Tag Archives: RAFI

Lessons from the World Cities Summit 2012 in Singapore

Note: This guest post is written by Chrisley Ann Hinayas of Ramon Aboitiz Foundation.  Her article details the notes and observations of Ms. Evelyn Nacario-Castro, executive director of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. during the recent World Cities Summit 2012, and her realizations on how much planning Cebu needs to embarks on its urban development.

Speakers for the keynote plenary “Trends and Opportunities―Urbanisation Forces in the Next 20 Years” during the World Cities Summit 2012 in Singapore last July 1-4 share insights on innovations and opportunities that are molding cities into sustainable centers of global networks, economic vitality, and talents pools.

Realizing the need to create integrated urban solutions for a sustainable economy, government leaders, ministers, industry experts, businessmen, and economists from all over the world recently spent several days together in Singapore.

From July 1 to 4, they gathered for the World Cities Summit (WCS) 2012—the third since 2008—to discuss how to address the challenges of cities with growing economies, including protecting the environment while giving quality of life to their residents.

Evelyn Nacario-Castro, executive director of the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC) of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) attended the summit, joined in 12 sessions, and listened to 64 different resource persons.

“The summit was a venue to form new business partnerships and collaborations with other cities. It explored innovative and cost-effective solutions to the challenges of rapid urbanization among cities. Out of their policies and programs, cities could get an idea on how to respond to their own challenges,” Castro said.

WCS is an exclusive platform for government leaders and experts to address liveable and sustainable city challenges by sharing integrated solutions and build new partnerships. This year’s theme is “Liveable and Sustainable Cities—Integrated Urban Solutions”.

As a country constantly in transformation, Singapore was considered the ideal host for the summit.

Castro noted that Singapore is a small city-state country or roughly two-thirds of Cebu but because of how the country was able to strategically plan ahead, it has transformed well its urban landscape to become one of the most livable cities in Asia.

Singapore, through its national land use planning and conservation authority, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), started its careful land use planning and good urban design in the 70s. It adopted a long term strategic planning approach to ensure sustainability in its physical development.

“From the start, the leaders already knew what they wanted to happen in the whole city-state. Their plans included creating spaces for industries, green spaces, and residential areas, which we could see now in Singapore,” Castro observed.

She added that cities, in general, are “locomotives of a nation”, saying that “competitive cities make a competitive country”. As focal point for and centers of opportunities as well as magnets for people to live in, cities must recognize that sustainable development is a local issue and urbanization must be by design and not by default.

“We must plan, plan, plan, leaving room for expansion with outlook towards the future. The future of humanity is in cities; therefore, we must build and invest for the long-term. Long-term investments have long-term consequences,” Castro shared her learning.

Sessions during the summit, featuring prominent speakers, also presented “universal” challenges of cities, such as urbanization and land use change, environment and climate change, growth in population, and over-stressed systems and over-loading of facilities, among others.

“Every city experiences what we are experiencing. It is a matter of how we respond to these challenges. These cities survived these challenges by playing their individual roles. City leaders should act as negotiators, collaborators, enablers, and integrators,” Castro pointed out.

City leaders shared similar responses, saying that leaders, to ensure competitiveness of cities, must plan and regulate development while finding, creating, and driving solutions that look beyond infrastructure.

“Benchmarking with other cities is also important. Their experiences serve as think tank and repository of information, which we can use for strategic and integrated planning for our own cities,” Castro said.

During the summit, New York City was awarded the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize. The prize recognizes those responsible for initiatives that display good governance and innovations in tackling the many urban challenges faced by cities to create vibrant, liveable and sustainable urban communities.

New York City was greatly affected after the 2001 World Trade Center bombing. Within a decade, it injected innovations to bring back the life of the city. One of these innovations is the complete change of streets.

Castro learned from New York City that streets are for multiple modes of transport.

“Streets are not just for cars. In smart growth, streets are not widened, rather spaces are optimized where people can walk, bike, and have open spaces. Good urban designing and planning have a big impact on public safety,” she noted.

