Classmates for Life


SDG Ken Jamandre
Rotary Club of Metro Escolta

A record of eight training and fellowships were accomplished for the Life Changing Presidents (LCPs) before the start of the official Rotary Year 2021. As the LCPs begin their leadership journey, let us look back on how this group of classmates gained more learnings and Rotary friends through the Preparatory Presidents-Elect Training Fellowship and Seminar (Pre-PETS), PETS, and all the online fellowship activities.

As early as September 2020, Incoming District Governor (IDG) Robert Koa already initiated the relationship development of the Presidents-Elect (PEs) of District 3810. With his excitement and extensive preparation prior to the official Rotary Year, Gov. Bert made sure to establish meaningful connections with his presidents and district officers. This led to the brainstorming and formation of the Executive Committee (Execom) as well. The goal of Gov. Bert is to connect the presidents in making lifelong classmates.

The District 3810 leadership team meant serious business in providing avenues for fun and learning. Everyone needed to overcome the challenges of the pandemic to be able to have a semblance of a face-to-face fellowship which everyone had grown accustomed to. It meant being creative in the design and execution of the program, such as online interactions, games, and raffles in place of live bands, red carpet, and sumptuous buffets. There is always a learning curve on how to get things right.

Each fellowship had a unique theme to help establish camaraderie. The first bonding activity was on September 21, beginning with the presidents-elect, who were voted early on by their respective clubs. It was an excellent warm-up for the fellowships that followed. The PEs then had a spooktacular celebration during the Halloween fellowship last October 27. They creatively dressed up for the occasion where winners were awarded for the “Best in Costume” category. Special food prizes were likewise given away by Gov. Bert.

As the fellowships continued, so were the learning activities. The Rotary Club of Bagumbayan-Manila hosted the first Pre-PETS held last November 14. The training focused on Leadership Styles, Building Consensus, and Communication Skills. These breakout sessions were facilitated by esteemed District Training Officers, namely IDS Edwin Chiu, Assistant Rotary Coordinator (ARC) Raymond Ciriaco, ISDG Arlene Velez, and CP Armin Demetillo. It was a special kick-off for the series of training for the PEs. The first formal training in the new normal was a preview of great projects to be accomplished by a strong and motivated club.

The next set of fun fellowships focused on the most awaited seasons that have universal celebratory appeal. Those were the Christmas, New Year, and Valentine fellowships. These moments were attended by more Rotarians since the PEs were joined by the incoming district officers. New activities were introduced to mix up the limitations of the online platform.

During the yuletide get-togethers, the Rotarians enjoined in the festive mood of holiday songs and hoped for a better year of healing. There were more relaxed conversations among the officers and presidents. District Rotary Foundation Chair/PDG Connie Beltran made the New Year celebration extra meaningful with her presentation on The Rotary Foundation. This encouraged the Rotarians to understand their valuable donations in communities worldwide, including the benefits to the District. The joyous mood of the holiday was the best way to continue the merrymaking among new Rotary friends.

The Valentine edition of the fellowship was a double feature of love for service and public image. The participants enjoyed the moments with love songs and messages, while Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator (ARPIC) Izl Castro-Ampatuan inspired the Rotarians with lessons on successful public image campaigns. She emphasized the guidelines and reminded us of the compelling branding of Rotary, which is the role model Rotarians should use to promote the organization.

To cap the special series of bonding, a summer-themed online fellowship was held last May 15. The team led by ISDG Jouie Gabat hosted randomized getting-to-know sessions with reporting, singing, best in summer attire, and trivia, which were showered by generous prizes all throughout the evening. By this period, there is a stronger connection among the presidents and officers while getting more excited for the next opportunity to bond with prizes as added motivation.

All of these were conducted via Zoom for now in compliance with health protocols. As the Life Changing Presidents begin their terms officially by July 1, the District hopes that the foundation of fellowship among them will be beneficial in their inspired performances together with the district officers. An essential aspect of being a Rotarian is a sense of belongingness fostered by friendship. May these fellowships serve its purpose of having valuable classmates for life.


GML Team 2020
District 3810
Rotary International