Friday, October 19, 2007


Hands On Manila

It's been three years since I've joined this volunteer group. I remember how I came across this article about the group, what are they here for, and the various activities they organize all of which are participated in by people with willing hearts. I attended their volunteers' orientation held in one of the bookshops in Makati where they introduced the group, its humble beginnings, how they work, the different projects they have, the different organizations they have tie up with, and some of the people whom have supported the organization and embraced the concept of volunteerism.

Volunteerism, as defined in Wikipedia, "is the willingness of people to work on behalf of others without the expectation of pay or other tangible gain". It may sound crazy but its true. One is willing to work without expecting anything tangible from it. Though there maybe various reasons why they joined, in the end its the sense of accomplishment and the belief that one made something good that made them come back and do it all again.

In my case, I want a different summer at that time. Since I wasn't expecting any teaching job the summer of 2004,I want to do something good with my time. After attending the orientation, the following day I was out the streets visiting the various organizations needing some volunteers. I guess I was a bit picky with the organizations, I wanted something that will tell me what to do like sort of a plan and I want one that won't involved a lot of time as I still need to go to work. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get both. It is either they require you to be there a number of times a week or you just have to go find something to do. The groups that I was interested in cannot be contacted or either have the project discontinued already.

So here I am, three years and yet I haven't experienced the joys of being a volunteer. I have invited Hands On Manila in our university to talk about volunteering and have invited some friends to join the group. Dondon Marquez, the HOM Program Manager, told me that though I may not be doing some physical volunteering work, introducing the group (HOM) to other people helps in promoting it. In that, my outlook turned positive but still I am longing for that one time that I will be able to do real volunteer work.

Actually, when I came here in Japan the first thing I did was scout for volunteer groups. Sadly I haven't found any, though I know there are a lot of volunteer groups here. But in the past one year in my stay here in Japan, in one way or another I was able to learn and experience some concepts in volunteering which I hope I could impart back home.

So still, I guess the only way I could help HOM is to introduce it to people and promote volunteerism. In that I would like everyone back home to participate in Hands On Servathon 2007 on October 27, 2007 in celebration of yet another year of Hands On Manila. There will be various activities in different parts of Metro Manila. For more information you could check Hands On Manila website at:


Anonymous said...

WOW! Thanks for promoting HOM...Once an HOM volunteer, always an HOM volunteer! Visit us when your in town...Best!///dondon

maikeru said...

No problem Don. Hope to see you guys back home.