Filipino heads US Rotary clubs, vows more help for RP PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 June 2017 13:49

KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS

BY Atty. BATAS MAURICIO

 

LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends…” (John 15:13, the Holy Bible).

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BOY DREAMT OF HELPING HIS TOWN OF ALABAT, QUEZON: Sixteen-year old Ray Caparros unsuccessfully held back his tears as he looked back one more time at the island of Alabat, Quezon, the town where he grew up and spent almost all of his childhood.

Now that he had finished his secondary education from one of the schools there, he had to leave it, to search not only for greener pastures, but for opportunities that would enable him to do something for it and for its people who have known poverty and want for as long as he can remember.

His heart and spirit were crushed with loneliness, for he had never been out of Alabat before. Yet, as the boat he was travelling on left the town’s dilapidated pier, Ray steeled himself to be strong, convincing himself that even as he was leaving the town of his youth at that point in his juvenile life, he would one day return to it, and help its people, his beloved town mates, live a more decent life.

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ROTARY HELPS DREAMS OF SERVING OTHERS COME TRUE: As Ray threw a lingering look at the island of Alabat, the sun seemed to shine a bit brighter on it. That convinced Ray that his hopes and dreams of uplifting the lives of his people would one day be fulfilled. Then, as he found himself prospering in the United States of America where he migrated, Ray became a Rotarian.

To his pleasant surprise, Rotary International made his dreams for Alabat come true. In 2003, Ray became a member of the Rotary Club of Escalon Sunrise, under District 5220 of Rotary International, which is based in Stockton, California, USA. Barely a year after, he was installed as its President-Elect, or the president of the Club one year after his election.

In 2004, he assumed the presidency of the Club until 2005, and, in an unprecedented manner, went to serve for another year, 2006-2007, during which time his club was bestowed the honor of being “most outstanding Rotary club”, two years in a row.

For 2017-2018, Ray is going to be the highest Rotarian of District 5220 as he will be serving as its District Governor. He is going to be the first Filipino (who has since become an American citizen) to be accorded that honor, and even now, he has already lined up several projects which show Rotary “making a difference”, the theme during his governorship, most of which will be devoted to the poverty-stricken island of Alabat.

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FILIPINO BECOMES DISTRICT GOVERNOR OF US CLUBS, VOWS MORE AID TO RP: As soon as Ray first became the leader of his club, he returned to his hometown at the island of Alabat, Quezon, and, with the help of his Club members, made good his promise to make life better somehow for his town mates, especially for elementary and high school students, and the communities that live around their schools, including a government hospital.

He did this through a “matching grant project”, through the putting up of water systems in Alabat’s elementary and high schools, providing safe and potable water, costing about US$65,000.00 (roughly P3 million).

This helped a lot in averting diarrhea and other intestinal diseases which previously victimized a lot of young students in the town. It also made available to the town’s residents the same potable water. Then, Ray and his Club also put up artificial reefs in Atimona, Quezon, at a cost of US$15,000.00 (roughly P750,000.00), to preserve marine life in the seas.

Finally, Ray chartered two Rotary Clubs (RC) in Quezon—RC Alabat Island, and RC Atimonan Quezon—during his presidency. As District Governor of District 5220, USA, he said he is going to bring more humanitarian projects from America to his beloved town mates in Alabat, Quezon. Rotary International has a reason to be happy, of course!