By Mary Ann V. Castillejos, Vice President of Rotary Community Corps – Pasig Premier, Philippines
In April 2019, months before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the Rotary Club of Pasig Premier decided to sponsor a Rotary Community Corps (RCC). Our community group had worked with the Rotary club on previous projects and were glad to form an RCC to work more closely with them going forward.
Fast-forward to 2020, the Philippines started to experienced disaster after disaster. It started with the eruption of Taal Volcano in January, which evacuated all the nearby municipalities. Without hesitation, RCC President Jennifer Tuico took action to help evacuees in one of the major evacuation areas in Batangas. Our RCC brought relief goods, clothes, and medicine to the most affected families and individuals.
On 19 January 2020, news about the first reported case of COVID-19 reverberated around the country. As Filipinos, we had learned how to be resilient and believed that COVID-19 would just pass by. We were all wrong.
The Philippines faced one of the longest lockdowns in the world, and many families were subjected to hunger and depression. RCC Pasig Premier remained steadfast during these trying times. We were able to provide small communities with health kits, sanitation materials, and food packs.
Come June 2020, parents’ anxiety about their children’s schools grew by the day. No face-to-face classes would be held, kids would only interact via online platforms. Our group then launched the “Piso Print Project” with the help of Rotary Club of Pasig Premier– a project that supported underprivileged students by giving them access to low-cost printing for their distance learning materials, making education more accessible and reducing the financial burden for parents.
In May 2021, we facilitated a community pantry. With the continuous lockdowns and lack of employment, families were relying on community pantries for their daily needs. We provided staples like rice, noodles, canned goods and vegetables, coffee, and sugar to help support families as they faced economic hardships and isolation.
To this day, challenges have never stopped us. We are now facing not only the pandemic but also an economic crisis and educational difficulties. RCC Pasig Premier strives to be a source of inspiration to our small community, by supporting our community members and understanding their hardships. We are all in this together, aren’t we? Being resilient is one thing, but it helps to have someone to listen, to support you, and to show empathy. RCC Pasig Premier, in partnership with the RC of Pasig Premier, is committed to being there for our community.