Devcom Medium- English Reposts Rotary Family

Once a Rotaractor. Always a Rotaractor.

Proud to be a Rotaractor and proud to reblog this post.

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It’s September and it’s International Coastal Clean-up Month

It’s September and it’s International Coastal Clean-up Month


This year’s International Coastal Cleanup is slated on September 21, 2013.  Asel Punzalan narrates his experience on ICC 2005 to encourage everybody to participate in the incoming cleanups.

September 17, 2005 (Saturday)

I was assigned to look over my co-San Pedro East Rotaractors regarding our participation in the 20th International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)- “Our future, Our Success.” The program would start at around 7:00 in the morning (this is according to a source) in Fishport, La Huerta, Parañaque City.

Given the authority, I told the company, “Ala-singko hanggang 5:30 sa Jolibee Alabang.  Ang hindi sisipot, wag nang magpakita sa akin.  Iiwanan na lang ang late!” and I did it with conviction.  (Let’s meet in Jolibee Alabang, 5:00 to 5:30 AM.  To those who won’t fulfill their promise, I don’t want to see your faces again.)

On that very important day (ICC), a familiar voice dumbfounded me from my…

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Medium- English Rotary Family


Medium- English Rotary Family

RCSPE Kicks Off with The Home


image courtesy of

The Rotary Club of San Pedro East started the Rotary Year 2012-2013 by visiting its adapted community- Mary Mother of Mercy, Home for the Elderly and the Abandoned shortly known as The Home on July  01, 2012.

RCSPE together with its sponsored Rotaract Club, the Rotaract Club of San Pedro East (RACSPE) donated toiletries and other personal hygiene items to the residents of the institution.

The MMMHEA has a mission of ?service to the sickly, rejected, forgotten and abandoned elderly members of the society.? It envisions ?a community that nurtures and nourishes the body and soul of one another (both those who served and those being served), forming a group of God?s people who help each other attain eternal life.?

Bautista, De Pablo and the seven ward members moved into the house in 1998.

Later, the management was relinquished to a lay person, Lily Almendrala, in 1998 up to 2000, who, with a co-worker, cared for the increasing number of ward members. That time, the Home started to admit female wards.

In 2000, a chapel, connected to the Home by a ramp, was built. The Adoration Convent of Divine Mercy or the Pink Sisters of Tagaytay donated its old tabernacle to the new chapel.

In the same year, sisters from the Servants of Mary took over the management. By 2002, four sisters from Burma (Myanmar) of the Missionary Sisters of St. Francis Xavier headed by Sister Imelda then Sister Filomena came.

At present, three nuns from the group communicate their love, care and understanding to the old, cranky, unreasonable and sometimes ungrateful residents. They have established a healthy relationship between caregivers who are now doing on-the-job training with the old ward patients.

For the foundation, caring for the sick, the elderly and the abandoned consists not only of housing, feeding and clothing the less privileged but also helping them to understand and accept the mercy of God amid their affliction and to entrust their twilight years and very death to the same merciful God.

In this, the support of religious communities and of many priests in the parishes in nearby San Pedro has not been wanting.

President Roger Baldehueza, Immediate Past President Mhon Brazas, Past President Angie Riley and Past President Fely Castillo spearheaded the kick off project.

Also see:  Rotary Club of San Pedro East

Medium- English News Rotary Family

DRAC Recognizes RCSPE as Outstanding

The Rotary International District (RID) 3820 held its District Recognition and Awarding Ceremony (DRAC) last June 24, 2012 in Ponte Fino Hotel, Batangas City.

The event aimed to give recognition to the tremendous effort the clubs and their respective presidents and secretaries have exerted.

The Rotary Club of San Pedro East (RCSPE) was awarded Outstanding Rotary Club along with other rotary clubs which did exemplary projects.  Its president, Mhon Brazas was hailed Outstanding President while its Secretary Asel Punzalan bagged an Outstanding Secretary trophy.

RCSPE also took home the Best in Website award.  Rotaractors Danilo G. Nicolas and Kakai Zagala initiated the platform of the website on and Secretary Asel modified the site as to conform to the criteria the panel of judges has set.

Moreover, RCSPE’s “Ethics and Business Etiquette Seminar Series” was proclaimed Outstanding Project.  The seminar series purported to educate graduating students of San Pedro College of Business Administration with the do’s and don’ts in their future workplace.

Several Governor’s Citation awards were also given to RCSPE. The awards were handed by RID 3820 Governor Rey Castillo to the clubs that carried out district-initiated projects.  RCSPE took home citations on its:  Kick-off Project, Public Image Projects, Gawad Parangal, A Day with My Family (La Mesa Ecopark Treeplanting and Fellowship), Adopt-A-Child, Club Bulletin, Clun Website, Annual Permanent Fund Contribution, It’s More fun in RID 3820 Campaign (RI Anniversary celebration), and Greener, Litter-Free Tollways (RID 3820 Public Image Project-Tree-planting in SLEX).

