The Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Centro is a compact mirror of the town it belongs to. Santa Rosa, Laguna: a 209-year-old town on the banks of Laguna de Bay, with rice lands that sprawl westward to the province of Cavite. Rice lands, that is until a little more than a decade ago.
In the mid-eighties, industrialization descended upon Santa Rosa and re-shaped the face of the quiet, conservative town. The rice lands gave away to industrial parks, manufacturing plants, commercial complexes and to modern subdivisions. And of course, population ballooned from less 50,000 to nearly 100,000 in so short time.
Thus did the face of Santa Rosa change, from its original one-dimensional planet to a composite of the old and the new: old families and new residents; the Old Town still hugging the Bay and the New town rising from the rice lands.
When the Centro started forming some time in August 2000, the ladies who answered the call made by parent club RC Santa Rosa. There were the younger generations of original Roseños as well as the young dynamic women who came to reside in Santa Rosa, lured by the opportunities to this rising economic hub.
And so they met – ladies who grew up with each other; ladies who’ve heard of the other; and ladies who lived in the same town but never knew each another.
The first few months were volatile; recruits were quitting as fast as they were signing up. The reason was common: Rotary’s required weekly meetings were simply too much for many of the early entrants to comply with.
But this was clearly a strong core that was forming, a ground of young women who had found something attractive in the idea of a Rotary Club. Camaraderie, a sense of purpose, whatever. they possessed not only the capacity but also the interest to form a club where services above self is an overriding philosophy. But this core failed to meet the minimum number for a charter club.
Nevertheless, they gave enough reason for the The Centro to continue and survive.
And so, in between recruitment, the bonding of friendship was being was being cemented. Informal meetings and fellowships were consciously held so that the ladies could get to know each other better, visit each other’s homes, meet each other’s families.
The next two years saw the club grow and mature in terms of numbers and quality. Idealism starting to take its root together with a burning desire to serve continued to fuel a craving to provide something good to another. She has uncovered personalities of innate leadership qualities with insatiable desire to bequeath a part of one’s own, at its best the basic qualities only a Rotarian could possess.
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