At the Rotary Club of Quezon City, we take pride in our colorful and fruitful history of bringing service to the people. Helping is one thing that gives us joy and fuels our brotherhood and organization in general. Let us draw inspiration from the past victories, and may our success fire our hearts more in doing splendid and excellent campaigns in the future.
Here’s a summary of RCQC Presidents and their contributions from 1990-2010.
1990-1991: Greg Greg R. Timbol II, President
The start of the decade of the ’90s was earth-shaking, literally speaking.
Only on the second month of his term, President Greg Timbol (RY 1990-1991) had a baptism of fire when he made an on-the-spot site visit to Dagupan City in Central Luzon which was devastated by a “Killer Earthquake.” Hardest hit was the commercial section. Almost all buildings, big or small, sank below street level, some as much as two meters. Buildings were leaning in all directions, the concrete sidewalk pavements all broken up. Being an architect by profession, President Greg saw that it was an almost impossible task to rebuild and rehabilitate on the same soil foundation. Another earthquake of the same intensity would repeat a similar devastation. At this point. All President Greg could do was to give two donation checks from the Rotary Club of Quezon City to help the earthquake victims.
The Club participated in the beautification of the Quezon Memorial Circle, part of the Quezon Day Celebration, which is a yearly activity of the RCQC. The Club planted 12 Dona Aurora plants as requested by Ms Charito Planas, the civic-minded and indefatigable person in charge of the maintenance and beautification of Quezon Memorial Park. The plant was named after Dona Aurora, the late wife of President Manuel L. Quezon.
1991-1992: Luis Louie Q.U. Uranza, Jr., President
It seemed that when RY 1991-1992 rolled in, President Louie Uranza prefixed his major projects with the word Ampon (Adopt in English). The target of their Ampon Bata (Adopt a Child) was the age group 0-4 infants and children. Instead of the original concept of donations and feeding subsidies, the approach was shifted to self-help. In short, the head of the family was given a plastic water bucket with the marking “ROTARY CLUB OF QUEZON CITY AMPON BATA CAR WASH MAN” and other carwash paraphernalia. This enabled the head of the family to employ himself as a car wash man in the parking areas of restaurants in RCQC’s territory. Arrangements were also made for clean leftover food from the restaurants to be given to the “wash-your-car” men to take home. If the head of the family was female, she could get work from the families in the neighborhood as a washer woman. Eventually, the 0-4 age group was expanded to 5-10 to accommodate malnourished school age children.
1992-1993: Estanislao Boy P. Valencia, Jr.
The “Killer Earthquake” was followed by another major disaster – the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales Province on June 9, 1991 (still during President Louie’s term) and continued on until the term of President Boy Valencia, Jr. (RY 1992-1993). Thought to be a harmless sleeping giant, since the last time it erupted was over 450 years ago, many had forgotten that Mt. Pinatubo was actually an active volcano. Rudely awakened, its initial salvo was violent. Ash fell in places as far away as Palawan, Bicol, Iloilo in Southern Luzon. The ash cloud drifted westward across the South China Sea, reached Cambodia in two days and returned to the Philippines on July 8. The volcanic ash floating in space blocked the sunlight which made the weather cooler all over the world. Immediately, the Laharland Brotherhood Mission Committee was organized by the Rotary Club of Quezon City to undertake a comprehensive program to aid the victims of lahar in Central Luzon. The scope of aid contemplated by the Brotherhood Mission can be gleaned from its starting membership: Greg Timbol, Committee Chairman (architect-consultant); Gordon Go, Vice-Chairman (architect-builder); Fritz Mueller (food specialist); Seong Razon (heavy equipmentconsultant); Romy Dy (manpower consultant); and President Boy Valencia.
1996-1997: Mariano Mar R. Santiago
The “Traffic Safety and Children’s Park” project was conceived during the term of President Mar Santiago (RY1996-1997). The objectives were multifold: To educate, instill discipline and promote the health of the children as a major player in the environment. Another aspect of this project, a “Children’s Center,” was meant to provide medical and dental treatment for elementary and high school students, together with street children. This will be complemented by a feeding program to promote health and proper nutrition. Funding support would come from commercial establishments, individual Rotarians and other clubs. Since full implementation of this ambitious undertaking was projected over a three-year period, the RCQC Board agreed to make this “Children’s Park” one of the signature projects of RCQC.
1997-1998: Romeo Romy J. Jorge, President
On this encouraging note, RY 1997-1998 rolled in, and with incoming President Romy Jorge’s propensity for numbers, instead of a club theme, he opted to set a club goal: “PLUS 48 in ’98.” He set his sights on 48 new members by 1998. He believed that this was one big step towards the Club target for year 2000: 200 members. “200 by 2000”? Tall order. But anything is possible in the world of Rotary.