(left to right) Evelyn Nacario-Castro, executive director of RAFI’s Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC), joins Copenhagen Mayor Pia Allerslev and Consolacion, Cebu Mayor Teresa Alegado during the World Cities Summit 2012 in Singapore last July 1-4.

Nacario said that a change in mindset is the first step. Three things that should be kept in mind, she added, are the importance of a vision, planning, and a shift of new paradigm for development.

“We must plan, plan and plan,” she asserted again. “How ready our leaders are in carrying out these plans is one of the things we should consider. Our leaders should revisit existing policies,” she said.

Through the work of the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB) where RAFI anchors as the research, program and organizational development unit, the concept of smart growth has been introduced to leaders in Cebu to encourage comprehensive urban planning and development.

The MCDCB is composed of leaders from the government, the private sector, and civil society that takes the lead in the implementation of the Mega Cebu Project, which envisions a city-region for Cebu wherein cities and municipalities collaborate with each other towards urban development, sustainability, and livability, while maintaining geopolitical integrity.

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PR: RAFI opens tribute exhibit for Bisaya artists

In celebration of Arts Month in February, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) launched the exhibit, entitled “Visayan Verve: A Tribute to Bisaya Artists”, which will run from Feb. 17 to March 15 at the Casa Gorordo Museum.

The exhibit is initiated in partnership with the University of San Carlos-Cebuano Studies Center; Halad Museum; Alternative Contemporary Arts Studio; and the assistance of Cebuano artist Marvin Natural and the family of the late Martino Abellana.

It pays homage to exemplary Bisaya artists in six fields of art: Martino Abellana for painting; Napoleon Abueva for sculpture; Fernando Buyser for poetry; Pio Cabajar for cinema; Estelita Diola for dance; and Vicente Rubi for music.

“These artists represent innovation and faithfulness to tradition in the art forms they engaged in. Some of them were selected by virtue of their statuses as ‘masters’ of their crafts while the rest, for their substantial achievements which remain largely unrecognized. All of them have contributed not only to Bisaya but Filipino arts in general,” Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Culture and Heritage unit of RAFI, said.

The aim of the exhibit is not to proclaim the featured artists as the greatest or the most influential, but to present examples of what Bisaya artists have accomplished.

Florencio Moreño, curator of Casa Gorordo Museum, pointed out that it is one way of giving the public an opportunity to re-examine and appreciate the roots of their creativity, thereby, widen their perspectives on the potentials of contemporary Visayan-Filipino arts.

Visayan Verve is meant to kick off a series of exhibits on Bisaya arts that will be held every February in the next seven years. Each of the following exhibits will focus on one of the seven fields of art—architecture, cinema, dance, music, painting, literature, and sculpture.

Culture & Heritage is a focus area of RAFI, believing that a confident community begins with a strong sense of identity. Its other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education.

For more information on Contemporary Cebu, please contact 418-7234 loc. 703 and look for Florencio A. Moreño II, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.

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PR: Contemporary art exhibit showcases Cebuano talents

The Contemporary Cebu art exhibit was formally opened last Jan. 4. The ribbon cutting was led by (L-R, foreground) Amaya Aboitiz, executive director of the Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.; Cebu City Councilor Margarita Osmeña, vice-chair of the Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission of Cebu City; Massimo La Magna, over-all supervisor of Pizzeria Michelangelo; and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. (Inset) The exhibit’s curator, JV Castro (far left), introduced to the public the participating contemporary artists: (second from L-R) Marvin Chito Natural, Karl Roque Jr., Sio Montera, Tito Cuevas, Palmy Pe-Tudtud, and Ritchie Quijano. Not in the photo (inset) are Kidlat of the Junks Collective, Vidal Alcoseba, and Russ Ligtas who will give Butoh performances on Jan. 12 and 13.

Paintings and sculptures of contemporary Cebuano artists were featured in the art exhibit, dubbed Contemporary Cebu, which opened last Jan. 4 at the Cebu City Museum.

The exhibit, which is curated by JV Castro, is designed to bring national attention to contemporary Cebuano artists and their works. It is open to the public until Jan. 31.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, during the opening ceremonies, lauded the initiative undertaken to make the exhibit possible, saying it is a way to recognize Cebuano talents in visual arts as well as to promote the Cebu City Museum.

