I got another article published recently to an activity that we did last November 30, 2011 but with the recent tragedy in Mindanao-Dumaguete-Iligan-CDO sendong aftermath, I believe the core concept and title of this article can be relatable to what happened and hopefully people will get inspired by it. :D The activity that I participated in was about Cebu's initiative and interest in the PILIPINAS NATIN initiative as well as engaging in the recovery and restoration of our environment through the activities that shall be mentioned in the article. It is about 'The gift of Volunteerism this holiday season.' Please see the full article quoted below:
CEBU, Philippines - Students from USC, USJR, UP, CTU and a few yuppies participated in the recent multi-location outreach for the “Pilipinas Natin” initiative in Cebu last November 30, 2011. Most youth, or even adults for that matter, would look forward to a holiday as a Free Day, Rest Day, Laag Day, and look forward to receiving gifts. For those experiencing poverty, it’s a different story. But for a group of young people, it is better spent as they would rather dedicate time and energy to serve others in the community.
The event was spearheaded and participated by youth from varied organizations, having found the initiative of “Pilipinas Natin” as a good venue for attracting youth to do community work. On that one day, the groups initiated outreach programs in different places in Cebu such as: Barangay Alaska, Mambaling; Barangay Suba, Pasil, and Lorega.
The groups tackled different activities in the area such as Street Cleaning, Waste Management briefing, River and Coastal Clean Ups. Here are some of what the volunteers had to say:
“We volunteered because were really interested with how problems of garbage disposal are dealt with especially in the coastal areas like the one in Pasil and we’d like to become part of finding solutions. When we arrived at the area, I realized that we do not only need the cooperation of the residents but also educational engagements with them and of the Local Government Units in the area. Perhaps we are looking to do something that’s simple yet sustainable.” — Clarissa Beth Degamo, Chairperson of Union of Progressive Students, University of the Philippines-Cebu
“I just felt there is this urgent call that needs to be answered, the call for change. As one of the young people of today, I believe in my capacity to instill change in our nation. I have gone to various places already and I have seen how badly our surroundings need rejuvenation. I had the time and energy to do the clean up, so I decided to join and even invited my friends and schoolmates. It was a unique experience because it was really a dirty place and it was so challenging. Nevertheless, even though I got dirty and stinky, I definitely learned a lot in the process. ” — Camille Anne Garcia, USC-Management Accounting Student
Bawat Pilipino ay ang solusyon! Bawat Pilipino kasama sa pagbabago!And this will start from every Filipino’s pledge of taking accountability to our country, thus, Pilipinas Natin. Most of the citizens feel they have done their part by contributing their personal time and efforts in electing the President. They now sit in the sidelines and watch. In order to effect change, we need to keep them involved. We need to make them understand that winning the Presidency is just the first step. We have a long way to go and we need solidarity in our quest for change.
As a flagship campaign of the PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office) Office for Special Concerns, Pilipinas Natin shall fulfill its mandate – to connect government with the people – by forming a volunteerism movement that will harness the Filipino’s potential for greatness. In partnership with the government and different stakeholders, Pilipinas Natin shall create an enabling environment for people to care, share and support one another in order to build healthy, humane and nurturing communities that embody our aspiration for an empowered nation.
The Gift of Volunteerism
There was nothing really to be gained from such an activity aside from the community benefiting from it; in fact, it was more of giving something away which was simply time and energy. To some, it was time away from work, family, and friends in order to do community work. Though some of the adults in the areas mentioned were a bit negative and would even lecture you on how different the past was from the present, the surprising thing was that small children (around the ages 8-11) who were in the area, just became curious and helped the “cleaners” clean up the place without asking why it was being done. That bayanihan act surprised and empowered the cleaners even more and one blurted out, “..there is still hope for this country.”
Perhaps, people power is in the ability of the Filipinos to work together for the common good. Government and citizens must work side by side to genuinely pursue change and development. They must be each other’s partner in nation building.
You may get knocked down, but all you can do is get back up. You may be surrounded with discouragement, but you can’t give up. And although the impact of such actions may not necessarily immediately bear fruit, we were happy to plant the seeds of this country’s future in those children who helped us.
All it takes is one person really: one tree can start a forest. One smile begins a friendship. One star can guide a ship at sea. One vote can change a nation. One act can save a life. One step starts each journey. One word starts each prayer. One hope will raise our spirits. One touch can show one cares. One’s presence can overcome fear. One can make a difference. That one moment is all it takes. So don’t get tired of doing what is right and true, even if you’re alone. Don’t let your voice of hope and optimism get drowned by the grumbling of others.
You see, its up to YOU! You maybe just one, but you can be ONE BIG BLESSING not just these holiday season but everyday! (FREEMAN)
You can check out the Full Digital Article of Freeman-Philstar HERE