Because of the escalating drug problem, the Rotary Club of Quezon City committed to take on a “Drug Abuse Prevention Program” as its flagship project for RY 1997-1998. For starters, a series of Training Seminars on Drug Abuse Prevention were organized for the Training of Trainors. The course was aimed at developing a new breed of youth leaders who will lead the way and show other young people how they can enjoy life and fulfill their dreams without resorting to drugs.
1998-1999: Luis Louie C. Montes, Jr., President
The following year, RY 1998-1999, during the term of President Luis Louie Montes, Jr., the grouping system for the Club’s programming format was adopted. The general membership was divided into 12 groups. Ten members were assigned to each group. Each group took charge of the four weekly meetings for the designated month and was responsible for inviting the guest speakers. To put more teeth in the new system, President Louie also set up a special “Committee on Guest Speakers,” chaired by PP Estanislao Boy Valencia, Jr. This is an additional assurance that the Club would get good and exciting guest speakers for the weekly meetings.
The respective group leaders assigned for the 12 groups were enjoined to identify possible guest speakers for the weekly programs. The Chairman of the Committee on Guest Speakers was tasked to approve the designated guest speaker. President Louie’s Club theme for RY 1998-1999: Dreams Come True For Those Who Do. Quite poetic, at the same time challenging.
2000-2001: Leopoldo Polding Malabanan, President
President Leopoldo Polding Malabanan (RY 2000-2001) will be remembered as the first president to state the Club Theme for his year in Pilipino. Natatanaw, Nadarama, Nilulutas ang Problema (English translation “Seeing, Feeling, Solving the Problem). More descriptive and more eloquent stated in Filipino, but it took a little time to get used to it. He was also the first president to use Pilipino in writing his weekly President’s Message column in Quezoniana, the Club Bulletin.
To him is credited this quote to remember and live by:
“For life to be meaningful, add a little sacrifice, subtract anger and hatred, multiply friends and divide love for everyone to share.”
2001-2002: Leovillo Vill C. Agustin, President
President Leovillo Vill Agustin (RY2001-2002) will be remembered as the president who revitalized the Rotary Club of Quezon City. His projects were meaty and relevant. Not wanting to waste valuable time, he was a busy president from Day One of his incumbency. In line with the RI Theme “Mankind Is Our Business,” his Club Theme for this Rotary Year was “Soar High In Service.” He started by launching his ambitious but attainable signature project which he called “Tri-Eagle Star Humanity Helping Hand.” Tri, because the project addressed three important continuing human needs: Medical, Dental and Legal.
2002-2003: Alfredo Alfred Guerrero, President
Right from the start of his term, President Alfredo Alfred Guerrero (RY 2002-2003) stated his standard for performance and what he expected from everyone, particularly those in positions of leadership: “Leadership by example is crucial to a successful management.” This was his guiding philosophy in the performance of his duties, especially in his choice of the two principal projects that made their debut during his incumbency–The Heart of Mary Villa (an orphanage) and the Skills Training Seminar of Construction Workers.
President Alfred spearheaded the support for the Heart of Mary Foundation in Malabon which is concerned with the caring for unwed mothers and their offspring, as well as abused women. The Foundation supports the orphanage and the feeding of its wards; provides training for possible future marriage and/or employment; prepares children for adoption; provides free dental examination; and familiarizes the wards of their legal rights/obligations. The thrust of the Club’s support is for the improvement of life and well-being of the target beneficiaries.
2003-2004: George Georgie Boy S. Briones, President
President George Georgie Boy S. Briones (RY 2003-2004), 44th president of the Rotary Club of Quezon City, dared to be different. He brought his team to the Supreme Court where they took their Oath of Office before Justice Antonio T. Carpio on July 17, 2003. There could be no more solemn place for a person to take his Oath of Office than the Supreme Court of the Philippines. Where the solemn vow of each officer and director took on more depth, more meaning and a deeper commitment to fulfill to the best of his ability all the duties and responsibilities of his office.
The choice was Justice Antonio Carpio because the qualities that he possesses as one of the young (at 53 years old) leaders of the country mirror the ideal Rotarian. He has always been known as a “seeker of what is right, the truth and what is fair and just.”
2004-2005: Benjamin Ben G. Jacinto
Significant efforts and resources were devoted to the RCQC flagship project, “Save the Future Vision: Prevention of Childhood Blindness,” which was actually initiated in April 2000 during the term of President Nonoy Braga (RY 1999-2000). This year, President Benjamin Ben BJ Jacinto and his team went all out to continue this worthwhile project, in an attempt to help curb the alarming statistics in blindness (45 million blind people throughout the world and 135 million with low vision.) But the encouraging news is 50% of blindness on earth is preventable.
