The practice of staging entertainment numbers with an all-RC Makati cast on special occasions has become a cherished tradition in RC Makati. There have been many memorable shows, each a perfect showcase of the talents of club members and the Anns. But for the senior members who have been around in the past 30 years, one show stands out, indelibly etched in the mind despite memory that fades and fails: Channel Rotary.
Channel Rotary was not just a song-and-dance number in an induction ball or charter anniversary program. It was a variety show of songs, dances, skits, and novelty numbers conceived by Gigi Zulueta and woven into a seamless production under the direction of TV executive Freddie Garcia. Two things made the project remarkable: one, the cast’s cheerfulness at rehearsals, which turned into occasions for fellowship (that bred enduring friendships); and two, the willingness of Rotarians—top company executives, leading practitioners of the professions, members of the diplomatic corps, top officers of finance institutions—to do things they had never done before and to have fun from making fun of themselves. This they did for one lofty cause: to raise enough money to extend the life of the Makati Research & Development Center special school, then in dire need of operational funds, for at least a few more years.
It was during Pres. Cesar Campos’ term that the connection with Direct Relief International (DRI) took root, allowing the Club to make arrangements for the shipping from the United States of medical supplies and medicines for the Club’s first anti-TB project. Funded by a matching grant of USD80,000 from The Rotary Foundation, the first major TRF matching grant received by the Club, the project treated TB patients among families relocated from slums in Manila to new communities in Dasmarinas and Carmona in Cavite.
With the TRF matching grant approved, implementation was set for the following year, with Cesar Campos, by then IPP, named project chair. It was implemented in partnership with the Social Welfare department and Akapka Foundation, both headed by Sec. Mita Pardo de Tavera, who started the directly observed therapy-short course, a treatment strategy that ensures that a TB patient takes the medicine without fail for the prescribed period.
The observation that traffic in the Makati Central Business District (MCBD) was starting to get knotty spurred the Club to think up and launch a traffic management scheme to correct the situation before it turned bad. It thus banded with the Makati City government, Ayala Corporation, and the Bus & Jeepney Drivers’ Association for the Blue Zone Traffic Management Project aimed at easing vehicular flow along the main streets of the district.
With the groundwork laid for the formalization of sister-clubs relations by PP Nick Katigbak’s visit to Japan a couple of years earlier, Pres. Cesar signed a sister-club pact with RC Osaka-Shirokita. A second sister-club agreement with RC Kebayoran of Indonesia was signed as well. Still along the international service line was the initiation of a special exchange project that called for RC Makati families to host the children of Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Peninsula-Hong Kong who came to Manila on a cultural visit.