On Christmas Eve (12/24) 2015, RIMM conducted another Christmas giving in barangay Bignay, Laurel, Batangas, a dirt road mountain ridge above Taal Lake. The barangay captain is a strong proponent of family planning as he has/is witnessing the rapidly increasing mountain population.
RIMM members took two cars loaded with sacks of rice and snacks for children, then later switched to a jeepney arranged by the barangay captain to access the steep mountain dirt road. A Christmas party spirit persisted with the singing of Christmas songs during the presentation of gifts for 30 families that also included P100 for each family from club funds and P20 bills for every child and senior donated by new Rotarian member Betty.
After the Christmas giving party event the barangay captain invited our members to his home for a delicious lunch of fresh tilapia prepared by his wife.
On December 23rd, 2015, club members, in conjunction with Alfonso DSWD, provided further assistance for an indigent coconut land caretaker father in barangay Kaysuyot, Alfonso, Cavite, who had lost his wife during the Christmas Holidays after child bearing complications, leaving four children motherless. Being a land caretaker the family can live on the land without a salary but can sell seasonal products such as coconuts to try to survive. DSWD, through AWH, had already provided emergency assistance and had made club members aware of this tragedy. A sack of rice, canned food, firewood and snacks for children were provided along with some cash for transportation for him and his remaining children to visit relatives over the holidays. The two-month old baby had already been adopted by other indigent relatives. Don, a Rotarian from Australia who had visited the club the previous day with his family, also participated in the event.
Our new member Betty offered the widower employment as a caretaker at her home so that he can take better care of his children by also earning a good salary in addition to having free living quarter and doing some farming.
On December 22 & 23, 2015, an Australian Rotarian, Mr. Don Shields from Geelong visited RIMM (Rotary International Multinational Manila) HQ in Alfonso, Cavite. Subsequent day to a flag exchange ceremony, Don joined our community service activity to encourage a widowed indigent husband in barangay Kaysuyot, Alfonso, Cavite providing a sack of rice, canned foods, snacks for children, etc. He also made a monetary donation to RIMM for Christmas giving event in Laurel, Batangas scheduled on the next day (Dec. 24) so RIMM could add more sacks of rice to the giving event.
December is a giving time especially to children that suffer in poverty from the uncontrolled population explosion. Many of the indigent settlers from Samar Island who used to live in barangay Mangas II, Alfonso, Cavite were forced to relocate and now reside in Usting, barangay Luksuhin Ibaba. Because of space limitations families settled in several locations separated by about a 15 minute walk.
RIMM members visited these two sites and provided sacks of rice, quality used clothes from Japan, firewoods for cooking their balut (fertilized duck egg with developed embryo), coconuts, P100 for each family, etc. Selling of balut is their livelihood and requires a ready supply of firewood which they have to buy if not available.
New club member Betty handed out 20 peso bills to the children and the elderly. Christmas cheer was celebrated with singing songs of the season. Betty also invited all indigents to a Christmas Day Party (Dec. 25th) at her home where she and her husband provided a hearty meal to over 100 indigents as well as gifts for the children.
On December 6, 2015 (ST. Nikolaus Day) the ARESCOM (Army Reserve Command) of 4RCDG (4th Region Community Defense Group) of the Philippine Army (PA) sponsored a feeding program, largely for children, in Julugan, Tanza, Cavite. Participating soldiers were volunteers and Colonel Pascual and Major De Sagun personally helped to fund the event.
Former Rotarian presidents of RIMM had been invited to the event as it was known that RIMM Rotarians (Rotary International Club Multinational Manila) had personally conducted three support tours to the disaster-stricken areas of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and that one of its members – a doctor residing in Japan – also volunteers her services to “Japan Heart“. Japan Heart, a Japanese NGO, dispatches groups of volunteer doctors and nurses to Southeast Asian countries during natural disasters and can be of great assistance in the Philippines during such destructive calamities.
Past RIMM president Casey, a native of Japan, discussed his contacts with Japan Heart and followed up with arranging a person-to person meeting with Colonel Pascual and Major De Sagun in January 2016 as the representative of Japan Heart will visit the Philippines for the purpose of expanding its services to the Philippines.