Waling-Waling Davao, Philippines

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Rotary Club of Waling-Waling Davao, Rotary District 3860, The Philippines

28 August 1991, Davao City. Buoyed by the confidence and commitment of civic-minded women business leaders/professionals in Davao, then Club Extension Committee Chair (now PDG) Reynaldo I. Reyes and Vice Chair Raoul E. Hilario+ (1999-2000 DG) paved the way for these women to become Rotarians. The organizing committee met at the Davao Insular Intercontinental Inn for an initial briefing on the proposed club and listing of charter members.

After two organizational meetings at the Hotel Maguindanao on 7 and 21 September 1992, the proposed club held its first provisional club lunch meeting on 5 October 1991. It did not take long for Rotary International to officially accept the Rotary Club of Waling-Waling Davao as its member, and on 20 January 1992, then District Governor Johnny Asencion presented the charter documents at the Apo View Hotel. RCWWD is the 11th Rotary club in Davao City and holds the distinction of being the first all-women Rotary Club in District 3860.

Prior to its charter on 20 January 1992, the Provisional Club of Waling-Waling Davao, headed by Charter President Sylvia V. Marfori, already started participating in the various projects of RC East Davao such as PolioPlus, medical/dental projects, and calamity relief in Ormoc. As Pres. Sylvia once said “what better way to serve humankind than to look beyond ourselves — simply because real happiness is helping others. Still in its infancy stage, RCWWD concentrated on membership development and growth.

In 1993-94, the club received its first WCS funding from RC Urayasu, Japan. Believing in what they do and doing what they believe in, the functional literacy project for S.I.R. out-of-school youth took shape - made possible through the efforts of former member Fely Dagatan. During Pres. Marlyou Z. Ong's term, the "Light A Heart Movement" was organized, aimed at elevating the marginalized status of mothers and children of Davao City to a more dignified living conditions.

Under Pres. Ma. Corazon Reyes’ presidency, the club initiated a program to address the needs of the abandoned and abused streetchildren of Davao City at the Lingap Center for Street Children. The manner with which services were rendered manifests virtues of sharing, caring, giving, and by just being a friend to those in need. PP Zony is the club's first Four Avenues of Service awardee.

A six-year Tetanus Immunization project was launched and implemented in RY 1995-1996. It was also during this year when the club, with Pres. Ma. Luisa Almendras at the helm, co-hosted the very successful District Conference with RC East Davao. Towards the end of the Rotary year, the club had surpassed the membership net gain target; significant achievements in community and vocational services were realized and from then on, RCWWD continuously introduced and supported projects consistent with Rotary International's thrusts, always keeping in mind to act with integrity, serve with love, and work for peace.

It was during Pres. Lorna Llamas'(Four Avenues of Service Awardee, RY2007-2008) presidency in RY 1996-1997, when the club launched and implemented the Vocational Employment Program for Blind Masseurs. Other various projects in each Avenue of Service were also undertaken in partnership with different government organizations, as well as the World Community Service Team of District 2790, Chiba, Japan. On 22 August 1996, the Light A Heart Foundation, Inc., a SEC-registered non-stock, non-profit, charitable institution was incorporated. The Foundation - an off-shoot of the Light A Heart Movement in 1993-94 - would later enable the club to further build the future with action and vision.

RY 1997-1998 was the busiest year for RCWWD when more Partners-in-Service were organized and numerous projects carried out with the dynamic leadership of Pres. Vegloure Maguinsay, a Four Avenues of Service Awardee in RY1999-2000. Rotary and ROTI Exhibits were also held as part of public relations and information campaign. Although some felt like it was a year-long endeavour, everything was made possible simply by showing Rotary cares.

Following Rotary’s dream, the club "grew" in RY1998-1999 not only in terms of inducting new members, but also with the organization of a new club, the Rotary Club of Mt. Apo Davao with 31 charter members. Then President Corazon Malanyaon is now the Governor of Davao Oriental.

As in any organization, a club's success depends largely on the management of its president as well as the cooperation of the general membership to work and act with consistency, credibility, continuity. The term of Pres. Leonida Santos in RY1999-2000 saw another growth when the club co-sponsored the Rotary Club of Davao 2000 with 22 charter members. Rotary friendship was further extended by hosting Rotarians from various RI Districts. During her term, three Matching Grants proposals were approved that would later be implemented the following year.