On a lighter note (not a news article anymore)

Congratulations to the Rotary Club of San Pedro South (RCSPS) for taking home the most coveted MOST OUTSTANDING ROTARY CLUB along with eight other recipients. (9 out of 106 clubs)

Congratulations RCSPS President, Tita Yolly Montifar for being one of the Most Outstanding President (s).  You really deserve that.

Also, accolades to our mother club, Rotary Club of San Pedro (RCSP) for being one of the Outstanding Rotary Club (s) and RCSP’s President Sam Doctor for being Outstanding President.

Pictures to follow

Medium- English Rotary Family

100 Projects to Date

Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self.

Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations.

There are 34,216 Rotary Clubs  around the world divided into 538 districts and its membership has reached 1,214,714 as of 4 October 2011.

Rotary International District 3820 now has 110 Rotary Clubs and one of them is Rotary Club of San Pedro East (RCSPE)… yours truly is the Club Secretary of RCSPE.

To be continued… (5 PM na)

Features Medium- English Rotary Family SPEJA

SPEJA Feature Writing Winners (ad verbatim)

Theresa Lopez, Undercovered

(Third Place)

Maria Theresa A. Lopez

          Talking about herself and the ups and downs of her life, Ms. Lopez takes a trip to the memory lane.

          As a child, she grew up from a family close to God.  Her mother and father belong to a Christian community, as well as her brother and sister.

          When she started schooling, she has received many awards and is a consistent honor student.  “It’s hard to grow up in a family of five ’cause you have to live up to the expectations of your parents and there’s so much pressure.”, says Theresa.  But even if she found it hard, it didn’t stop her from doing her best.

           In her high school years, she had a hard time adjusting to the changes.  Cliques, dramas, and the likes are all there.  “I used to be an outcast because my classmates hate me.”, she shares.

          Being an outcast is hard and sometimes traumatic.  I asked her how she coped with it.  “Well, at first I asked myself, Why me?  but I realized that I’ve been trying so hard to fit in and in order for me to do that, I have to be someone else.  That’s when I told myself to stop and just be myself and if they don’t like the real me, then I don’t need them.”

          As she takes a sip of water, I asked, “You’ve been through a lot and yet you are sitting here with  a smile on your face like you’ve never been hurt.  Is that one of your strengths?”  She replied, “I guess so.  But my mom and dad raised me to be strong so I don’ think of it as one of my strengths.”  “Well, then what are your strengths?”, I queried.  “Hmm. I’ve always been tough and easy to approach to and I’m loyal.”, she replied.

          Being more engrossed in our conversation, I asked her of her weaknesses.  “I trust a person way too much for my own good.”, she replied with smile twinkling in her eyes.

          I also asked what are the opportunities for her.  “I can adjust to the kind of people I am with.”, she replied.  “When there are opportunities, there are also limitations, so what are yours?”, I asked.  “I get mad easily and sometimes very vulgar and violent.”, she replied while laughing.

         “Coping up with the hardships in life is not easy.  But then again, it’s God’s way of making sure you remember Him.” -Theresa Lopez



Slices of a Busy Life

(Second Place)

Gillian Rey A. Cara

         ” Given the chance to live my life again, I’ll always choose to be my own critic.”

          These are her words to live by.  As I approached this lady for an interview, I can feel her anticipation, laced with anxiety.  As she nervously shuffled around, I felt that she was planning the rest of her day.  That was no doubt though, because she’s one of the busiest people around school.  She’s Gillian Rey Cara, a campus journalist, choir president and science curriculum student.

          And so my interview with her commenced.  I inquired about her abilities with which she responded with a shy smile.  “Well, I don’t have any abilities, but the good Lord has given me the gift of language and the soul of music.”  With that I saw a playful twinkle flash across her brown eyes.  “But that’s not all.”, she added.  “I also has the misfortune to be very clumsy and shy.”  Upon hearing this, I laughed softly.  Because right there and then, I discovered that a student of such caliber also has weaknesses.  “But nevertheless, I still feel very blessed.”  That sparked my interest, so I wished to know these blessings she spoke of.  “Oh that.  Well, I was born normal, if that counts!  But seriously, they say that I’ve got a commanding air that lands me anywhere I want.  But I doubt that.”, she laughed.  However, I noticed that she winced.  I just asked her about it and she said, “Oh, don’t mind it.  It’s just that I have a lot of back pain hat interferes with the relationship I have with my myriad of work.”

