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.

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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.

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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.


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Events, Outreach

Trek & Treat 4

We are grateful to all trekkers from different schools, organizations, and offices. ROTA would also like to thank the bikers from different bike clubs (COMBAT, MYX, BoneBikers).

A big THANK YOU to everyone to those who supported and participated the fundraising activity last April 26 2014 hosted by ROTA Philippines in collaboration with ATTACK CDO bike club.


Route: Indahag – Kamakawan – Mintugsok



Route: Indahag – Kinawe – Kiliog


Join us again for the 5th Trek & Treat this coming Saturday, August 16 at Indahag, Cagayan de Oro City.

Blog, Principles

Serenity – This is my sole purpose when I first explored higher grounds. Searching for peace of mind in the middle of nowhere and a temporary escape from reality.Hannah

Sense of responsibility kicks in as we explore depth areas. Do we really need to experience series of natural disasters before we start caring for our nature? We know the cause of the problem but are we doing something? NO! That’s the truth but it’s never too late.

Start now and nurture nature on your own way; plant trees and stop throwing garbage anywhere. Even though there seems no hope for us to bring back the natural beauty of the earth however optimism is one of our vehicle to our destination. This is a long term goal and it could be past on to generation to generation. Optimism helps us think that in every negative aspect or happenings in the world, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. In every action there’s an equal an opposite reaction. So, if we start doing things that we can do today for a better future, we can expect transformation.

Transformation will not only take place on mother nature but also from within us. Since change is the only constant thing in this world, let’s change for the better. Transform the world to what it should be and what we want it to be.

Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives.ThinkExist

To realize this goal, we need commitment to ourselves and to the nature. Altruism will be practiced by each individual and together we will be able to reach our destination. The better place to live and people with good relationship with each other.

This is a very ambitious vision but with the right help and resources, we will be able to achieve it together.

Join us and be part of the change that we need. ROTA.