Volunteerism: An Act of Faith and a Commitment to Service

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Albert has always had his own definition of love and commitment. For him, the love he receives from God and his family grows a hundred-fold through being a proactive member of society. This is his own way of serving and inspiring everyone in his community to engage in activities that create positive change and long-term improvements towards a more peaceful and orderly environment.

 In light of the upcoming elections, Albert’s volunteering journey is truly a testament that anyone of us can spark change within our own communities as long as we have the humility and commitment to serve.


The Road to Volunteerism

He began his journey as a volunteer as early as elementary, where he consistently participated in organizations involved in community building, such as the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. At a young age, he already knew that volunteering is what his heart beats for. Up until his college years, he was always involved in clean up drives, tree planting activities, community involvement programs, and leadership trainings.

Now that he has been working for almost 10 years in the BPO industry and blessed with his own family, his role as a volunteer also broadened. Just after a month of joining the Bantay-Bayan Foundation Inc. Lipa (BBFI) in 2013, he was already appointed as Chapter Secretary, which is still his current position in the organization. Together with the other members of BBFI Lipa, Albert advocates peace and order in the community, ensuring that everyone is free and safe to go through their day-to-day activities, especially the children, whom he believes should be well taken cared of. He also trains the younger BBFI members and inspires them to continue on charting their own volunteering journey.


On Gratitude and Giving Back

When asked why he has committed to stepping up, and serving his community, he shared how for him, volunteerism is a form of gratitude: “Ito ang paraan ko para maibahagi ang mga biyayang natatanggap ko sa Panginoon.” He also added that the love coming from his family fuels him to share the abundance of grace he has been receiving, so others will also do the same. He has never been one who expects anything in return for the service he freely offers, but he has witnessed how God has been continuously showering his family and loved ones with numerous blessings.  And through volunteerism, Albert positively influences his family, barangay, office and eventually, he hopes his initiatives would be felt within the whole City of Lipa as well.

Learning and Growing with the Community

Volunteerism has also significantly helped Albert become more aware of socially relevant issues that directly affect his barangay.  It opened his eyes to the needs and challenges of his community, and in breaking them down into actionable projects. He has learned to be proactive and vigilant, and to not rely on the government or others in order to implement change. According to him, being one of the leaders of BBFI has help him grow and acquire new skills: “Hindi ko lamang naipagpatuloy ang volunteering activities, nagkaroon pa ako ng opportunity na mas madevelop ang sarili ko.” Through the years that he has grown with the community, Albert has been compelled to develop and grow into the person whom he aspires to be, in order that he may continue to be one of the BBFI leaders whom everyone may emulate.


God as the Author of Volunteerism

In addition to the personal growth opportunities of volunteerism, Albert is also greatly inspired by his strong faith. “Para sa akin, ay siya rin ang author ng volunteerism, opinyon ko lang, dahil sa kusang loob Niyang ibinigay ang kanyang Anak upang tayo ay maligtas.” He perfectly captured how God is working in his life as a volunteer by being inspired by His ultimate example of sacrifice and selflessness. With God as his source of daily strength and wisdom, he fulfills a purpose beyond his personal and societal goals—his soul is nourished and his faith constantly strengthened.


Sharing the Greatest Story on Volunteerism

As a husband and father of two kids, Albert ensures that the whole family is one in fulfilling their mission as catalysts of change and bearers of the greatest story of sacrifice and volunteerism. And in this age of innovation and fast-paced living, Albert continues to find ways through social media and daily conversations to bring the message out and educate the community on the important role they play in nation building. Through his indestructible faith, and creative ways, Albert ultimately dreams to inspire and hone more committed volunteers and storytellers beyond his community in Lipa City.


In our own journey towards becoming a better nation, we should not discount our ability and responsibility to partake in this whole process of rebuilding, by moving from a passive state to an active and participative outlook. Our daily practice of accountability becomes a constant reminder that we should not rely on the government alone; we ourselves should ensure that there is proper implementation and compliance of our laws. With all the resources available and our genuine will to serve, like Albert, we can all lead our community to be responsible and pro-active citizens. The upcoming 2016 National Elections is one of those significant opportunities where together, our participation can change the future of our nation.

 

by Celina Baylon

 

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