Events, Outreach

7th Trek ‘N Treat

ROTA Philippines Incorporated
 in collaboration with ATTACK CDO – All Terrain Trekkers and Cross-Country Klub invites you to its 7th Trek n’ Treat on April 2, 2016 held at Mintugsok water falls.

Trek and Treat is a fund-raising project through trekking activities for kids who may need treatment through surgery and for medical bills that may arise after.

This fund raising event will be for the benefit of “Baby Gio Paolo” who is in dire need of financial assistance to complete the 4 million medical expenses for a liver transplant which will be done in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaoshung, Taiwan.

Baby Gio Paolo Peralta is suffering from Biliary Atresia as diagnosed by the attending physician Dr. Jesamine Sareno of Maria Reyna Xavier University Hospital. Biliary atresia is a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that occurs in infants. To extend Baby Gio Paolo’s life, he needs a liver transplant. According to the parents, this is a rare case in the Philippines. At first, no doctors will accept Gio’s case since there is not much established liver transplant program in the country for pedia.

We will be collecting Php 100.00 as registration fee. Other than to register, we also encourage everyone to donate in any amount. You may also contact the parents of Baby Gio Paolo for your donations thru this number: 09063222122 – Ruby Peralta.

Ø Starts by 7AM at Lumboy, Indahag, Covered Court
Ø IDs will be distributed upon registration

07:00 – Assembly at Indahag Bound multi-cab alley – fronting Kevin Enterprise
(Fare from Cogon to Indahag is Php 11.00)
08:00 – ETA to Lumboy Covered Court
Registration of the participants
Opening Ceremony
09:00AM – Start trek
11:00AM – ETA to Mintugsok Falls
12:00NN – Lunch
13:00PM – ETD from Mintugsok Falls
15:00PM – ETA to Lumboy Covered Court
Closing Ceremony


 ROUTE: Approximately 5.74KM

07:00 – Assembly at Lumboy Covered Court
08:00 – Registration of the participants
Opening Ceremony
09:00AM – Start Bike
11:00AM – ETA to Lumboy Covered Court
Closing Ceremony

(To be posted: route map for bike)

Gears (comfortable outfit under the heat of the sun – ready for river crossing)
o Dri-Fit shirt, Arm warmers or protectors
o Trek pants/Leggings
o Trek pole (Optional)
o Cap/Headgear/Umbrella/Sunblock lotion
o Wear trek shoes or any comfy sandals secured with velcro/lock. Slippers may only be used at river crossings since it is unsafe for trekking.
o Extra dry clothesfor changing after the event

Food and Hydration
o 1-2 Liters of water/Gatorade (optional)
o Packed lunch (should be inside a reusable container)
o Trail foods

Water proofing
o Place dry clothes, phones and other gadgets inside a secured plastic bag/dry bag

* Always follow instructions from you respective marshals
* Subject to change without prior notice.


Dece Grace L. Labis
Project Manager for Assistance
| 09161715551 |

Drexyl William A. Vacalares
ROTA Exec. Director
| 09055722803 |


Gio’s Journey – Biliary Atresia


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Blog, Events, Hiking, Mountains, Outreach, Socials

Conquering Two Schools and a Mountain


Taking a step forward, the group, embarks on another challenge – a simultaneous outreach activity covering two elementary schools in the municipality of Alubijid, Misamis Oriental at the same time as support to its education based advocacy. Conquer Mt. Salumayagon and participate in the mountain’s reforestation through a tree growing activity. A jam-packed 2-day activity for the volunteers, indeed!

Sungay Elementary School Profile
Total number of enrolled students: 337
Total number of classrooms: 9
Total number of teachers: 8

Tula Elementary School Profile
Total number of enrolled students: 159
Total number of classrooms: 4
Total number of teachers: 4

Unusual Departure


At 7:00 AM PhST, a convoy of two trucks through the generosity of the Provincial and Local government of Misamis Oriental were arranged to cater a huge number of volunteers compared to the usual man count, the group needed another means of transportation to accommodate not only the volunteers but also the proportionally increased number of goods to be donated, a sign that the organization is growing in number and in reaching further.