The Alternative Contemporary Art Studio, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), and The Grove by Rockwell, partnered together to launch this annual exhibit. The first exhibit was held in June 2011 in Manila at the Ateneo de Manila University and Picasso Boutique Hotel.

This year’s Contemporary Cebu art exhibit features the works of Palmy Pe-Tudtud, Marvin Natural, Kidlat of the Junks Collective, Karl Roque, Sio Montera, Ritchie Quijano, Vidal Alcoseba, and Tito Cuevas. Russ Ligtas will give Butoh performances on Jan. 12 and 13.

“It is an exhibition that features some of the finest artists we have in Cebu. All the works in the exhibit are done by Cebuano artists who specialize in contemporary works, meaning the portrayal of subjects are different. In a way, we want to promote Cebu in a different light,” Castro said.

Dennis “Sio” Montera, one of the participating artists shared the inspiration and stories behind his paintings.
“My art is more on expression of the things that have been relevant in my life—happiness, sadness, loss of loved one, any life experience. For me, the best way I can communicate or deal with my emotions is to paint. It is more likely the reflection of a current situation of my life. It’s like a diary, mirroring what is happening around me,” he said.
Alternative Contemporary Art Studio and RAFI have been partners since Contemporary Cebu’s inception in 2011. This year, they took in The Grove by Rockwell as a major partner. The other sponsors of the exhibit are the Cebu City Government, Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission of Cebu City, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Blue Shield Risk Management, Gothong Southern, Michelangelo Pizzeria, and Hola España.

“Contemporary Cebu is a good opportunity for introducing the Cebuano audience to contemporary arts and for them to be familiar who the Cebuano contemporary visual artists are,” said Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of Culture and Heritage of RAFI. (Hannah Reoma/Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. intern)

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The Finalists of the 5th RAFI Triennial Awards – Today’s Unknown Heroes

Today’s unknown heroes (who selflessly dedicated themselves for the betterment of our community and our less fortunate brothers and sisters) are not the typical sword-wielding katipuneros nor the ones we see in the class of the over-publicized politicians and company CEOs. Today’s unknown and un-named heroes are ordinary individuals who do extraordinary things without any expectations of rewards and fame.

The rich and the famous who build foundations and charitable institutions are called philanthropists, but the poor and unknown people who make use of everything they have to help the needy and influence leaders and policy makers to constitute change have never been tagged with anything. Today’s unknown heroes are are at par (or even better) with those famous philanthropists who are commonly featured on the front page of magazines and in big talk shows on TV. Today’s unknown heroes are the brave individuals who went through hardships and sacrifices for the good and betterment of their communities despite undergoing personal hardships themselves.

Last June 15, 2011, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) presented the top five finalists per category of the 5th RAFI Triennial Awards for Visayas and Mindanao in a public forum at the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center.

Below are the 5th RAFI Triennial Awards Finalists with their work, advocacies, and contribution to the community. Presenting today’s unknown heroes for the Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual.

The 5 finalists of the 5th RAFI Triennial Awards during the Public Forum last June 15, 2011