         After asking a lot about her profile.  I decided that I must also know her work.  “I juggle between being a jovial choir president, a trusty journalist and a busy student, trying to clock in 32 hours a day.”, she replied.  Cool.  Upon hearing that, I realized- that must be hard.  But here she was, squeezing me and my interview in her long list of activities.  When I asked her how she was able to do so, she said, “You just have to love what you’re doing.  A task becomes a hobby if you’re happy with it.”  With this, I thanked her and we parted.  She immediately dashed off to her next task.  What a busy lady she was.

          As I thought about my encounter with her, I realized that a little time management can go a long way.  Having said that, I view time management as an essential tool to get through the day without mishap.  I learned from her that it’s not just all work and no play.  You’ve just got to work quick, then play!



Who Am I?

(Second Place)

Sarah Grace L. Baltazar

          How well do you know yourself?

          I interviewed someone to see how well she knows herself.  As I asked her what her strengths are, she proudly told me that she is good in singing, writing, studying and playing volleyball and table tennis.  She exhibits a positive outlook in life.  She faces challenges with a smile.  She loves the Lord unconditionally and trusts Him completely.

          When I asked her for her weakness, she answered with a grin.  Her only weakness is seeing her mom and sister cry.  It pains her when she sees them cry making her feel useless and helpless.  She is an adopted child.  The family she has is her mom and sister.  As much as possible, she will do everything to make them happy.  Problems are too many to carry all by herself.  But that doesn’t stop her to pursue her ambitions and dreams.  There are many opportunities around her.  One of her cousins offered help and is willing to get her as soon as she finish her studies.  She can go to abroad and then get her mom and sister after two years.  Problem is, they do not have money to spend on her studies.  So she applied to many schools and took scholarship exams.  Hopefully, she passed one of them.  One threat she has is that they are financially disabled.  That hinders her from everything but she never questioned God and trusted Him for everything.  As of now, she’s doing her best, studying and aiming for the best.

          How well do you know yourself?

            If you are letting problems hinder you from pursuing your dreams then think again.  As for the girl I interviewed, she said that problems are there to make us stronger.  We should let God be the center of our life and give everything in His hands.  He will show us many wonderful things if we believe in Him.  From the bible verse Romans 8:28,  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.



An Interview with a Stranger

(First Place)

Christine Faith C. Gabuya

          We are all united as one; we live in the same place, same time, same planet.  We all have our objectives and not a single one of them are alike.  Similar to our purpose, we too, have our own characteristics, rare and can never be found in someone else.  At least that is what I have pondered after an interrogation with this one person I just recently knew.

          The room was dark.  I sat beside her in the cold draft of the room that was let in by the window panes.  I stood there optimistic, hoping that I would probably get something useful and inspiring from her.  I was at my best- hair combed, face powdered and dressed to impress.  But when I saw her, she was pale.  She had short black hair like me and she was wearing the exact same dress that I had on.  The only difference between me and her is that on her face, one cannot simply trace the gaze of happiness.  Her eyes were dull and stared blankly at nothing.  I wouldn’t believe that I could be a person like that.

         So there, since I was desperate for this article to be included in our school paper, I started the interview right away.

          I sat in front of her.  As  I stared to her face, she stared directly to mine.  It was like at every direction I would look at, her blank gaze would follow.  Despite of this, I started the conversation to break the ice.

          I greeted her good evening and asked if she won’t mind if I ask her some questions for the paper.  She stared long at me before opening her mouth to say something.  She nodded her head and stared at me with a grin.  At this part, I was frightened.  This person was a stranger to me.  I have been close with my family and friends, but this person,  she was completely alien to me.

          I felt the comfort of my chair.  And so the interview started.  I asked her what her strengths and weaknesses are and she answered with a smile that she is just like me.  I whispered to myself in complete shock of how she knew who I was.  I sat in silence and listened to her response.

          She told me that she lives with her grandparents.  Her parents are too careless to take care of her so she lives with her grandparents.  They love and care for her very much so that is why she thinks that is a strength to her.  And in addition, she told me that another strength of her is her deep faith and trust to her friends, family and God.

          I asked her about her weakness.  Pessimism, that is the only word that she spoke of and soon expanded it by saying that in all her life, she was living with the darkness, consuming here all up and she described that it doesn’t seem to leave her alone.

          Finally, I asked for the opportunities and threats in her surroundings.  She told me that opportunities never run out and so does the threats., she dead panned.  She explained that threats often outweigh opportunities.  I wanted her to make clear of what she just said but she might get upset.  But I was so desperate.  So I asked her and found out that opportunity for her, is at the same time threat for her- her school life.  She pointed to me the phone accessories given by her cliques and friends, and also she pointed the slashes she made on her left wrist caused to her by the latter.

          Before I was with my interview, she whispered something to my ear, that I should not let her on my way.  Her black dilated pupils were staring directly into my soul.  I was terrified.

