DG Ronnie C. Gabalda

Keeping the passion burning

Governor's Message, September - October 2016
District 3850 Governor Ronnie C. Gabalda

It has been more than a hectic couple of months since we began this All-Star Rotary year with the goal of Serving Humanity. The early months saw us travelling throughout the district in a flurry of club visits, inductions, inaugurations, launchings, and seminars. All these in an effort not just to get to know each and every Rotarian in D3850 (though that is important, too) but also to provide every club and its members the knowledge, information, and skill necessary to better enrich our Rotary experience and enhance our personal engagements as members of an international institution dedicated to the service of humankind.

We still have many miles to go before we can sleep (to paraphrase a famous poem). But this early I would already like to express my gratitude to the members of the District Team -- District Secretary John Michael Ng, District Executive Officer Doc Chris Sorongon, the Assistant Governors, my staff Jane and Raf – for their continued support and for being a reliable source of strength every step of the way.

At this point, many of you may already have passed some milestones or established new benchmarks for your club, for your zone, or maybe even for the district. I have definitely seen a lot enthusiastic starts and very promising programs and courses of action which I hope will come to fruition.  All these efforts are being noted accordingly and we shall give out the proper acknowledgments in due time.

As we go deep into the Rotary year, however, let me warn you about a common malady that threatens most clubs and organizations. It’s a deadly disease that drowns and defeats even the most eager and well-intentioned. It’s a stealthy but contagious malaise called the ningas cogon syndrome.

As often happens, when the fires of enthusiasm burn out complacency sets in. We fall back into the comfort of old habits and familiar routines. Once more attendance in club meetings wanes while participation in other club activities are left to the President and project implementers. Inertia sets in.

Fortunately, there are more than a few ways to combat this creeping malady.

In any relationship, one sure way to keep the passion burning is to embrace each new day as another adventure, another opportunity to feed the flame. So it must be with organizations. To resist lethargy from settling in, we must keep each member interested and engaged in club activities. We must constantly reinvent the wheel, so to speak.

Rotary provides us with a cue. There is a theme for each month of the Rotary year. Revolving around RI’s Areas of Focus, the monthly themes provides each club with a guide on which (or where) to concentrate their efforts on. Following this guide allows each club to celebrate each month as if it were a new beginning, the sunrise to another promising day. (It may not be too late to create a committee and designate a chairman (Areas of Focus) in charge of the activities for a particular month, thus allowing all members their own ‘day in the sun’ each month of the year.)

My All-Star Presidents, midway in our journey this Rotary year, steer your clubs away from the doldrums. I will be giving you a checklist for midyear review which serves as starting point or basis for your submission of the All Star District Citation Challenge. Keep the fires of passion for Service Above Self aflame in the heart of all your members. Hold high the torch of Rotary Serving Humanity.

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