The Life and Times of the ‘Dual Citizens’

By Reycent Valdez | Posted on October 21, 2021

‘Dual Citizen’ is what we call a Rotaractor who was also inducted as a Rotarian. However, many of us does not have any idea what it is like to be part of the two organizations. In this feature, we get to hear from the dual citizens themselves how they decided to be one and how the managed to maintain it.

Becoming a Rotaractor is more than just gaining friends, connections, attending fellowships and partaking in events, it is also about giving a huge slice of your time in helping the community while creating an impactful change. We Rotaractors work tirelessly in providing service for our respective communities and living the life of what it takes to be a Rotaractor. Despite the amount of time we give to represent our Rotaract clubs, there are Rotaractors who took a step beyond, and that is to become a Rotarian at the same time.

The primary reason why I have decided to work on this feature is because I am a dual citizen myself. I was inducted as a Rotaractor last November 2020 and as a Rotarian in September 2021. Presently, I juggle both Rotaract Club of San Pedro All Star as Club Service Director and Rotary Club of Metro San Pedro as Member of the Public Image Committee. My reason was to gain connections and expand my service, and I wanted to know the reasons that pushed the other dual citizens to gain both Rtr. and Rtn. prefixes—and I am going to share with you why it became one of our best decisions.

Let us hear the thoughts of some dual citizens from all over the Philippines, and their message to the Rotaractors:

Rtr./Rtn. Paul Armhel Escobar

Past President, Rotaract Club of Lucena South

Club Secretary, Rotary Club of Lucena South

District 3820

“I became a Rotaractor when I was inducted to the Rotaract Club of EQC-Gumaca in RY 2008-2009. After I moved to Lucena City, I was invited by Rtr. Darius Sarmiento to be part of the Rotaract Club of Lucena South in RY 2012-2013 and elected as its President in RY 2018-2019. I was invited by PP Johnny Panganiban to join the Rotary Club of Lucena South but it was PP Nelson Eleazar who really pushed me to join. From then on, PP Felimon Lagumen chose me to be his secretary.

Being a dual citizen in Rotary was one of the toughest decisions I have made but I realized that I love doing this and every moment was worth it. Managing my time to perform my duties as a Rotaractor and Rotorian was a struggle but since most of the activities now are done virtually, I always make sure that each activity is in my calendar so that it’s organized and I can attend each activity.  To all Rotaractors who are hesitant in joining Rotary because they’re afraid that they cannot get along with them, don’t be! I did and I am still in it. I am learning, growing and most importantly continuing to be of service.”

Rtr./Rtn. John Richard Sagum

Club Secretary, Rotary Club of Freeport Zone

Club TRF Director, Rotaract Club of Freeport Zone

District 3790

“I was inducted at the Rotaract Club of Freeport Zone last July 2011 and during the Inspiring Year 2018-2019, I was inducted as a member as a member and Club Secretary of the Rotary Club of Freeport Zone. It was the Rotarians who inspired me to be part of them and they felt like family even though I was intimidated by them at first. I can talk to them like they are my friends, but they became my mentors too, not only in Rotary but also in life, business, etc. I joined activities and fellowships and even became part PDG Raul’s committee as an admin staff during his all-star term. For myself, Rotary and Rotaract are not the only things I am handling as I also work as an employee in an advertising firm. Prioritization is always the key. For me, I feel like my responsibilities are both a challenge and an opportunity. I learn things by doing tasks from my Rotary and Rotaract duties.

Joining the Rotary is not as hard as we think but is not an easy task. You have to prioritize the things carefully. You have to know what decisions you have to choose. But once you manage to do these, I am sure that you’ll love being part of these families at the same time and you’ll be learning from the professionals and your age group. For me, knowledge from their experiences is one of valuable things I gained from both groups”

Rtr./Rtn. Earl John Martirizar

Member, Rotary Club of Central Iloilo City

Past President and Club Adviser, Rotaract Club of Central Iloilo City

District 3850

“I joined the Rotaract Club of Central Iloilo City on March 2016 and was elected President 3 months after. Following my Presidency, I was invited by PDG Emma Nava to join the Rotary Club of Central Iloilo City. It took me years to accept the offer and on July 2019, I got inducted as a Rotarian together with my fellow Rotaractor Mary Liven Simpia. Being the “manong” of the Rotaractors not only of our club but also of the District, I’ve been working closely with the youth in all the projects, partnerships and events while I try my best to be a working Rotarian by serving as the bridge between both clubs. There may be a generation gap between Rotaractors and Rotarians but the level of respect and the passion to serve keep us aligned and our fellowship is always fun, not to mention we all love food and KTV!

Indeed, after more than 5 years in Rotary International, I can say I made the right choice. There’s never closer to my heart than service and being raised in a family of public servants has been a great influence why I chose Rotary and will stay with Rotary. For those who are considering dual membership or planning to transfer to Rotary, my message is simple—LISTEN TO YOUR HEART. Let that burning passion guide you in your choices not only with service but in life in general.”