          My grandmother suddenly called out to me for dinner.  I told her I was coming.  I stood up from my seat and in the mirror, I saw the girl disappear before my eyes as I hurried downstairs.

Medium- English Poems Rotary Family SPEJA

SPEJA Poetry Writing Winners

Philippines:  A Nation Making a Legacy

(Third Place)

Jhon Mark O. Trinidad


As the brilliance of the searing sun glows

An image of a place comes in my mind

Declared as the “Pearl of the Orient Sea”

Philippines, a paradise of beauty

Truly magnificent and enthralling

A place where meek and kind people reside

Nurtured with its peculiar history

And culture which other nations admire

Philippines, a country of the faithfuls

With proud lambs of God exalting His name

A nation instilling humility

Humble as a dove in times of glory

Philippines, embodiment of triumph

Makin a legacy to the whole world



Never Alone

(Second Place)

Marvin Joseph R. Occeño


Deep inside I think of uncertainties

That hinder my courage and bring me fear

Still finding ways to solve difficulties

I can’t make up my mind, present are tears

It seems that I face such darkness alone

But I wonder why I feel such great love

Despite my worries, I believe in grace

This is from God, I know I will be saved

In every step I take I can realize

That in Him, I am loved and forgiven

As I look into the blue skies I smile

For I am blessed and now I’m faith-driven

From this point I’m not afraid anymore

God is the greatest, with this I am sure




(First Place)

Ariza Nicole Ong


She leans on a wall that supports nothing

Crying a river til she falls asleep

The next teardrop will be drop of blood

Dying and living again everyday

The silent screams show everlasting pain

She just sold her life to get her soul crushed

Isolated from freedom, she’s in chains

“Could this be the end?” She’s begging for death

She falls to her knees and silently prayed…

My Dear, your prayer will be heard by Him

You’re a gift to man, you deserve better

Sing a song with your voice and a purpose

I raise this glass to all of the beaten

Stand up for our children and our women

Medium-Filipino Poems Rotary Family SPEJA

SPEJA Pagsulat ng Tula Winners

Third Place

Pilipino, Bangon Na!!!

by Michelle M. Albano


Aking pagsamo dito sa mundo

Nawa’y tinig ko ay pakinggan mo

Damdamin ko na may kinikimkim

Dulot nitong pusong nagninimdim


Antas ng tao hindi pantay-pantay

May mahirap hanggang mamatay

Mga mayayaman habang buhay

Hay… Nakalulungkot nga namang tunay


Ang aking tinig na di marinig

Impit ‘pagkat walang nakikinig

Mga kababayan ko, tayo na

Halina’t tayo’y magsama-sama


Lahat tayo’y di dapat mangamba

Posas, kadena, ay kalagin na

Iwan ang lungkot at pagdurusa

Ikaw at ako ay lalaya na


Second Place

Ang Anak sa Haligi

Lee Ann Q. Catacutan


Kay tagal nang lumipas ang oras

Naghihintay sa loob ng rehas

Nagbabakasakaling makalabas

Na ikaw mismo ang magbubukas


Mga hikbi, Ina’y ang nagpawi

Ala-alang di maitatanggi

Pagsubok mo ay di mawawari

Dapat diyan ay ipagpunyagi


Eskwelahan man ‘tay, ‘kaw ang hanap

Bitbit man amam nila sa harap

‘di ako maiinggit nang tapat

‘pagkat ika’y nasa pusong sapat


Sana’s magalak sa gawang ito

Ako’y maghihintay sa iyo

Siguraduhing sa pagdating mo

Medalya ko’y iaalay sa ‘yo


First Place

Kabataan, Asan Ka Na Nga Ba?

Kim Elizabeth V. Maxwell 


Oh, Kabataan iyong pagmasdan

Ang iyong mundong ginagalawan

Tinalikuran ang ating Diyos

Upang luho’y masunod nang lubos


Kabataan ako’y nagtataka

Ikaw ay nakita sa balita

Nagnanakaw ng gamit ng iba

Isang gabi sa may eskinita


Kabataan, asan ka nga ba?

Ikaw na dapat ang magkukusa

Bumangon sa pagkakasala

Sabi nga ni Inay, May bukas pa


Iyong tandaan, Oh Kabataan

Pagmamahal ng Diyos ating Ama

Ipalaganap, gawain Niya

At mabuhay sa pag-ibig Niya 

Medium- English Photoblog Rotary Family SPEJA

SPEJA Editorial Cartooning Winners

The Effects of the Internet to the Secondary School Students

Third Place

Colin James Naranjo


Second Place

Joseph L. Fraylon


First Place

Jeremiah L. Nataba


First Place

Jethro T. Ramirez