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Bountiful Gifts

When celebrating our Rotary service, we thank those who gave us the gift of Rotary membership and the opportunity to serve beyond our Rotary club.

The invitations of Prof. Juan Uy, department- head and Dean Emmanuel Ve¬lasco (both in the UP College of Business Administration and fraternity brothers) to join the Rotary Club of Diliman 37 years ago was accepted for the wrong rea¬son. Fortunately I stayed for the right reasons–the fellowship that translates to service, the diverse viewpoints that lead to better understanding and tolerance and the Four Way Test and other guideposts to a life of integrity. Thank you, Johnny and Manny.

When outgoing Chairman PRID Rafael “Paing” Hechanova called for nomina¬tions at the organizational meeting of the RY 1993-94 Philippine College of Rotary Governors (PCRG) board, I was taken aback when D3800 PDG Rufino “Ruf” Luna nominated me, an immediate past district governor, for the chairmanship. I was even more surprised when the rest unanimously elected me. Thank you PDG Ruf and PDGs Leandro “Lindy” Garcia (D3820) who became Vice-chairman; Vicente “Tito” Enriquez (D3770), Jesus “Jess” Lindayag (D3790), Teofilo G. Reyes (D3810), Rodolfo “Rod” Jocson (D3850), Leon “Leony” Garcia (D3860) and Dante P. Sarraga (D3870) for the gift of Rotary leadership.

The practice then was for the PCRG Chair to be Coordinator of the visits of RI dignitaries. Working with RI President Bob Barth and aide PRID Jack Forrest for the Presidential Salute to Vocational Service led PRID Jack Forrest to recommend me as International Assembly training leader to RIPE Herbert Brown. Having just as¬sumed the positions of Undersecretary of Trade and Industry and Managing Head of the Board of Investments I declined the offer. However, RI President Herb Brown appointed me Chief Assistant Sergeant-at-arms at his Calgary Convention where PRIP Ron Burton served with me and subsequently Ron appointed me to the Syd¬ney Convention Promotion committee. Thank you, Jack, Herb and Ron.

I specially thank RI Presidents Luis Vicente Giay (our first -thanks, PRID Pa¬ing for the recommendation- of four RIPR assignments), Bhichai Rattakul (my most number of appointments in one year), Jonathan Majiyagbe (thanks, PRID Benny San¬tos who recommended me to the Osaka Convention Committee in his stead), Glen Estess Sr., D.K. Lee, Kalyan Banarjee and Sakuji Tanaka and other PRIPs.

As TRF technical cadre for TRF Projects in tsunami stricken coasts of Sri Lanka RI Pres. Ravidran hosted a dinner in his Colombo residence. Other Rotarians ex¬tended warm hospitality in my visits to Karachi (PDG Moshin), Lahore (PDG She¬hzad Ahmed), Khulna (PDG Salim Reza), Bangkok, (classmate PRID Noraseth Path¬manand), Hong Kong (PDG David Harilela and PDG Jason Yeung), Taipei (PRID San Lien “Jackson” Hsieh, RID Hsui Ming “Frederick” Lin and PDG Jason “Arch” Hsieh) and Indonesia (PDGs Thomas Aquinas, Alosyus Purwa and Muhammand Ridio Eisy), among others in more countries than I can recall.

As it must be with other Philippine Rotarians, these gifts of appointments and of hospitality were marked with sincerity, recognition of one’s qualifications and ac¬tions in the best interest of Rotary, not a transactional relationship.

If we want to repay at all, it is by “adding value” to the positions gifted us. It is not the position that makes the man/woman but the man/woman that enhances the position.