Rtr./Rtn. Chivas Ayroso

Youth Service Programme / Public Image Committee Chairperson, Rotary Club of Greenfields Quezon City

Charter President, Rotaract Club of Greenfields QC

District 3780

“It is quite interesting that I was inducted as a Rotarian first before becoming a Rotaractor. I was inducted as a Rotarian in September 2020 and as the Charter President of the Rotaract Club of Greenfields QC last November 2020. I joined both clubs without hesitations despite the COVID-19 crisis. It was my boldness to serve to many that made me feel Rotary and its COVID Response isuch an effective call-to-action. Our Dear Almighty in Heaven, my parents Rey and Evangeline Ayroso, relatives, my mentors in Rotary Rtn Maria Roselle Reyes & PP Leodegario Amba, PP Eloisa Versoza, CP Jesus Hernandez, LCP Mark Peralta, and my Transforming President Geraldine Demalata continuously inspires me to join in Rotary, build a Rotaract club and serve more communities. For me, there is no perfect time to rest when there are people struggling silently—my personal motivation to work closely with the most vulnerable sectors.  To handle all the two clubs, I had to localize the recommended Five-Year Plan, which was adopted from the Stellar Rotaract District 3780 structure. Moreover, as the youngest member of my Rotary club, I had to study their leadership style. The fellowship became a new face of learning for me. 

Expanding your horizon is such a courageous action anybody can do. If you are reading this, it means you are a Rotaractor or interested to be one, who is curious about dual membership. Make sure to assess your capability and if you find hindering factors, then you might consider asking your mentors in your prospect Rotary Club on how you can, as a team, answer your problem. And to give a clear-cut idea, it is beneficial for you and to your club to be more connected to a Rotary Club, hopefully, your sponsoring club. It will also bridge your Rotary Club to transition further to become more flexible and adaptive, because you extend the chain of generational services of your legacy-maker Rotary Club.

Rtr./Rtn. Raymart Cacho

Youth Service Director, Rotary Club of Malabon

Foundation Chairperson, Rotaract Club of Malabon

District 3800

“I was invited to the Rotaract by PP Fearlyn Paglinawan-Linao, who was then President-Elect. I served as All Star President for RAC Malabon in RY 2016-2017 and through attending district events and Rotary meetings, I became exposed and encouraged to be part of their club. During the Champion Year, one of the DRR’s challenge was to induct Rotaractors to become Rotarians. With the encouragement given by my clubmates and past presidents of RC Malabon—PP Ronnie, PP Ian and PP Alex—I became part of the Rotary Club of Malabon. Being a dual member means that you need to set your mind that you have responsibilities both as Rotaractor and Rotarian. Knowing the schedule of activities and setting priorities is indeed a must. In RC Malabon, age doesn’t matter, especially during fellowships. Dealing with Rotarians made me learn about different aspects of life through listening to their stories and experiences. I am also glad that in our club we have PDG Edi Chua CK and PDG James Dee. They are willing to guide everyone whether younger or older Rotarians.

I am certain that I made the right decision to juggle two clubs at once because of the learnings and experiences that I can gain and share both in Rotaract and Rotary. If you aspire to be a dual member, just go for it, especially when your Sponsoring Rotary Club encourages you to be with them because they know that you can help each other in service to make a difference.”

Rtr./Rtn. Alvin Lentejas

Member, Rotary Club of Calbayog

Charter President / Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Rotaract Club of Ibatan-Calbayog

District 3860

“It was October 2018, the Inspiring Year, when I was inducted as a Rotaractor and less than a year after, on June 2019 (Champion Year), I became a Rotarian. The people who have inspired me for dual citizenship are the Rotarians, which happens to be my tennis friends too. They have encouraged me to extend more services to my community by joining the Rotary. It was not an easy decision knowing that I can’t paddle two boats at the same time. So far, being a dual citizen does not give me any hindrance and I saw it as a best venue for coaching Rotaract while delivering meaningful service to our community at the same time. Rotary treated me like family they became our inspiration into becoming true champions of service. I became a bridge between the two clubs, and we share difference resources and working in one pattern. I am proud to be part of it.

It’s the best decision for me. The purpose of existence of both Rotary and Rotaract clubs is just the same. I serve our community as a Rotaractor and be taught to be a better Rotarian in the future. I will be forever grateful to these organizations for it opens more life realities and it bestows me to leg up our fellowmen sharing the blessings we have had. To my co-Rotaractors, eventually time will come that we need to elevate our membership to Rotary. As Rotaractors, let us continue to learn how we can contribute doable services for the betterment of our community. Let us commit on pursuing projects that addresses the structural causes of conflict, including poverty, inequality, ethnic tension, lack of access to education and unequal distribution of resources of our treasured land. Let us continue to be an Inspiration to the youth, a Champion of Service to our community, support better Transformation as we adapt changes in our environment and be a Life Changer citizen that makes the world a better place to live.”

Becoming a dual citizen is truly a great experience for us. While we serve young, we get to be exposed to true professionals that may secure our future. It will be challenging but it is all part of who we are as part of a much wider Rotary International. Rotaract and Rotary follows the same principles, but both can definitely give you the exposure, the experience and the fun! Will you be considering soon?

Share and Enjoy !