It is not usual to find Makati Rotarians at the far side of town, such as at the University of the Philippines Oval in Diliman, Quezon City, but there they were, in the middle of the expansive field, at mid-afternoon on August 26—Pres. Peter & Pam Manzano, PP David & RCMBD CP Mache Ackerman and nine others. It must have been something special, a pretty important event.
It was, actually. It was the launch of “Light It Forward,” a project that aims to light up the world where it is dark, where electricity has yet to change lives and lifestyles with the convenience it brings. CP Mache’s club, our daughter club RCMakati Business District, is spearheading the project.
It is almost unbelievable that in this day and age, dominated by technological advances that boggle the mind, there are still places that live in darkness. Imagine 94 million people in the world have no access to electricity. And 16 million of them are on our own shores, our kababayan.
The mission of “Light it Forward” is to provide lamps to communities to whom darkness is a fact of life. The primary beneficiary is the Usbong Katutubo Aeta Community in Porac, Pampanga, which was the recipient of a package of humanitarian services delivered by a group of Rotary Clubs from District 3830 during the term of PDG Al Montecillo in 2018-2019.
With support from Rotary club and corporate sponsors, the project shall provide solar lamps to light up the homes of Aeta families as well as common areas such as streets. That solar lamps are being used is significant as it shows the proponents’ grasp of the need to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It is a take-off from “Liter of Light,” a brainchild of Illac Diaz, also of RCMBD.
At the launch, solar lamps shall be used to form drone shots that carry messages of hope and images of the Rotary wheel and the Philippine flag as part of a public image campaign in support of front-liners in the fight against the pandemic and of those who have succumbed to COVID-19. The lamps would then be collected for distribution to unlit communities.
RC Makati has signed on as a sponsor, with a donation of 80 lamps valued at P130K. Other levels of support for Rotary Clubs are P65K/40 lamps for host clubs, P8K/5 lamps for co-hosts, and P1,600/1 lamp for an advocate.
The other clubs/organizations that have signed up are RC Makati Nielsen, partner; RC Makati Premier District and RC Bonifacio Global City, co-hosts; and Happy Heart Foundation, Triumphus, Kyani Caring Hands, Rotaract, Interact, Walk the Talk, UNESCO and UP, partner organizations.
Also in attendance were CP Carol Mercado and IPP Kate Bellosillo of RCM Premier District, Illac Diaz, Mica Torres-Cruz, Lesley Geronimo, and Rio Ciocon of RCMBD, Daniela Torres-Cruz of RAC RCMBD, and Bert Madrigal and Kiko Diaz of the UP College of Human Kinetics.