iVolunteer Sweeps the Shores of Manila Bay in the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup

by Christine Joy Chiombon, Director of Partner Relations

Joining the annual International Coastal Cleanup is not a new thing for me — I’ve been doing this since 2009! What makes this year really unforgettable is that this year marks a new achievement for me. I’m no longer a participant, but an organizer on behalf of iVolunteer Philippines and, at the same time, the coordinator for the organizers of ICC 2013. Organizing an event like this is never an easy task — you need to go over so many details of the event logistics and coordinate with various sorts of people, and hopefully all of that would guide and encourage people to volunteer!

The author, together with the eager volunteers from the Technological Institute of the Philippines

Getting volunteers for the event was hard. It was one week before the event and we only had a few number of volunteers who signed up via the website. My thoughts during that week was, “Konti or marami, tuloy dapat ito”. I kept a positive mindset though and believed that volunteers would soon come and reach out to us within that week.  Luckily enough, 5 days before the event, a group of students from the Technological Institute of the Philippines in Quezon City came forward and expressed their interest in joining the event! I was so happy and couldn’t express enough gratitude for reaching and even exceeding the number of volunteers we needed for the event!

ICC 2013 volunteers clean up the coast of Manila Bay

This year’s coastal cleanup was far different from my previous experiences. The weather was not on our side. On the way to The Baywalk, rain started to fall and I had a hard time contacting the volunteers to ensure that they all made it in one piece. When we arrived at the venue, the weather started to improve and I was able to meet new people, mingle with different organizations and, of course, meet our new set of volunteers!

The 2013 International Coastal Cleanup Volunteers

The Coastal Cleanup event was definitely a success. It was one big shining example that the Pinoy “Bayanihan” spirit is still within each and every one of us. We were able to do simple things that made a big impact and I know that, for our first time volunteers, it would definitely be an experience worth treasuring.

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