  • Mr. Apolinario Leyson, Sr. – At the age of 6, Leyson was left alone in Carbon, Cebu City to take care of himself. Often referred to as “bugoy”, “askal”, and other street names, young Apolinario earned money for his survival by engaging in several jobs like shoe shining, dishwashing, being a “kargador”, and selling fruits and vegetables, among others. He described himself as a young rascal. But even if he needed to work while studying, he managed to finish his elementary and secondary education with flying colors. His passion for scouting – not minding the low allowance, high risks, and intense demands of job – gained him several awards and distinctions. Read more about Tatay Apolinario here.
  • Fr. Dennis Tamayo – One of his most challenging types of development work is that which requires to deal with indigenous people like the Baja. Helping those groups requires more than just having the right skill and enough resources to sustain the project. In a place like Basilan where kidnap for ransom is the most lucrative way of life, it requires a special character or an unconventional mindset to choose it as your place of assignment. This is most particular, especially for those who have the option on what to do and where to do it, like Fr. Dennis Tamayo, CMF. Read more about Fr. Dennis here.
  • Prof. Estrella Cantallopez – She saw massive deaths, regular displacements of communities, and the unthinkable damage of various levels and the hurts of different communities because of armed confrontations. She is by far known by in NDU as someone who has established contacts and gained respect from three warring parties: military, MNLF and MILF. Read more about Prof. Estrella here.
  • Mr. Rene Vendiola – He is a high school drop-out and is considered as a local dendrologist and parataxonomist by many environmentalist in Negros island. He used to be a hunter and a slash and burn farmer but at a certain point in his life, has been transformed into one of the Negros Island’s leading and respected environmentalist. His efforts in environmental protection, promotion and conservation have influenced policy makers and local chief executives in the town of Bacong and the Province of Negros Oriental, particularly the former Vice Gov. Of the Province to adopt environmental conservation efforts. Read more about Mr. Vendiola here.
  • Fr. Angel Buenavides – Aside from being a Catholic priest who is very active in evangelical works, Father Angelo “Angel” Ruyeras Buenavides is contributing a lot to society. He has provided some MNLF ex-combatants access to decent peaceful living and livelihood, advocating peace and environment conservation, organized and empowered the youth, mobilized resources for relief assistance to the displaced communities, and was able to implement the Integrated Rehabilitation Project for IDPs in Barangay Gasi, Kiamba Saranggani Province funded by UNDP Stride Mindanao. His ability to make people converge for volunteer works/regardless of religion, sex, and sector has helped him realize his own definition of peace (in Mindanao) that is “food on the table”. Read more about Fr. Angel here.

About RAFI Triennial Awards

The RAFI Triennial Awards aims to provide a platform in recognizing individuals and institutions who are instrumental in leading change in their respective communities. Established in 1996, the awards honor the men and women who, through their efforts to bring about change and improve the lives of the less-privileged, reflect the humanitarian and holistic ideals of RAFI founders, Don Ramon Aboitiz and Don Eduardo Aboitiz.

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eGWEN Our Cebu Program launches “Search for the eGWEN Highway”

The Cebu Provincial Government and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) in partnership with the 52 towns and cities of Cebu will launch the “Search for the eGWEN Highway” at the Social Hall of the Cebu Provincial Capitol on Tuesday, January 25, at 10 a.m.

The search is a result of the province-wide implementation of the expanded Green and Wholesome Environment that Nurtures (eGWEN) Our Cebu Program, a five-year joint development program of the Cebu Province and RAFI that aims to make Cebu “an ideal place to live, work, play, invest, and do business.”

The Search for the eGWEN Highway is anchored on the eGWEN standards of cleanliness and sanitation; creativity, artistry and aesthetic impact; and appreciation, promotion and nurturing of culture and heritage.

The search, a sub-project of the eGWEN Our Cebu Program, intends to improve the physical set-up of towns and cities that reflect the distinct Cebuano culture and identity; improve Cebu’s physical landscape and ambiance being the gateway of the south; open opportunities for the constituents to participate in local governance; and contribute to the overall program vision of building model towns and cities.

Corresponding prizes will be given to deserving LGUs. The LGU that will win the eGWEN Highway Award will receive a cash incentive of Php 1 million while the Top 10 Private Residences, Top 10 Heritage Structures, and Top 10 Commercial Buildings will receive Php 100,000 each.

An additional Php 300,000 will be given to those that rank first in each of the three categories—Best Private Residence, Best Heritage Structure, and Best Commercial Building.

For the Best Private Residence category, the search will highlight houses along highways and major thoroughfares that reflect the unique Cebuano culture. The Best Heritage Structure must be clear of obstructions, well-maintained, and have proper design and content of signages. The Best Commercial Building promotes waste segregation, cleanliness, and greenness within its premises.

An extensive scorecard has been prepared and developed in cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the eGWEN Our Cebu Program Assessment team composed of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Education, Provincial Veterinary, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in the DENR and Cebu Province, and the Committee on Sites, Relics and Structures.

Assessments will be conducted twice a year by the eGWEN Our Cebu Program Assessment Team spearheaded by DPWH and DOT. RAFI will serve as the search’s technical secretariat.