Arrival at Alubijid Municipal Hall

The group safely arrived at the Alubijid Municipal Hall. Covering two schools at the same time, the game plan was to divide the group into Team Sungay and Team Tula for Sungay and Tula Elementary school respectively. Taking advantage of the two sponsored vehicles, the goods as well as the volunteers were segregated accordingly as there were initial assignments cascaded prior the event. During the bumpy and dusty truck rides, the volunteers had a quick huddle to ensure that all were calibrated on the flow of the activity.

Program and Outreach Proper


Since we already communicated with the contact persons for each school, they were well prepared for the activity that ROTA has set for them. Upon arrival, the children greeted us with their fresh morning smiles and with obvious excitement in their eyes.

The teachers of the school prepared an initial program that ROTA would only need to supplement. The Barangay officials have placed the agreed set-up for the Tippy Tappy hand-washing project made of wood sticks. Also, cauldron and firewood were ready upon our arrival. We were really impressed with the preparation done by the school teachers and the community.


While the volunteers assigned to the Kitchen Committee were busy preparing the food for the students, the Kids Committee started the distribution of school kits and entertained the students with the following activities:

• Story Telling for all grade levels
• Paper folding (Origami) for Grade 3 to Grade 6
• Drawing and Coloring artworks for Kinder to Grade 2

Tippy Tappy Time!

HTTP is the newest addition to the goods and activities that ROTA is providing. HTTP in ROTA terms means “Handwashing Tippy Tappy Project”. This project aims to increase awareness of proper hand washing and educate the kids and the community about the health benefits that they can achieve with proper hand washing. The HTTP is done by using a plastic container, a rope, a stick and soap. Its set up is designed to make sure that the person keeps a sterile hand while and after washing their hands.

After the activities mentioned above, the students then queued to the HTTP setup to practice the proper hand washing procedure as instructed by the Kids Committee. This is to ensure that their hands are clean prior to eating.

A FULLfilling Day Indeed


We are very thankful that we have found a sponsor for our feeding activity. Due to limited resources, we are often left to provide sandwiches with minimal nutritional value for their snacks. With 496 students from two schools, it is one of the largest numbers we have served so far.


Luckily, we came across MASSA Feeding Program, NU Skin Enterprises Philippines, Inc, through a fellow volunteer. MASSA provided us with Vitameal and we used this as the main menu of our feeding project.


We added sweet potatoes, tapioca pearls, banana and milk to the vitameal to make it taste like the Filipino famous snack, “binignit”. The children enjoyed the vitameals so much they kept coming back for additional servings.


Pineapple juice was also served as donated by friends from Del Monte Philippines Incorpoated.

Turn Over of Goods (Medicines and First Aide Box)

After the feeding project, we then gathered the students and the parents in the open area of schools. Closing remarks were given by the school principal for Sungay ES and the contact teacher for Tula ES. It was also at this point that we turned over the medicine and first aid boxes to the school officials. The medicines came from the Governor’s office, which were turned over to the Barangay health worker representatives and the Barangay officials.


The First Aid boxes came from generous people of RDO 98 BIR CDO City which were then mounted in one of the classrooms. The resident nurse made sure to explain to the school officials what each medicine is for and what each medical supply/utensils in the first aid box are for.

Closing Remarks and Pictorials


The head teacher in behalf of the whole school thanked ROTA for the outreach activity hoping that ROTA will continue to conduct such activities for the kids.


The day would not end without memories for keeps for the said activity. With the kids holding on to their school kits and wearing genuine smiles, the volunteers who still have a power bank of energy for crazy and fun antics, enjoyed a few moments of fun during the shoot. Surely, all who participated during the activity were happy and have a great story to tell.

Climb and Tree Growing Activity

After the outreach proper, the Sungay volunteers then headed to Tula ES where the other volunteers were waiting. We consumed our packed lunch and prepped for the climb proper. Finally, we started our ascent to Mt Salumayagon around 2:00 in the afternoon carrying our own mahogany seedlings that are to be planted the next day.

The renowned beginner’s trail of Mt Salumayagon disappointed some of the volunteers as it was made even harder by the heavy rain that greeted us on our way to the peak. Facing these challenges, some volunteers suffered injuries due to cramps and slips through the wet trail. Nevertheless, these didn’t stop the group from pursuing the peak and be ready for the scheduled tree growing activity the next day.

Tree Growing has been the new term of the former puffed up term tree planting. It is now named “tree growing” as it demands another process, not just the act of planting the seedlings. We planted the seedlings that we brought from the foot of Mt. Salumayagon. Following the tree growing activity process, ROTA will then set a time period before we will come back and nurture the seedlings that we planted.

