04 October 2011

Subic Freeport hosts Rotaract regional conference

The Subic Bay Freeport played host to hundreds of Rotaractors from countries in the Asia-Pacific region during the 8th Asia Pacific Regional Rotaract Conference (APRRC) held from September 29 to October 2.

Rotaract delegates from Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Bangladesh and host country Philippines participated in various lecture and workshop fora that were held here during the four-day conference.

The visitors received a warm welcome from Filipino hosts in the opening ceremonies at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC), where they were treated with a special dance performance by students from the Olongapo City National High School-Special Program for the Arts.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Roberto Garcia, who greeted the Rotaractors during the opening program, said the visitors somewhat brightened Subic despite the stormy weather in the past week.

“Thank you for bringing a part of the good weather. It’s a beautiful day outside,” he said, referring to the sunny weather during the opening ceremonies.

Garcia mentioned that he used to be an active member of the Rotary Club of Green Meadows in Quezon City, and then proceeded to welcome the delegates to the “most beautiful freeport in the Philippines.”

Garcia also briefed the foreign delegates on the history of Subic Bay and how it became the top economic hub in the Philippines, before inviting them to visit tourist attractions in Subic.

“A large part of our work here is to develop Subic into a premier tourist facility and destination. If you have time, please visit our theme parks. These are visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year,” Garcia said. “I hope your tight schedule will allow you time to go around and see what Subic has to offer.”

Host district governor Digna Ragasa, meanwhile, reiterated the importance of serving others by highlighting the conference theme “Touching Communities, Serving Humanity.”

“What the world needs today are young men and women like you, who are able and willing to put the justice and love of the Divine Providence into action,” Ragasa said.

“Touch communities, touch lives, and serve humanity. But you can only do that if you are able to commit yourselves, if you will be able to take your part, and see for yourselves what you can do to the world,” she added.

The APRRC was founded in 2004 and became an annual event among Rotaractors from all over the region. The conference aims to unite all Rotaractors from the region and equip them with new ideas and knowledge that will be useful in developing their personality and skills as future leaders of the society.

The previous conference was held in Singapore.

The Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community- or university-based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. This makes them true "partners in service" and key members of the family of Rotary. (SBMA Corporate Communications)