Determination of winners is based on the results of two assessment rounds and the monitoring reports of the engineers of each engineering district.

The search will commence this year and winners will be awarded in August 2011 in time for the anniversary of the Cebu Province.

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RAFI holds relief & medical mission to Sambag Uno, Duljo Fatima fire victims

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) holds a medical mission for the fire victims of Barangays Sambag Uno and Duljo Fatima, Cebu City whose properties were ravaged by a fire that hit the areas last Oct 4 and Nov. 1, respectively. Volunteer medical professionals gave fee check ups and consultations to the beneficiaries while RAFI employees distributed hygiene kits (inset).

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) conducted a medical mission and relief distribution in Barangay Sambag Uno last Oct. 28 to assist the victims of the Oct. 4 fire that razed almost 90 houses and left more than 100 families homeless.

The medical mission served a total of 179 patients, 94 of whom are children. The fire victims were able to avail of the free medical consultations and medicines.

Dr. Edward delos Reyes, one of the volunteer doctors, found that the common illnesses are cough and colds for children and hypertension among the adults.

Ninety-four hygiene kits containing soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, and other hygiene essentials were also distributed to the families who were victims of the fire.

Around 200 hygiene kits were also distributed by RAFI last Nov. 23 for the families of Duljo Fatima who became victims of the fire that hit their barangay last Nov. 1. The fire burned down 80 houses, leaving almost 200 families homeless.

Medical mission and relief distribution for victims of calamities in Cebu City are among the community extension services of RAFI, through the collaborative efforts of the Office of Humanitarian Relations and Services, Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center, and Dolores Aboitiz Children’s Fund.

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RAFI holds public exposure, post awards program for Triennials laureates

To continuously share the inspiring stories of the awardees and finalists of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) Triennial Awards to the public, RAFI conducted a public exposure and post awards engagement program in Davao last Nov. 20-23.

The program was composed of the RAFI Triennial Awards Xchange Series 7, a face-to-face encounter between and among the awardees, finalists, and other participants to increase awareness and understanding of the advocacies of the laureates through learning visits; 3rd Circle of Laureates Conference, which gathers the laureates to consolidate and plan their initiatives in the next three years; and 2nd Leaders of Change Forum where the laureates showcased to the public the various programs and projects they have implemented.

The laureates and some youth scholars from RAFI visited the Institute of Primary Health Care, Maharlika Foundation, Philippine Eagle Foundation, Malagos Garden Resort, Mrs. Soledad Duterte, Boystown Davao, Visayan Forum Foundation Inc., and Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center.

During their exclusive conference, the laureates drew up plans for their group, such as exploring more partnerships within and outside their circle and initiating a social movement.

The 2nd Leaders of Change Forum was held in Ateneo de Davao University where sessions on leadership, innovation, teamwork, team play, and engaging the successor generation were provided, bringing about awareness and inspiration from applied principles and approaches and paving the way for collaborating in future initiatives between the laureates and the different stakeholders in Mindanao.

Among the many individuals and institutions from the Circle of Laureates who participated in the public exposure and post awards engagement program include Upi, Maguindanao former mayor and incumbent vice mayor Ramon Piang Sr., Domingo Tadena, Brokenshire Integrated Health Ministries Inc., Institute of Primary Health Care, Glicerio P. Lucrecia, SOS Children’s Village Calbayog, and Edilberto Lantaca, Jr.

The RAFI Triennial Awards was created in 1996 to give recognition to individuals and institutions in the Visayas and Mindanao who make significant contributions to social development. It is one of the capabilities of RAFI in its comprehensive approach to elevating lives and communities.

For more information about the RAFI Triennial Awards, please contact Junette Dawn Baculfo at 418-7234 loc. 109.

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More than 1,500 join in walk for breast cancer awareness

More than 1,500 Cebuanos joined in the 7th annual Moonwalk: A Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) last Oct. 23.

Under a full moon, the participants walked from Cebu Business Park to Asiatown I.T. Park (AITP) where a short program was held.

Moonwalk was organized in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

The event registered 1,354 participants. RAFI estimated at least 300 more participants who came in late during the assembly time and who were already waiting at the venue for the program but failed to properly register.

