Rafael “Paing” Hechanova

About Rafael “Paing” Hechanova

Term: 1972-1973

The three-level Makati Rotary Foundation Arcade rose from a blueprint designed, pro bono, by Paing Hechanova, who had put in his share of the team effort by donating his services as building architect. Completed in record time, the arcade flung open its doors in 1973 when the architect served as club president, a case of perfect timing.

Per design, the ground floor was occupied by retail establishments, including a fast-food store and a jewelry shop, the second level was rented out to shops and offices, while the top floor was home to a dance studio and a multi-tasking secretariat that handled the affairs of the club, foundation and arcade.

The inauguration of the building ushered in a period of plenty that put the Club in an excellent position to set off its mission of service with renewed vigor, secure in the certainty of the resources it needs to see its every plan through.

Pres. Paing’s term was host to a number of significant projects.

The current nutrition project that provides supplemental feeding to undernourished children are, finds its roots in the mothercraft project, which provided free meals to undernourished children in the various barrios of Makati. Initiated by member Dr. Mike Celdran and pushed through by President Paing during his term, the project included mothers’ classes that had women attend demonstrations on the planning and preparation of inexpensive but nutritious dishes and talks on such topics as nutrition, child spacing, responsible parenthood, and basic health care, among others.

His advocacy of Rotary’s Four Way Test led Pres. Paing to organize a nationwide essay writing contest on The Test that hit two birds with the same stone—animated the usually boring Four Way Test Committee and sprung it to action and led the youth and their elders to a better understanding and appreciation of the Four Way Test and its four-pronged message.

To promote healthy employer-employee relations and give due recognition to a group of unsung heroes in the workplace, the Club organized a Secretary’s Day at which members’ secretaries occupied center stage as guests of honor. With a mind to get the Club to pitch its share in Rotary’s campaign for growth through extension, Pres. Paing worked for the establishment of the Rotary Club of Makati North, the Club’s second daughter in seven years, which still exists today after 44 years.

And to cap a year of achievement, he presided over the formal launch of the National Awards for Community Service (NACS), the recognition program that had been conceptualized and prepared for in the previous two years and which has moved outstanding provincial community service projects to national prominence. Since then, through the years, the Rotary Club of Makati has been giving due recognition and given awards to individuals and institutions that enhanced various communities in the nation thus elevating its reputation to national cognizance. The program is enjoying another run under the personal supervision of its architect as part of the celebration of the Club’s 50th anniversary year.