Reaching New Heights

For nearly four years since it’s established, we have seen the growth and development of the organization. Not just in numbers, but also in how we operate, approach and in services provided to the communities we visit.

ROTA volunteers featuring Malaswang

The HTTP and feeding is a testament that ROTA is expanding its reach and raising the bar. We cannot do this without the support of individuals and companies who believe in our advocacy and ideals.

We look forward in celebrating new peaks and sharing more precious moments in the years to come.

Sungay E/S Photos →

Tula E/S Photos →

Fun climb & Tree growing Photos →


Blog, Events, Hiking, Outreach, Stories

A Walk to Inspire

A bit delayed


While waiting for the vehicle that will transport the group to Alubijid, they were joyously gathered at the old Park cafe at Divisoria. The gloomy weather had contributed a lot in their mood and everybody enjoyed chit chatting with their fellow volunteers whom most of them can only be seen in ROTA activities. A few minutes later, they finally noticed that it was already pass the scheduled time to depart from CDeO. However, they never felt any anxiousness because of the good company that they provide for each other. A few minutes more, Sir Tristan Ares from the LGU of Alubijid arrived and went to fetch the goods that we will give to the school. The jeepney then followed and they all headed to Alubijid Municipal Hall to meet the other volunteers.


Gloom some more

While the group was heading to Sitio Taparak where the jump off site is located, the weather seemed to be really in favor for the activity of the group. Its gloominess had gloomed some more creating an obviously motivating atmosphere for everyone. Upon arriving at the jump off site, the group was quick to unload the goods and their personal stuff to get ready for the trek.

Just like every trek of the group, the journey always starts with a prayer and asks for protection and guidance. After that was a quick orientation done by the committees and then the group headed to Lonsi Elementary School. They made it to the school in no less than an hour of walk.


Lonsi Elementary School Profile
Total number of enrolled students: 88
Total number of classrooms: 5

When the volunteers were caught off guard


The volunteers were not ready for the warm welcome that the School has prepared for them. They were just so surprised when they were greeted by the school in-charge with a copy of a program flow with the picture of ROTA volunteers. Not only that, soon they learned that the nicely built back draft of their mini stage was made by the teachers and parents who stayed late the night before the outreach just to surprise the group. They also prepared some dance numbers that made the volunteers dance as well.


They thought it was all that the teachers have prepared but they were once again surprised, this time even more, since they were asked to do an impromptu dance number for the students. The volunteers happily accepted the challenge and just danced their hearts out through the beat of the music.


It’s their turn


When all of the surprises were done through the prepared program flow of the teachers, it was then the turn for the volunteers to return the surprise to the teachers, students and their parents. The volunteers just continued the program and started working. The Parent committee gathered the parents and had a discussion about the rights and had an interactive discussion about the rights and responsibilities of a child. While doing this, the kids committee was busy doing fun-filled games to the kids.


The volunteers happily participated in every game while waiting for the kitchen committe to finish cooking the “Binignit” using the very nutritious Vitameal from MASSA Feeding Program, NU Skin Philippines Enterprises through Sir Rolando Delfin. When the kitchen committee signaled that the food is ready for serving, the kids were instructed to line up at the HTTP sites for them to be taught on how to properly wash their hands before eating.


Shoes + Pencil


While everyone was eating, the group sneakily prepared the shoes to be given away. They placed it near the stage since the measurements will be done there. Afterwards the program continued and the student piled near the stage with noticeable excitement in their eyes knowing that not soon enough, they will receive new pair of shoes.

When a student finally gets his turn to fit for his size of shoes, he’s also given two pencils  from Climb Against Cancer Pilipinas, that he can use in school.

Closing Remarks and Pictorials

The head teacher in behalf of the whole school thanked ROTA for the outreach activity hoping that ROTA will continue to conduct such activities for the kids. They greatly appreciated the group’s effort from production of the goods to the mere transporting of the goods from their origin to their school.


The group also planned to make a video from the outreach activity that they have done. A part of this video was to interview random people who participated in the event.


Many had informal answers yet relevant. One person said she was moved by the group’s advocacy. Another said she was inspired to give back so that the kids may see its value and soon also give back in their own little ways. One said that the children’s effort in going to school no matter the distance draws her inspiration in joining outreach activities. And the count of stories goes on…


These kinds of stories may be informal and said quietly, yet it is the most sensitive of all. Perhaps these are the kind of stories that made each member of the group decide to join outreach activities. Simple yet inspiring.

