DAD Willie Chua
Rotary Club of Bagumbayan-Manila

The Rotary Club of Bagumbayan-Manila hosted the 2021 Virtual Presidents-Elect Training Seminar (PETS) last April 9-10 to fully prepare incoming club leaders for their term beginning July 1. Although it can be said that the Club has been accustomed to organizing this type of training almost yearly, what set this training apart from all the others done in the past were the following adjustments that had to be made: the trainers and participants being stationed in their homes or offices instead of being physically at the training site; being entirely reliant on an online meeting platform; and outsourcing the services of a technical group in charge of managing the event program remotely just like what a floor director does during a television show, which could have been easily managed by the Club itself if it were in familiar territory. There was one critical common denominator for all of this: the reliability of a strong internet connection. The success of the event depended much on it. And all of this was mainly because of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Months before the date of the training, the Rotary Club of Bagumbayan-Manila also hosted the preparatory PETS on November 14, 2020. Afterward, one-hour seminars on relevant topics for December, January, and February were given during the monthly fellowship. It was considered a continuation of Pre-PETS in order to make the most out of the virtual get-together.

While Pre-PETS dealt mainly with leadership, communication skills, and teamwork, the PETS proper involved making the incoming club presidents aware of their role and responsibilities, running different meetings, properly administering the club, and planning for the year. The morning plenary sessions had speakers discussing the protocol, Rotaract, and membership on the first day. Topics on the Rotary Foundation, Rotary Branding, Public Imaging, and the Governor’s Monthly Letter as a tool for featuring humanity in motion were extensively discussed during the second-day plenary. The day ended with a goal-setting session with the assistant governors guiding the presidents-elect in their own breakout rooms.

During the course of the training, the District Training Leaders actively engaged the presidents-elect, many sharing their thoughts about their own clubs and how they would handle situations differently. The group was a usual mix of more seasoned and junior Rotarians. They exchanged ideas, learned new things from one another, and built lasting camaraderie that they will carry throughout their term and beyond. The Life-Changing Team will definitely make their mark and leave their own unforgettable legacy in serving to change lives.