barangay Health Office in giving polio vaccines to the children of Brgy. Ibaba and Dulong Herrera in Malabon City. [Read: Polio outbreak in the Philippines]
But out of all the accomplished activities, Mrs. Cruz has considered its Toothbrush Project as the most remarkable one. Last year, they celebrated their 6th year of giving away toothbrush kits for the students in Malabon City.
“Continue to be of service and work passionately,” Mrs. Cruz said with an unwavering conviction.
At the other side of the achievement of MNHS’ Interactors, there was actually an inevitable challenge that greatly dared them. As they went on with their journey, they deeply experienced how strenuous for every organization the source of funds that it will use in order to materialize its programs and activities. Yet they were very blessed to have donors and sponsors who believe and support in their cause and advocacy.
“We act responsibly: Our passion and perseverance create lasting change.”
The success of MNHS’ IAC was the unified outcome from the unswerving dedication and perseverance of its members, the support of its school, Principal Dr. Ma. Victoria R. de Gulan, Rotary Club of Malabon, and some of Mrs. Cruz’ friends in the Philippines and abroad. Voluntary contributions from Interact members are also part of it.
The IAC of Malabon NHS has already found its greatest treasure: its manpower to serve wholeheartedly.
E-STRATEHIYA: Potrero National High School IAC gears towards strategic recalibration
Sometimes, it only takes us to scrutinize the adjacent angle to devise a solution for a problem.
Led by Mr. Mark Anthony Madrid, the Interact Club of Potrero NHS aims to develop students’ leadership skills so that after graduating in Junior High School, they can also be leaders in their own way, in their schools, organizations or community.
Some of PNHS’ IAC accomplishments are tutorials, feeding programs, bullying and anti-drug awareness, gift-giving projects like Christmas Caroling and School Shoes Giving. Yet the exceptional one for Mr. Madrid was when they had an outreach program and visited a home for the aged in Quezon City. Back in 2015, in GRACE Home for the Aged, their club sponsored the foods that were provided to an approximate of 200 elders.
For Mr. Madrid, one thing that always challenges him as an adviser is time and effort, as an Interact Club adviser he needed to attend meetings and activities which sacrifice some of his rest days but at the end of the day, he was fulfilled and motivated when he sees how his officers and members enjoy and develop into better versions of themselves.
“I believe that every club is outstanding as long as the students are learning, enjoying and developing to be a better person. Just continue to inspire these students. Ika nga ni Rizal, ‘Kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan,” Mr. Madrid said with an unflagging stance.
The IAC of PNHS also received the Rotary International Presidential Citation with Platinum distinction which is the highest distinction an Interact Club can attain.
Mr. Madrid said that their Interact Club would not be successful without the support and sponsorship of Rotary Club of Malabon East, especially its President Mr. Art Sabino and Former President Mr. Jed Concepcion. The support from their principal, Mrs. Olivia Martin, has also helped them conquer the battle.
The IAC of Potrero NHS has overcome a challenge by diverting into brighter-side-strategy that led them to the peak: Do not give up, believe with your team.
E-STRELYA: Tugatog National High School IAC beams responsible flares
Our sky at its darkest phase might try to steal our flares, but some precious stars could save us by brightening up our night.
Led by Mr. Zoren Lebria, the Interact Club of Tugatog NHS urged on to “Take action, build international understanding, and make new friends around the world.” It advocates the acceptance of individual responsibility as the basis of personal success, community improvement, and group achievement by participating in fun, meaningful service projects.
With the help of their school principal, Dr. Elsie P. Emerenciana, Rotary Club of Malabon East officers, CP Art Sabino, IPP Jed Concepcion and LSEN Coordinator Ms. Cecile Garcia, the said club has accomplished various projects and one of this was during the celebration of World Interact Week on November 8, 2019. The members came up with a project called “I am my Brother’s LSEN” aiming to determine the LSEN (Learners with Special Education Needs) inside and outside of the school community and find ways how to aid their needs such as inclusive education and allowing children with special needs to receive free and equal education along with other students inside a regular class.
There was also a conducted Diagnostic Assessment for LSENs. Partnered with Schools Division Office – Malabon City and IAC of Tugatog NHS, the Rotary Club of Malabon East successfully implemented the project “Rotary Connects Specially For You.” It aims to assess students with special needs through the guidance of Development Specialists. Mrs. Garcia also helped the groups to determine the students needing for the said assessment. This project was held at Potrero Elementary School last January 24, 2020.