More photos →

Blog, Events, Outreach

Leaving footprints


Life is too short to be serious all the time: The assembly time for Leaving Footprints event was 5 in the morning at downtown Divisoria fronting Dunkin Donuts and the departure time was at 6:00AM. As time ticks the volunteers arrived one by one. Committees were ready to do their assigned tasks and to meet and greet the volunteers especially the new faces, giving them a warm welcome to the group. Some of the volunteers were still taking their breakfast at different fast food chains and buying their own food provisions for the day. Though there was a problem which arose regarding the vehicle assistance from the City Engineering Office through the City Hall Office when there quested transportation didn’t come. Everyone patiently waited for more than 3 hours as the assigned transportation committee looked for back-up vehicles to transport the volunteers and the cargoes to Mambuaya Elementary School. Despite of the delays, each and every one was savoring every moment, making group selfies and sharing their experiences from the previous days and as usual making fun of each and everyone including the new ones.


Trials are not a reason to give up: After 3 hours of waiting for the back-up transportation to fetch them, the volunteers were finally picked up by 2 hired public utility vehicles / jeepneys, which transported them to Mambuaya Elementary School. Along the way, one of the jeepneys got a flat tire in a provincial road along barangay Lumbia. The volunteers experienced a temporary setback which further delayed the event for a few minutes. However, the volunteers did not see it as a hindrance as they were well aware that kids in Mambuaya Elementary School were patiently waiting for the arrival of ROTA-Philippines. Indeed trial is not a reason to give up but a challenge to improve.

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. ~WilliamArthurWard

Though the volunteers arrived late based on ROTA’s itinerary, the volunteers were still welcomed with charming smiles from the kids of Mambuaya Elementary School. Meet and greet was held first and foremost before the program proper to gain rapport with the kids’, while other volunteers helped unload the cargoes and personal stuffs from their assigned vehicles. After that, a quick last minute orientation was given to the volunteers and everyone prepared for the activity.

As the program prepared by the teachers of Mambuaya Elementary School took place, fun and laughter resonated at the school grounds. Part of the program was that the volunteers and the kids have to do an exchange of talents by showing their own hearty moves. A group of students presented a special dance number and not so surprisingly the volunteers willingly offered their priceless dance moves as well. Everyone danced to the rhythm of the music even those who had two left feet. They all had fun because the moment was for everyone’s taking.


Live-Laugh-and-Love: They say “Do what you love and do it often”, and that was what ROTA was doing for the past outreaches for more than three years; making kids happy and having fun with them even for just a short time. Usually, after the program proper the assigned committees are deployed to their assigned areas, the kids committee takes over. They are always eager and excited to have a direct interaction with the kids.Taking into considerations the age group, ROTA divided kids by their age ranges. Kindergartens and the first graders where categorized in the same group. Their activities involved interactive and animated play, these involves educational games that will keep the kindergarten and first grader kids entertained while learning at the same time. Story-telling with actions and matching voice modulations while narrating is their main event. These volunteers are assigned to prepare interesting stories before going into action.


Children need the freedom and time to play, making them smarter, healthier and happier: In the meantime, older age groups were also distributed for different activities. Most of them were into energetic team-building type of activity and everyone including the volunteers happily participated in the different games. At times like these, volunteers had the chance of being childish and silly with the kids.


Parent’s Class: Before anything else, the parent committee volunteers gathered the willing parents to sit with them for the Focused Group Discussion activity solely made for them and asked their permission take pictures of the children and to entrust their children to the volunteers of Rota Pilipinas for the whole outreach activity.

Parent’s class pay particular attention on the importance of Child Rights and Responsibilities in reaching their dreams for their children. Since it is a sensitive topic to be discussed, the volunteers have to follow a structured activity guidelines prepared by one of the Team Leader of Parents Committee. The activity involves interactive sharing and listening between the parents and volunteers. After guiding the parents to digest the topic, a brief synthesis of the session is given. Participants were also encouraged to raise any clarifications or questions about the activity and of course snacks were provided to the parents and volunteers.