The turning of the calendar to Rotary Year 2000-2001 once more provided opportunities to focus the members’ vision on creating awareness and taking action where and when needed. The three Matching Grants projects approved the year before were implemented; several district projects were also undertaken, the most significant of which was the "Rotarians for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities Job Fair", one of the club's institutionalized programs. RCWWD, led by Pres. Giovanna McKay (4 Avenues of Service Awardee, RY2008-2009), conducted the job fair on a larger scale by involving all Rotary Clubs in Davao City. Six of the participating clubs provided jobs for 24 (out of 41) differently-abled applicants whose skills ranged from janitorial to software engineering. The Job Fair program earned for RCWWD Rotary International's highest honour bestowed to a single club in a district, the Significant Achievement Award, for addressing/responding to the needs of a community.

The RY2001-2002 challenge presented an opportunity to once more demonstrate that indeed, mankind is our business. With Pres. Remedios Calaguas (2006-2007 Four Avenues of Service Awardee) leading the way, the members continued to make a difference in the lives of the people and their communities with five Matching Grants projects (3 continuing and 2 new ones) and other humanitarian undertakings across the four avenues of service. It would not be amiss to mention here that PP Remie also earned Rotary International's Membership Global Quest award and, although she was unable to personally receive the award from Past RI President Richard King, the honour was an achievement in itself.

After a decade of service, another test was put before all Rotarians in RY2002-2003, requiring continued commitment from the club to help communities grow stronger . . . and so the club went forth to sow the seeds of love. The members were one with Pres. Renie Maguinsay in achieving goals, and selfless commitment brought about meaningful community and vocational projects.

By RY2003-2004, it can be said that truly, RCWWD has evolved into one of the strongest clubs in District 3860. With Pres. Jocelyn Grace Mercado's leadership, RCWWD continued to lend a hand where and when needed. The dedication and enthusiasm of the members have always been the club’s source of strength, ensuring that each activity they take on are met with joy and satisfaction.

Celebrate Rotary — the theme alone was enough to motivate the 2004-2005 members to continue working collectively, with vigour and renewed commitment, guided by the fearless spirit of Pres. Grace Mercedes Lim. In commemoration therefore of Rotary’s centennial year, the club embarked on 100 activities, one of which is the registered RI Centennial Project – the Rotary On Nutrition project, a 5-party undertaking aimed at providing livelihood for the out-of-school youth, unemployed women, and disabled group.

Despite difficulties brought about by hectic schedules, other obligations, and the occasional outbursts of turbulence, it can be said without hesitation that Pres. Luz Albarracin's term in RY2005-2006 saw the members relentlessly work at fulfilling the ideals of Service Above Self. Instead of being frozen by uncertainties, the members channeled their energies into succeeding at projects that redound to the benefit of the underprivileged and underserved communities.

Each new President brings into the club a different style and atmosphere. Leading the way into Rotary Year 2006-2007, Pres. Divina Fe Boiser and the general membership readily responded to the challenges and found each club event a source of joy and satisfaction as goals were realized and fulfilled.

Accepting the responsibilities of any office could be daunting, but not once did Pres. Ma. Luisa Jacinto's confidence waver. The club's successful community projects and its highly committed members once more proved that they, in Rotary, truly share. One of their many extraordinary, noble causes is the "House of Hope" - an old and derelict building completely renovated and transformed into a transient home for indigent, cancer-stricken children undergoing long treatment.

The call to leadership always involves obligations and certain sacrifices at times, but RY2008-2009 Pres. Evangeline (Vangi) Schwendener and the members rose to the occasion and picked up the challenges of Rotary - challenges that moved the members to once more make dreams real for generations to come.

With RY2009-2010 just over, Pres. Mae Concepcion J. Dolendo looks back with a sense of satisfaction and happiness as the club had, indeed, created pathways to the future for others to follow by learning from and sharing past experiences, harnessing current resources, and mapping out strategies for the future. Certainly, there were challenges, but everyone surmounted all that with their usual brand of fun, grace, and aplomb.

Although a reluctant "recruit" at the start, President Rosemarie Yngente says that the RY2010-2011 theme seems tailored-fit for her since this was the same underlying theme when she became a development worker 25 years ago. Building communities will not be an easy task for it rests most of all on the people living in them, but Pres Rose and the members are confident that, as facilitators, they will complement and supplement the community's living existence; they will bridge continents to share these needs, and link resources in mutual trust and respect.

As Rotary year 2011-2012 comes to an end, President Marivic still believes that leadership can only be as dynamic when it gets vital guidance from the past. She confidently continues what was started, with the members travelling the road with her. Regardless of what they can or cannot accomplish, they are resilient enough to accept differences when the occasion calls for it. For Pres. Marivic, that is the essence of reaching within to embrace humanity.