Participants of Moonwalk came from different walks of life. They include cancer patients, cancer survivors, students, members of cancer support groups, representatives of private companies, representatives of local government units and government agencies, and members of gay rights groups.

“In this Moonwalk, we are not just walking. We are walking our way to wellness,” Ronald delos Reyes, program coordinator of the Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC) of RAFI, said.

Breast cancer, which is characterized by an abnormal growth of breast cells, is most common in women ages 30 to 59. It is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Cebuano women, based on the Cebu population-based Cancer Registry of RAFI.

From 1993 to 2007, EJACC recorded a total of 3,005 reported breast cancer cases in Metro Cebu. EJACC found a continuous increase of breast cancer incidence in Metro Cebu over the past 10 years, caused by lifestyle and health-related factors.

Delos Reyes urged women aged 20 and above to conduct monthly self-breast examination, preferably five to 10 days after their menstrual period. He also advised yearly clinical breast examination for women aged 40 and above and annual mammogram for women aged 50 or earlier for women who have family history of breast cancer.

“Breast cancer affects anyone, but we can do something about it,” he said.

During the program, Mary Ann Alcordo-Solomon, a breast cancer survivor and Cebu Coordinator of cancer support network I CAN SERVE Foundation said that all cancer support groups are one in promoting awareness on breast cancer to Cebuano women.

The major partner for Moonwalk was The Walk in AITP. The event was also supported by other various groups and institutions, including Ayala Center Cebu, AITP, Cebu Business Park, Department of Health-Center for Health Development Regional Office 7, Destiny Medical Fund, Cebu City Government, Cancer Care Network of Cebu, Rotary Club of Fuente, Rotaract Club of Cebu Fuente-Comm. based, Philippine Society of Medical Oncologists, Kahayag Network of Cancer Support Group, Cebu Cancer Fight, Cebu Breast Association, CAN with God, I CAN SERVE Foundation, and KALIPI Federation.

The Moonwalk is one of the programs under RAFI’s Integrated Development focus area, one of the five key areas in RAFI’s comprehensive approach to elevating lives and communities. Its other focus areas are Leadership & Citizenship, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Education.

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Apathy considered top problem of the youth today

Members of the Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence (ALEx) of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. work together to climb the initiative wall during the group’s integration activity last Oct. 2 to 3. The successful climbing of the initiative wall signified their commitment towards responsible youth leadership and active citizenship through ALEx.

Apathy or the young people’s lack of care towards social issues was ranked first among the problems faced by the youth today.

This was identified by youth leaders of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) in an integration activity held last October 2 to 3 at Mountain View Nature Park.

They also identified the need for good governance, better participation, and prioritization of the youth in government. Problems on out-of-school youth and its attendant issues like pre-marital sex, drug addiction, fraternity war, prostitution and unemployment were also recognized.

The integration activity was conducted to strengthen the Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence (ALEx), the youth organization of RAFI established through the Eduardo Aboitiz Development Studies Center (EADSC).  It also served as a venue for new ALEx members to know the organization more and for old members to renew their commitment.

Apart from issues affecting the youth, the participants also identified possible solutions and defined the role of ALEx in addressing such problems.

“There is a need for the youth to have a collective and strong voice in advocating for change, given their (big population),” Dominica B. Chua, Chief Operating Officer of RAFI, told the participants.

This was affirmed by the Philippine Youth Situationer presented by sociologist Aldwin Empaces, one of the ALEx conveners, who pointed out the huge percentage of the youth in the current population, and the call for young people to have a concerted effort towards addressing problems affecting them and the country in general.

EADSC found out that about 30 percent of the country’s population is below 21 years of age, reflecting a fairly young citizenry.

The Islands Group Chairman Jay Aldeguer, one of guest speakers of the event, also shared his belief on the greater capability of today’s youth to make a difference in society through the availability of technology and access to information.

Believing in the principle that real life begins not in any particular age but at the moment one gains consciousness of the world, Aldeguer also challenged the ALEx members to start fulfilling their dreams for the Philippines now.