Yet out of all the activities that the club has implemented, Mr. Lebria noted that the “Taal Volcano Eruption – Relief Operation” was the most remarkable one. The TNHS’ constituents created this project in order to help the victims of the recent calamity in Batangas City. Other TNHS teachers and students have donated goods/items for the victims of the said calamity. [Read: Taal Volcano erupts in the Philippines]
Their club was warmly welcomed by the citizens of Barangay Salaban, Batangas City. Guce Family, Barangay Salaban officials and social workers assisted the club in distributing donations for the citizens in need including Mrs. Arlene C. Cuento, a woman suffering from breast cancer, received donations from the collaborative minds and hearts of various individuals.
On the other hand, as a new club in TNHS, one of the challenges they faced was on how they were going to start. In the beginning, it was difficult to gain student participation due to the extensive work it takes for their club to attract new members due to conflicting responsibilities. Yet as a club adviser, Mr. Lebria started by understanding the management and importance of Interact Clubs. He was then able to provide a clearer and more complete vision of their club to present to the school and potential members with a total of 20 young people.
“We advise other clubs most especially to the advisers and officers to keep their members motivated. Motivated members are good for the club. We can keep them motivated by fostering collaboration within the team, setting clear goals and encouraging happiness,” Mr. Lebria said with inexorable inspiration.
Though this was the first year that TNHS’ IAC has partnered with the Rotary Club of Malabon East, IAC Tugatog NHS has won “2019-2020 Rotary Citation with Platinum Distinction” signed by Mr. Mark Daniel Maloney, president of Rotary International.In addition, TNHS’ IAC President Rizza Geline Q. Agapito was also chosen as the Zone 1 representative for R.Y. 2020-2021.
“Adding variety to the club’s regular routine can also keep the team members excited and involved. Members should instill in their minds and in their hearts that they are in the club for a meaningful purpose, to be a blessing to others, by serving the people and most importantly, our God,” he added.
Mr. Lebria was grateful to the trust that his principal, Dr. Elsie P. Emerenciana gave him. He used this as a motivation to work hard and become a responsible adviser for the Interact Club in their school. He also acknowledged the all-out support given by their sponsoring club, Rotary Club of Malabon East with its officers, CP Art Sabino and IPP Jed Concepcion to their club programs.
“As a new club and to be recognized as one of the most outstanding Interact clubs is truly emotionally rewarding. I and my students did not expect that we would get this kind of recognition. We, in our club, are just doing our responsibilities of being good examples to others and follow the visions of Rotary,” said Mr. Lebria
There is no such too early nor too late to shine like a star. TNHS’ IAC proved that with dedication to be close enough to the heart of Interact Club guarantees a success.
L-AGING BALANI: Interact Clubs of MNHS, PNHS, and TNHS persuade selfless acts
The Interact Clubs of Malabon NHS, Potrero NHS, and Tugatog NHS dashed numerous accomplishments to prove that responding consistently to the call for a cause is definitely priceless.
“As part of the Interact club, I continue to be true to our advocacy in community service and of ‘Service Above Self’ amidst this pandemic by helping our front liners by preparing simple meals for them. I wish to see my members and plan for our future projects and activities for this rotary year with the theme “Rotary Opens Opportunities,” beamed by MNHS’ IAC Adviser Mrs. Kristine Rodriguez-Cruz.
Life might be compared to the wheel: sometimes you are at the top, sometimes at the bottom part; but the best thing is that if you always keep moving, you will reach your destination.
“As of now we are focusing more on orienting our new officers and members. We also help in giving information and raising awareness about COVID: the do’s and don’ts and how their time can still be productive even at home. At this time I can say that I’m excited to teach my subject Math to my future students. But teaching while balancing effectiveness and safety has yet to be explored,” evoked PNHS’IAC Adviser Mr. Mark Anthony Madrid.
But keep in mind that to drive at stake, you should set your sights first. Determine your path and do not allow anything or anyone to stop you from driving towards success.
“Since we prioritize the safety of our students, I thought of asking IAC-Tugatog National High School members to write letters or create posters showing their support and appreciation to our front-liners. After this pandemic, our club will start by creating a project supporting the mental wellbeing of our youth. We will develop effective psychological interventions that will assess and evaluate the effect of COVID-19 on youth mental health. Effective coping strategies will be provided to protect individuals from mental health problems. In addition, we consider students’ health and education by giving hygiene kits and learning materials that learners can use during remote or distance learning. Our club will help the youth to adapt gradually to this new (temporary) normal,” said by TNHS’ IAC Adviser Mr. Zoren Lebria.
Wasiwas. Hiyas. Estratehiya. Estrelya. Laging-Balani.
These three schools in Malabon City have proven that hard work will always be paid off. Now, are you willing to steer your W.H.E.E.L. on their side?