To make the project a going concern, financial assistance was gladly and gratefully accepted from sister club, The Rotary Club of Bad Ragas. Switzerland; from PDG Melito Bimbo Salazar, Jr. and his club, the Rotary Club of Diliman; and from the QC Rotarians themselves.
2005-2006: Porfirio Popoy M. Flores, President
The Literacy Month of July 2005 greeted the newly installed President Porfirio Popoy M. Flores (RY 2005-2006). Being one of Rotary International’s thrusts for the year (Literacy and education; water; health and hunger; Polio-Plus; Rotary public image; Women in Rotary; and Family of Rotary) a grand to-do was organized at the close of the Literacy Month. The Club was happy to join the three-hour motorcade along the major thoroughfares of Quezon City. The objective of this event, spearheaded by District Governor Benjie Bacorro, was to drum up public awareness of the District’s “Sulong Dunong (Promote Literacy) Project.” Most of the Rotary clubs in the District participated in this activity.
2006-2007: Alfredo Fred G. Maghari
When President Alfredo Fred G. Maghari, Jr. (RY 2006-2007) took over the stewardship of the Rotary Club of Quezon City from IPP Popoy Flores, the position was not new to him. In RY 1993-1994, during the term of President Arsenio AD Narciso, he took over as Acting President for about four months when President AD was hospitalized. It was a valuable learning experience for him, a trial run that prepared him for his own presidency.
In line and in support of the RI Theme for this year “Lead The Way,” President Fred adopted the Club Theme “Lead To Serve.” Then RI President William Bill Boyd “espoused the building of strong Rotary Clubs to “Lead The Way.” According to him, “without strong clubs, no amount of recruitment and retention efforts will help Rotary grow. With strong clubs, Rotary will flourish and provide another 100 years of service to humanity.”
2007-2008: Dante Dante V. Liban, President
President Dante Liban (RY 2007-2008) brought his team for oath-taking to Malacañang, the official residence of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. No less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administered the oath of office to the officers and directors of this Rotary Year.
The Rotary Club of Quezon City had gone during Pres. George Briones’ term for this special ceremony to the Supreme Court, to the office of Justice Antonio Carpio, and to Malacañang. Whither thou goest next? To the office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or to the White House? With Rotary, nothing is impossible!
Inspired by RI Theme “Share Rotary,” the Club Theme adopted for this Rotary Year was fittingly “Sharing Rotary for 47 years and Onwards.” It also served as a reminder for the RCQC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2010.
2008-2009: Dwight Dwight M. Ramos, President
President Dwight Dwight M. Ramos (RY2008-2009) took over the presidency of the Rotary Club of Quezon City amid some momentous world events: A worldwide economic crisis that hit the hardest the developed nations; the inauguration of the first black US President Barack Obama; the untimely demise of modern day King of Pop Music, Michael Jackson; the dramatic win of Manny Pacman Paquiao in a lopsided fight with Ricky Hatton to the delight of the boxing world. All on top of the excitement starting to build up with the 50th Anniversary of the Rotary Club of Quezon City barely two years away.
In line with the RI Theme for the year “Make Dreams Real” RI President Dong Kurn Lee from Seoul, Korea, called on Rotarians worldwide to use the knowledge acquired in recent years working with water, health and hunger, and literacy to do the best that they can to reduce the rate of child mortality and improve the lives of children. He then led the Rotary Presidents to focus on developing projects that made sure children had clean water, improved overall health and the opportunity to go to school.
2009-2010: Ricardo Ricky de Guzman, President
It is a heavy burden, enormous responsibility and singular honor for President Ricardo Ricky de Guzman (RY2009-2010) to be at the helm of the Rotary Club of Quezon City as it turns 50 this April. This momentous occasion happens only once in a lifetime, and the gods must have conspired to put President Ricky in the right position at the right time. This is his golden opportunity to showcase his talents and capabilities, particularly his ability to lead through this important turning point in the history of the Rotary Club of Quezon City.
Triple-headed challenges face President Ricky at this time. He has to plan, execute, and assure the successful fruition of the 50th Anniversary celebration. He still has a Club to run for the next 365 days. And he has to raise funds to get all these activities or projects going.
But first things first. He released his first policy statement at the start of his term – “I will be very transparent in accounting the Club funds.” He was the second president, the first being President George Briones (RY 2003-2004), to put “fiscal discipline” in action primarily by being a “hands-on” president. He also combined “work with play, service with fellowship.” It was his Rotary version of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”