Other speakers were Cebu Institute of Technology-University Supreme Student Government President Alan Angelo Llevares, Liloan Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President Gianne Sanchez, and Kindernothilfe National Coordinator for the Philippines Jiah Sayson, who shared their experiences in promoting active citizenship as youth leaders in various fields.  Llevares, Sanchez and Sayson are also members of ALEx.

ALEx is composed of graduates from RAFI’s youth programs such as the Young Minds Academy, Young Minds on Xplore, and Kool Adventure Camp.  It serves as a platform for proactive youth leaders to continue enhancing their competence, strengthening their character, and initiating and spearheading efforts towards nation-building.

ALEx was formed in 2009 under the Leadership & Citizenship focus area of RAFI, one of the five key focus areas in RAFI’s comprehensive approach to elevating lives and communities. Its other focus areas are Integrated Development, Culture & Heritage, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, and Education.

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WILA Partners with RAFI to promote Cebuano literature

Do you know that that very first written Cebuano literature is Maming?  It is written by Vicente Sotto, the father of Cebuano literature.

(L-R) Dr. Hope Sabanpan-Yu, chair of the Women in Literary Arts, and Dr. Jocelyn B. Gerra, executive director of the Culture & Heritage unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. signed last Sept. 6 a memorandum of agreement that will promote Cebuano literature.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and Women in Literary Arts (WILA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a collaboration that seeks to “involve WILA in RAFI’s cultural program.”

The MOU was signed by Dr. Hope Sabanpan-Yu, WILA chair, and Dr. Jocelyn B. Gerra, executive director of RAFI Culture & Heritage unit, last Sept. 6 during the 19th anniversary of WILA held at the Casa Gorordo Museum.

WILA, the only women creative writers group in the Philippines, has committed to participate in literary readings organized by RAFI. It also pledged to conduct story-telling sessions and literary workshops for children and youth.

For its part, RAFI will provide the venue for WILA-initiated literary readings and creative writing workshops for WILA members.

This new partnership under the Culture & Heritage focus area of RAFI manifests the collaborative attribute of the Foundation.

Culture & Heritage is one of the five focus areas of RAFI’s comprehensive approach to elevating lives and communities, believing that a confident community begins with a strong sense of identity. Its other focus areas are Integrated Development, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education.

Yu considers the new partnership a “sharing of talents.” She added that WILA’s involvement in the Culture & Heritage programs of RAFI aims to “stimulate interest in the spoken or written art.”

The collaboration with WILA “enhances the literature part of our advocacy especially to children,” Gerra said.

“We want children to appreciate early on literature and the arts, and the museum is a good background for this,” she added.

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RAFI, The Walk to hold Moonwalk for breast cancer awareness

Are you aware that breast cancer kills one woman every 75 seconds and in every 29 seconds a new case is diagnosed somewhere in the world, and more than 1 million women are diagnosed with this illness every year?  And wait, men can have breast cancer too.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) will hold the 7th annual Moonwalk: A Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness on Oct. 23, in observance of Breast Awareness Month in October.

Moonwalk, a unique advocacy campaign of RAFI held every full moon of October, aims to promote the importance of observing monthly breast self-examination for women aged 20 and beyond.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Cebuano women, based on the Cebu population-based Cancer Registry of RAFI.

From 1993 to 2007, Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC) of RAFI recorded a total of 3,005 reported breast cancer cases in Metro Cebu. EJACC found a continuous increase of breast cancer incidence in Metro Cebu over the past 10 years, caused by lifestyle and health-related factors.

EJACC, which is organizing the Moonwalk, is expecting more than 1,500 participants in the upcoming activity.

The assembly area for this year’s Moonwalk will be at the Cebu Business Park near Pag-Ibig Fund Tower at 5 p.m. Participants will walk to the Asiatown I.T. Park where a short program will be held.

Moonwalk is open to the public.

