On Bridging Continents with RC Kajang

Rotarians from RC Fujisawa, RC Kajang, and RC Metro Lipa

Four Rotary Club of Metro Lipa (RCML) members visited the Rotary Club of Kajang of RID 3300 in Malaysia during the latter’s club installation in July 17, 2010. The outbound delegation was composed of PDG Onye Reyes, SDG Danny Ona, PP Arnold Capuloy and PE Oliver Bollozos. Upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at around 9:00PM, the group was met by PP Ravichandran, PP John Kor, and PP Datin Valerie and was immediately brought to the Prima Saujana in Kajang, Malaysia where we were led to our fully-furnished apartment, courtesy of PP John.

The following day, we were privileged to have a native Malaysian breakfast at the house of PP John. The foods were similar to what we have in the Philippines, except for the special spices that made us all perspire in the well-ventilated dining room. PP John then brought us to Putra Jaya where we were shown what a modern city looks like. It was really impressive. Then we drove back to Kuala Lumpur for our first Malaysian lunch of Bak Kut Teh, Fried Tilapia, and Bean Curd. That was really a treat! In the evening, we went to the RC Kajang’s Installation in Oriental Crystal Hotel wearing our traditional Barong Tagalog. To our delight, there were six of us wearing Barong Tagalog in the hall. There were four of us plus PP James and PP Ravi. PDG Onye Reyes was immediately led to the VIP’s holding room together with his co-Leading District Governor in RY 2006-2007, PDG Dato Jimmy Lim. The rest of us were seated with Rotarians from RC Fujisawa, Japan and with PP Ravi and his spouse.

It was very elating to attend a Rotary Club function in another country because we get to observe the different formalities brought about by different cultures. After the change of leadership from IPP Gurmith Singh to Pres. Balbir Singh, PDG Onye Reyes and PP Arnold Capuloy extended our warm greetings to RC Kajang which was followed by an exchange of tokens. That simple gathering brought together Rotarians from Malaysia, Japan and the Philippines.

The following day, PDG Arasu hosted a fellowship lunch for all of us then we were drove by PP James to the historic Melaka. In the evening, we had a lunch with PP John and his spouse, PP Donald Chen and PP Datin Valerie. On our way to Kuala Lumpur, PP Datin Valerie showed us several times what it really means to take care of guests. She dropped by a local pharmacy to buy an elastic bandage for my injured knee and then drove from one mall to another just to get the bag that PE Oliver wants to bring home to his wife. Talking of hospitality, who would ever forget the care and concern of PP John and his wife to PE Oliver who got sick in the middle of the Installation ceremony? You were more than friends to us during our brief stay in Kajang, you were more like brothers and sisters to us. During our last day, Rtn Soma went out of his way to drive us to the airport.

I can still vividly recall how this friendship started, and it started also with Rotarians from three countries, namely Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia. I was on an official business trip to Bandung Indonesia in 2008 where I met PDS Petrina Faustine of Indonesia who happens to be my counterpart in their university. When she saw me wearing my Rotary jacket, she hosted a dinner for us together with a group of Rotarians and their spouses from RC Kajang. After that dinner at the View Restaurant, PP Ravi and I exchanged e-mails until four Rotarians from RC Kajang visited the Philippines in 2009. And the rest is history while both RCML and RCK continue to write the history of Service Above Self by committing to continue the friendship and by doing joint projects every year. Right now, both clubs will be working on a Matching grant project together with a club from Korea. We are also going to discuss soon with PP Datin Valerie the plan to have a youth exchange program between our clubs. We will be expecting the RC Kajang members to attend RCML’s 15th anniversary celebration on October 23, 2010.

In this age of wireless technology and cost of travelling becoming so affordable, Building Communities and Bridging Continents would not be much of a problem. I hope many Rotarians will be involved in future international activities.

Terima kasih!

by: PP Arnold Capuloy

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