I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
In 2009, I started my giving with the Bayanihan Foundation in Iligan City, Philippines. Why in Iligan? I was fortunate to have my uncle Dr. Vicente, and my aunt, Mrs. Luz Saavedra inspire me in my philanthropic giving early on. In 2019, ten years later, the Bayanihan Foundation have leveraged individual donations and have touched thousands of lives in Iligan, in partnership with the Zakat Foundation and multiple Rotary clubs in Chicago and in Iligan. Dr. Vicente and Mrs. Luz Saavedra certainly has been a catalyst in my life. They have demonstrated the power of giving selflessly.
The Bayanihan Foundation has touched over 19, 000 people in Iligan with the help of Dr. Vicente and Mrs. Luz Saavedra. The foundation has a long laundry list of accomplishments in Iligan:
built two libraries and two latrines;
delivered 5 tons of food to indigent Filipino Muslims;
built six wells;
hosted 23 NEXTGEN youth and Rotarians;
provided emergency food rations to 800 people after Typhoon Sendong in 2012;
donated 3,000 books;
helped 18,000 people with rice and food donations to indigent Filipino Muslim families after the annual Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha celebrations.
Dr. Vicente and Mrs. Luz Saavedra have been catalysts for change in Iligan. Their accomplishments live on through the lives they’ve touched. Their inspiration of helping others will go on for many years to come as the next generation of diaspora philanthropy takes on the mantle of ‘Bayanihan’ community giving.