The major partner for Moonwalk is The Walk in Asia Town I.T. Park (AITP). The event is also supported by other various groups and institutions, including Ayala Center Cebu, AITP, Cebu Business Park, Department of Health-Center for Health Development Regional Office 7, Destiny Medical Fund, Cebu City Government, Cancer Care Network of Cebu, Rotary Club of Fuente, Rotaract Club, Philippine Society of Medical Oncologists, Kahayag Network of Cancer Support Group, Cebu Cancer Fight, Cebu Breast Association, CAN with God, I CAN SERVE, and KALIPI Federation.

To know more about Moonwalk, or to register, please call 254-6351 or 256-3287 and look for Gina Mariquit.

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RAFI Partners With CEAP To Combat Global Warming

Who among us haven’t heard of Climate Change or Global Warming?  I think most of us are aware of this issue but, not surprisingly, a lot don’t really care that much.  This, is because most of us don’t see this problem as a direct threat that should be acted upon immediately.  And with this kind of thinking, we are slowly digging our own graves in the valley of death.

To spread awareness about this global dilemma, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation (RAFI) and Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), join hand in hand in restoring the Philippine’s biodiversity through the Generation, Redemption, and Expansion of the Natural Resources initiatives in the Philippines (GREENIN’ Philippines) Program of RAFI.

RAFI and CEAP signed their partnership agreement on September 24 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.  This, ended the week-long 2010 CEAP National Convention.  Present during the the signing were CEAP President Fr. Gregorio L. Banaga Jr. and RAFI board of Trustees Treasurer Mikel A. Aboitiz.

With this partnership, CEAP hopes that it would bring influence not only to the children of their schools but also their families and communities.  On the other hand, RAFI is optimistic that the partnerhsip with CEAP will help GREEIN’ Philippines in spreading national awareness that would enable them to replicate best practices in environmental protection throughout the country.

What is GREENIN’ Philippines?

The GREENIN’ Philippines Program seeks to develop, protect, enhance, and co-manage denuded forestlands, including bushlands and degraded residual natural forests.  It was formed as RAFI’s  way of contributing to the country’s commitment of achieving the seventh goal of the Millennium Development Goals, which is to ensure environmental sustainability by reversing the loss of natural resources.

For more information about the GREENIN’ Philippines Program, please contact Neil Papas at 418-7234 loc. 515.

Photo Credit: Vernon Joseph Go

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400K Awaits Winners of the RAFI Triennial Awards

A whopping 400K in cold cash is the estimated prize for each category winner of the 5th RAFI Triennial Awards which will be announced on March 2012.

During the Press Briefing for the results of nominations last 20th of August, 2010, RAFI announced that they received 262 nominations from Visayas and Mindanao for the RAFI Triennial Awards.  They received 128 nominations for Eduardo Aboitiz Award for Outstanding Institution and 134 nominations for Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual.

The press briefing highligted the award committee’s major activities to raise nominations from Visayas and Mindanao.  Strategic partners like 2GO, Sunstar Network Exchange, and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas-Cebu Chapter were also present during the event to show their support.  The award’s team had traveled 15 major cities in Visayas and Mindanao to garner competent nominees.  They were also being helped by the previous winners.  And, it was noted that most nominees are males and the highest number of nominees are from Region 6 and Region 9.

Before the end of this year, 10 semifinalists (5 nominess from each category) will be selected and will undergo intensive validation process for each location until the awarding date on March 2012.  In the final process, the top 5 finalist will become part of the Triennial Circle of Lauriats.  The finalists who will not win would still receive 100K each.

RAFI Triennial Awards Facts Sheet

  • Launched on December 6, 1996 during the foundation’s 30th anniversary to commemorate Don Ramon Aboitiz and his son Don Eduardo Aboitiz whose efforts have expanded from that of traditional philantrophy into democracy-based and people-oriented endeavors.
  • The RAFI Triennial Awards is conferred every three years to give ample time for the extensive screening and validation process of nominees.
  • The RAFI Triennial Awards was established to recognize individuals and institutions who have committed themselves to building a more humane, equitable and caring society.
  • The RAFI Triennial Awards honors those men, women and organizations who, through their efforts to bring about change and better the lives of the less-privileged, reflect the philanthropic, humanitarian and holistic ideals and values of the RAFI founders, Don Ramon Aboitiz and Don Eduardo Aboitiz.

Photo Credit: RAFI

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