District Governor Joel Tinitigan
District 3810-Philippines
RY 2004-2005

Message of DG Joel Tinitigan
Villaluz Resort Hotel & Restaurant, Silang, Cavite


History is replete with people who changed the world because they had a vision.

Mahatma Gandhi had a vision of a free and independent India. Henry Ford had a vision of every family in America owning its own automobile at a time when most people were frightened of the new invention. Mahatma Gandhi and Henry Ford committed themselves to the clear picture they had of what their group would become or do as a result of the special influence they would exert.

There’s the magic word: “Committed.” The young man today with vision and commitment is Bill Gates. Look where he is now. Fortune magazine lists his as the richest man in the world today. Gandhi, Ford and Gates believed, persevered and realized their vision, their dream.

Having a dream, a vision, a clear picture of what your club would become and do, is not enough. There must be a commitment on your part to act on it. You must be committed to use your special talent, your profession, your vocation, your resources and your time to realize your vision.

Whatever work you do must be viewed as a calling, a providentially assigned vocation. Because your position and work are well-pleasing to both God and mankind, it should be second nature to you to use the affluence and the influence emanating from your vocation in helping the less fortunate among your fellowmen. And this is what you have done, as Rotary’s partners in service share unselfishly.

Speaking of unselfishness, I am reminded of a story of its opponent – selfishness.

In Africa, they have a special way of capturing monkeys. These wary little animals are very fond of rice. In order to capture them, local farmers put some rice inside a hollow coconut shell, into which they have cut a hole just enough for the monkey’s hand.

Half a dozen traps like this are left lying around in the center of the village. But each one is attached by a string to a nearby house.

A family of monkeys comes up, attracted by the smell of rice. Each slips its hand into a shell to get a handful of rice. But with its hand full, it is unable to remove it.

The hunters then approach and easily gather in their prey. If the monkey would only let go of the rice, it would be able to get away from the trap that had been set for it. Bit it likes rice too much to give it up – even at the risk of life.

How true it is, that the hand which is closed cannot receive – even freedom.

In closing, let me share with you this beautiful story.

A little girl went to her bedroom and took out her piggy bank. She poured the coins out on the floor and counted it carefully. And then, she slipped out the back door and her way 6 blocks to a drug store. Because the pharmacist was busy talking with another man, she took a quarter and banged it on the glass counter. “And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in an announced tone of voice. “I’m talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen  in  years,” he  said. “Well, I want to talk to you about my brother,” Tess, the little girl answered. “He’s really, really sick… and I want to buy a miracle.” “I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist. “His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?” “We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,” the pharmacist said, softening a little. “Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn’t enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs.” The pharmacist’s brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does your brother need?” “I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes swelling up. “I just know he’s really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use my money.” “How much do you have?” asked the man from Chicago. “One dollar and eleven cents,” Tess answered barely audibly. “And it’s all the money I have.” “Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the man. “A dollar and eleven cents – the exact price of a miracle for your little brother.” He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her hand and said “Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the miracle you need.”

That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was home again and doing well. That surgery was a real miracle. And how much was the cost of the miracle? …One dollar and eleven cents …plus the faith of a little child.

Each of us can do miracles. At what cost? At the cost of our faith. Sometimes when we believe in people, they do miracles. And I believe in the Solid Cavite Rotaract Clubs.

Thank you and mabuhay tayong lahat!