AMBAGAN: Our Ideas, Our Rotary, Our World

By Emmanuelle Glyde Suycano | Posted on February 27, 2023

Ambag, a Filipino term which means contribution. 

In Rotaract, ambag is given by all Rotaractors in many different forms and ways, and in many different ways and forms, it is valued. We recognize that no contribution is too little. But perhaps, the greatest contribution a Rotaractor can give is ideas. Ideas are the basic building blocks of change. It is this potential of the thought — the power of the mind — that makes transformation possible, even ripples of it across time and beyond borders. To ambag ideas is to contribute to change, show passion to serve, and exhibit capacity for leadership, all of which define Rotary and Rotaract.

Allow me to illustrate by my own Rotaract experience. I joined the Rotaract Club of Cebu Fuente – University of San Carlos a little over a year ago. In a random week in September, club leaders asked the members for ideas on how to raise awareness and generate funds for the End Polio Now Campaign. I pitched my ideas to the club heads a few weeks later. It was to set up tin cans where customers can donate coin change in establishments. As one club, we refined that idea to fit our realities. We came up with recycled Coca Cola plastic bottles instead of tin cans and maximized the dispersion of our members by encouraging them to partner with local establishments in their hometowns. This was amid the fully online learning set-up in our university. Through our members’ ambag, we brought the idea to reality and were able to generate a few thousands in funds through online and physical donation channels. One Rotary Year later, I am now one of the club’s leaders and is heading our club’s initiatives for the End Polio Now campaign under the slogan, “We are EVERY PESO close to ending polio.” We, passionate and committed Rotaractors, recognize that every donation matters. Into the future, I see these people lead our club with their novel ideas and those of our members continuing to make their ambag through the years of growth for our club. 

Ideas are very powerful tools that Rotary can utilize on two fronts: first, to make an impact in the communities that we serve, and second, to ensure that our members are involved in making that impact. These ideas turned accomplished community and club service projects make piles of value towards effecting change. Parallel to how every peso coin counts towards Rotary’s polio eradication campaign is the ambag that every project makes towards making our world a better place for the children of today and tomorrow.

Moo Kandingan, a service partner for the club’s Piso To End Polio in 2021, also joins the roster of service partners for the district-initiative Together We Can End Polio.

Ideas are the core of the whole process and functions of the club. It is these ideas that allow us to train our members into leaders with integrity capable of harnessing the potential of diverse minds in fellowship and service to the community. 

Ito ang aming ambag. (This is our contribution.) And perhaps, a point of reflection for all Rotaractors and Rotaract Clubs: What is your ambag? After all, this is our ideas, our Rotary, and our world.

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