The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Manila Chapter held its 35th Chapter Biennial Assembly on October 8, 2022 at The Manila Hotel with the theme “7 Dekada, 5 Taon, Iisang Layunin: Buhay Isagip, Alaala Iukit”. The event paid homage to the committed volunteers whose exceptional achievements and significant contributions to PRC Manila Chapter paved the way for meaningful and fruitful service to the PRC purpose and mission. As the lifeblood of the organization, volunteers play a vital role in supporting the most vulnerable in communities across the country.
“It is the volunteers and staff that make our ambulances and equipment run, that makes PRC an outstanding society,” PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon said in his speech.
The PRC Manila Chapter, meanwhile, also elected its new set of Board of Directors (BOD). Together with the new BOD, the volunteers of the PRC Manila Chapter will continue and intensify their efforts to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and uplift the dignity of the most vulnerable. In fulfillment of this commitment, the volunteers, amid disasters and emergencies, vow to dedicate their talent, time, and service to the people.
The 35th Biennial Assembly of PRC Manila Chapter provided an opportunity for the Chairman of its Board of Directors, Hon. Amado Bagatsing, and Governor Leonida (Baby) Ortiz to report on the chapter’s activities, achievements, and financial performance. PRC Manila Chapter is one of the most reliable chapters in providing PRC services. Being among the first local chapters to establish the Summer Safety Institute, which offers a variety of courses on PRC services, such as First Aid and Basic Life Support Training and courses from the Water Safety program, the PRC Manila Chapter has been providing assistance to the most vulnerable since its establishment in the 1940s.
Manila Mayor Maria Sheilah (Honey) Honrado Lacuna to PRC Manila Chapter: “Sa loob ng maraming taon ay napatunayan na ng Manila Red Cross ang tunay na kahulugan at kahalagahan ng bolunterismo. Maraming pagkakataon ninyo na ipinakita ang pagmamalasakit sa ating mga kababayan.”
Last week, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) congratulated its own Mr. Chino Kairo Serrano for ranking first in the recent 2021 Nutritionist Dietician Licensure Exams. In an interview last October 22, 2021, Chino provides some tips for those who aspire to become nutritionist-dieticians.
First, he shared that one should always prioritize and treasure what was learned in college. “I believe that all you have to do is just always do your best. Prioritize the “learnings”, and then grades will follow,” he said. For him, being in college is the time where one should learn the fundamentals of your program or chosen career path. That is why he made the most out of it by learning everything he could but at the same time making sure to enjoy his college days. He mentioned that the real challenge for him was life after college as he shared that it is different once you are employed. “My current role here in PRC is my first real job. Learning doesn’t stop even while at work, so I do my best to learn as much as I can wherever I am,” he added.
Secondly, he believes in a strong sense of gratitude. “The most important tip I can provide is to trust in the plans of the Lord,” he emphasized. Sharing his thoughts about all the challenges he recently experienced, he said; “I still do not understand a lot of the things that happened to me this year. Aside from the many difficulties our country is facing due to the pandemic and our board exams which was moved to October instead of July, the most difficult was when my mother died three months ago due to COVID-19. Despite these, I didn’t stop me from believing that the Lord had plans for me.”
For Chino, topping the recent board exams was just a small feat. He continues to learn and evolve, “I remember that even during college, I experienced many drawbacks and turnarounds. Also, I didn’t even know that Nutrition was a program when I entered college.” Now, he believes that he has come to understand things more clearly, “It turns out that my plans were different from the Lord’s plans, but I would like to think that this is the materialization of His plans for that season in my life.”
Chino Kairo Serrano is an officer under the PRC Water Sanitation and Hygiene Unit (WASH) working on the Typhoon Response Operations with UNICEF and the WASH project under the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).