The Kitchen’s Comm and Tippy Tappy (A happy hand-washing experience): This committee might be doing the messy job but they are doing it from their hearts. In order to feed the 686 school kids of Mambuaya Elementary School, the volunteers have to set up many cauldrons over an open fire to cook the highly nutritious VITAMEALS from MASSA Feeding Program NU Skin Enterprises Philippines, Inc. In addition to vitameals, Rota’s friends donated additional ingredients to make it more yummy and nutritious – a concoction of bananas, root crops and milk.


Food preparation was a challenging task because they had to peel and slice more than 20 kilos of banana and yam. Additionally, a regular stirring every couple of minutes was needed to prevent the ingredients from sticking at the bottom of the cauldrons not to mention the smoke and direct heat coming from the open fire.


By time the kitchen committee signaled that the food was ready for serving and the food distributions was all set up in front of the Tippy Tappy corner, then the kids were instructed to line up at the tippy tappy corner for them to be taught on how to do the proper hand-washing before eating. Emphasis was given on the importance of regular hand washing especially before and after meals.


The Shoe fitting: After filling the little tummies of Mambuaya Elementary School kids with the yummy and nutritious VITAMEALS, then they proceeded to the giving out of black canvass shoes from BOBS by Skechers through Soles4Souls and World Mission Outreach Fellowship (WMOF) as the last activity. Regardless of the nonstop activities inside the school ground, the volunteers were still willing to do the shoe fitting and giving out of BOBS shoes even under the scorching heat of the sun. Everyone was enthusiastic to perform the task; these volunteers indeed choose to serve the 686 kids out of altruism.


With FAITH in HIM to meet the needs in every outreach activity of ROTA-Pilipinas; HOPE to have each activity be safe and successful and; LOVE governing the hearts of every volunteer, each volunteer has made a mark to inspire a heart.

More photos →

Blog, Events, Hiking, Outreach

Pasko-sa-SULADS Anecdote (2012)

“Unsa na imo year ‘te?” (What year level are you now?), a SULADS student – a teenager boy posed while we were walking. I was borrowing a knife from their school kitchen, he was keeping me company.

Preparing food for co-volunteers

“Ah graduate naman ko. Gatrabaho na. 3 years na.”(I’m done with my studies. I’m already working now for almost 3 years.), I replied.

He asked my age and I obligingly told him. Then he said, “Dalia ra ninyo mahuman noh?.” (Oh, you finish studies fast). I thought I was just on-time.

Big pan and a big hand to help. Volunteers cooking for meals using local utensils.

He further pointed he was leaving his teen years but still in High School. I was stunned to reflect their condition, to be more sensitive, mustered a smile and said, “Mahuman ra lagi ka!” (I believe you will graduate in due time).

I then went on with him to the visitor shed, we the volunteers were staying in, to help prepare our breakfast before the day’s descent.

CONNECTIONS make us CARE. And what we care for, we do something about. This dialogue was my CONNECTION with SULADS students and maybe all other IP (Indigenous People) students ROTA is helping. I may not be able to support him all throughout his studies like I try to do with my brothers, but I hope in the littlest chances we’re able to talk and the meagre goods or amount we’re able to give each time we hike hours up to their school in the remote mountains of Quezon, Bukidnon, I being with ROTA will continually be able to motivate him and his classmates to continue studying until they successfully graduate from High School.

I find myself carrying that connection until now, especially when I volunteer. That was more than a worthy take-home from SULADS.

Blog, Events, Outreach

Back-To-School in Intavas

I’ve always wanted to cultivate a sincere heart for missions and what better way to achieve this than taking most opportunities to be of help. Being assigned Team Leader for the Back-To-School in Intavas Elementary School to serve 389 kids of the Higaonon tribe last June 12, 2014 was a chance not to miss. It was one outreach when I was busiest but one where I realized good things.

Volunteers and outreach supplies on a truck to Impasugong, Bukidnon

Many people say they want to live a life of purpose but put it off until they’re retired or they’re rich, when they have extra time and extra money to spare. But we can choose to do it now. Even with our schedules and our scanty income, we can make a movement. We can still give and volunteer. What little you have (time, resource, talent, confidence even patience) can be enough to make lives better for as long as they are pooled-in and of course, shared.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.Steve Jobs
I’m glad to have met this bunch of crazy people and being one with them in carrying out an advocacy. It was a holiday spent well, a day of good cheer when we were spent full.


More photos →