SDG Melvin Ordiales and RAC Coleene Villanueva
“I am ready to serve. I am ready to change lives. And I know you are too.”
These are the words of Life-Changing District Governor Robert Koa as he ended his inaugural speech during the District 3810 Handover and Induction Ceremonies.
True enough, distance is never a hindrance as the monumental occasion pushed through with grandiosity albeit virtual. This is the first time that the district has held such a momentous occasion remotely, and yet it was executed successfully — bearing the warmth that face-to-face Rotary events normally possess.
Hosted by the Rotary Club of Pasay Southeast and chaired by Senior Deputy Governor for Operations – Pasay Area Melvin Ordiales, it was attended by more than 500 individuals including the Executive Committee, Life-Changing Presidents, new members of the Rotary family, and friends from different districts.
Some of the guests were Immediate Past District Governor (IPDG) Leody “Odie” Tarriela; Past District Governor (PDG) Ernest Yuyek; PDG Francisco “Paco” Atayde; PDG Danny Yu; PDG Connie Beltran De-Venecia; PDG Lyne Abanilla; District Governor (DG) Angelita Sunio of District 3820; DG Audie Soliman of District 3800; and DGE Ma Jocelyn Genevieve “Joji” L. Tan of District 3830.
With Assistant Governor Cheska Acuin (Rotary Club of Manila Magic) and Past President Walter Buenaventura (Rotary Club of Pasay Southeast) as event hosts, the ceremony began by recognizing the Transformational Presidents and Life-Changing Presidents of each club within the District. It was then followed by the valedictory address of IPDG Leody “Odie” Tarriela where he highlighted the triumphs during his term despite the challenges of a global health crisis. He extended his appreciation to everyone who made his term fruitful and a huge success. Afterward was the oath-taking of DG Robert which was charged and inducted by his good friend and Governor, PDG Paco Atayde, and the handover ceremony.
In his inaugural speech, DG Robert emphasized the Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta’s thrust and mantra “Do more. Grow more.” He encouraged the District to not only focus on increasing membership but also retention and further added that he expects more applications for Global and District Grants and more donations to The Rotary Foundation.
Also emphasized in his speech is the District’s pledge to go green in support of the new Area of Focus which is Supporting the Environment. All clubs are expected to conduct one environmental project during the Rotary Year, with the District doing its part by going paperless and digitizing all processes and transactions within the organization.
But the highlight of the Governor’s message is his vision to also make the year life-changing for all Rotarians. In his words, DG Robert said, ”I want this year to be a life-changing experience for us Rotarians as well. That the work where we pledged to dedicate ourselves to is not only about building facilities, or donating this and that, or accomplishing district goals and challenges, but rather about creating chances. That Rotary is about translating our generosity to opportunity, so that people who are in need get a chance to live an enriching, hopeful, and better future.”
The oath-taking of 111 Life-Changing Presidents followed and was charged by PDG and District Trainer Ernesto “Ernie” Choa. Afterward, the Life-Changing Executive Committee also took their oath with the charging of PDG Robert “Obet” Pagdanganan.
Subsequently, the oath-taking of 239 newly recruited Rotarians took place with the charging of PDG Lyne Abadilla, which was followed by the presentation of the TRF Pledges led by DRFC Connie Beltran de-Venecia and Senior Deputy Governor for TRF Fund Development Azucena
As we venture towards a year that is bound to be life-changing, may we remember to embody the core values of Rotary — fellowship, service, diversity, integrity, and leadership. To be life-changing means to also leave a remarkable legacy, yet in the words of Past Rotary International President Kaylan Banerjee, “It is not about us. It’s not even about the work we do. It’s about the work that gets done.”