Bangon Bicolnon, Tabang Oragon

In the aftermath of three straight Typhoons that challenged the strongest recorded winds ever passing the Philippines, various sectors of the Alpha Phi Omega Philippines Inc. stepped up to deliver stopgap relief efforts to several distressed areas within the Bicol Region.

Coordinating donation drives from their Alumni Association network all over the globe, APO Oragon Metro Naga AA, spearheaded by APO-MASON and in partnership with BCVR Prime Enterprises, mapped out several service projects to distribute basic needs for calamity victims. Just days after Super Typhoon Rolly left absolute devastation everywhere in Bicol, and despite the difficulty of electricity regeneration still in process, APO Oragon provided relief packs for Sto Niño, Sagnay and San Benito, Goa, Camarines Sur. This service mission was immediately followed by visits to Tanawan, Malinao, Albay on November 8; Brgy Apad, Ragay, Camarines Sur - November 14; Brgy Sabgon, San Jose, Cam Sur – November 15; and, most recently, in Sipocot – November 21. Libmanan and Presentacion are scheduled next.

School-based Chapters and Alumni Associations were likewise active in the service front as Alpha Nu of University of Nueva Caceres distributed food supplies in Mangayawan, Canaman, Cam Sur; Beta Kappa AA of Ateneo de Naga University gave their time and resources to Bula, Cam Sur, with another drive aimed to bring reprieve to Lagonoy; while, Nu Xi of CBSUA-Calabanga shared their blessings in Bigaas, Calabanga.

The non-stop relief efforts do not stop at the local APO Alumni Associations. Alpha Phi Omega Phil. Inc., thru its umbrella Bicol Administrative Region, led by Regional Director Ferdie Balcueva, performed simultaneous distribution drives last November 21. Areas covered spread as far out as Paracale and Labo, Camarines Norte; Bato, Camarines Sur; Malinao, Tabaco, Albay; Burias and Claveria, Masbate; and, Virac and San Andres, Catanduanes. APO BAR also provided relief support in Tarosanan, Camaligan, Camarines Sur earlier in the week.

Generosity and dedication are the keys to the continuous service projects in helping Bicol rise up again from the distressing challenges brought about by the wrath of Mother Nature. Financial assistance came from Alumni Associations in Australia, Canada and Qatar, to name a few. Then, the local manpower committed themselves to make sure the monetary aid reached the struggling beneficiaries. If Bicolandia is to recover from this catastrophe at the soonest time, we must help each other hand in hand. Coordinate with the nearest Alpha Phi Omega member in your neighbourhood. Initiate donation drives within your network of friends or office colleagues. Be involved from planning to solicitation, to purchasing, to packing, to distribution. Give and do not count the cost. Lose yourself in the service of others. That is the only way we will stand up again. Rise up as one Bicolandia. “Bangon Bicolnon! Tabang Oragon!”