Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Speaking Engagement about Volunteerism at Bukidnon State University

Photo Credits : Grace Galache
Yesterday, I was in the Bukidnon State University's auditorium, delivering my short testimony about my experience when I volunteered to safeguard the votes during the 1986 Snap Election. It was just short but I knew that I moved their spirit on what is to become a volunteer. 

Let me share to you my short testimony about my experience in volunteering to safeguard the votes during the 1986 snap election;

"Distinguished teachers and Dean of the College of Social Science, teachers, good afternoon.

I was not able to prepare a powerpoint presentation for a detailed talk about what is volunteerism, but instead, I will just give you some testimonies about my experience on volunteerism.
I was then in 2nd year College at the Ateneo de Cagayan, 17 years old at that time when I volunteered to be one of the Namfrel Volunteers to safeguard the ballot boxes during the 1986 Snap Election, when we responded the call of our Parish Priest. It was my first exposure to volunteer on a very crucial situation of our country. To oust the dictator of our country. During that time, the Filipino people were in blue flame where you can feel the anger to oust the dictator, the then President Ferdinand Marcos. Volunteers were everywhere. We were I think 5 in numbers from the Parish of Our Lady of Fatima volunteered to safeguard the votes in Kinawe Elementary School, a barangay of the Municipality of Libona, Bukidnon. 

In the morning of that May 11 Election if my memory served me right, I asked the permission of my late father to join the Namfrel Volunteers. He was then so apprehensive of allowing me because of the political situation and my safety in that Barangay. When I told him that I will join the million of Filipinos to safeguard the votes and for our future. For no known reason after hearing my justification to join, he then gave me the go signal. Our only weapon at that time was the rosary that he gave me being as a Knights of Columbus. My father was a Past Grand Knight. He has that Faith that I will not be harmed and my safety was assured because of his prayers.

We arrived at Kinawe Elementary School aboard an elf at around 9:30 a.m., brought some "skyflakes" as our buffer food in case of emergency. Our lunch was provided by the locals when they learned that we were from the Our Lady of Fatima Parish.
On the counting and canvassing of votes, the poll watchers will call the attention of the canvassers, once there are some errors in the tally. Tension can be felt during that moment. By around 5 pm, the canvassing of votes was finished.
Photo Credits : Grace Galache
We waited for our elf to fetch us. The elf arrived at dusk when the brownout occurred. We then lighted our candles that we've brought and that served as the only light inside that classroom. Lighting the candles was significant to us and coincided with the symbol of Namfrel. We were moved during that very moment of our life as volunteers because the election ended up a peaceful one, despite of massive cheating that happened with the final counting of the results.

At 17 years old, I did not only witnessed how election was being done but also to have courage and will to volunteer for a noble purpose and the only thing that came into my mind was to safeguard the votes for our future. 

We arrived at the Camaman-an Elementary School with the ballot boxes along with us at around 9:30 p.m. and when my mother saw me with a happy smile, she hugged and whispered to me and said, thank God that you are all safe. 
If during that time, the Philippines has no volunteers to safeguard the votes of Filipino people who wanted to have freedom from the hands of the dictator, maybe today, you will not enjoy life while studying here in Bukidnon State University. Our life will be like the life of the Syrian People of today". 

My talk just ends here. The theme "Journey towards Holistic and Authentic Co-Existence" is a challenge to us as volunteers. To be a volunteer should come from the heart and spirit. It is not that you join because your girlfriend or boyfriend joined the volunteer group. Joining will be from your heart and spirit to extend to others being as our co-existence. Just remember that the journey is between from where you start to decide and to your destination. That is to become a volunteer.

I have prepared 2 videos for you. And when you get out from this auditorium, you are now a volunteer. Good luck and thank you for being so attentive. And again, Good afternoon"
Videos: Credits from YouTube

3 Con Tour Passers by:

  1. Very good piece of talk and video presentation... My congratulations!!!... My thumbs UP :-)

    1. @Anonymous. Thank you for your visit and kind appreciation.

  2. Great work guys. Keep it up your good work.


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