Buenas tardes hermanos Claretianos.
Congratulations to us all for making it to our 7th year!
Truly, the spirit of Saint Anthony Mary Claret is with us as we have successfully used all possible means to make the Kapatirang Claretiano Inc. a respected association, a band of brothers that we can all be proud of.
But the best is yet to come!
Today, dear brothers, let me present to you my SOKA – not SONA but SOKA -- State of KCI Address.
This past year, we have truly rekindled the KCI spirit and created a very strong impact in our mission to “bridge lives” among our members; strengthened the bridge towards the Claretian community; and created a stronger bridge between KCI and the Filipino people and nation as a whole!
With the help and support of each and every one of you – including our brothers abroad -- we have shown that we can work shoulder to shoulder as a partner organization of the Claretian community.
Last year, KCI – in cooperation with the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (KRIS) -- helped set up three libraries and a day care center in Claret Mission Centers and the Claret Urban Poor communities in Sitio Bangkal and Tungawan in Zamboanga Sibugay. These beneficiary communities are known conflict areas located right in the middle of the feuding camps of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); and the 18th Infantry battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
KCI has indeed planted its flag in one of the country’s most violent and poorest areas!
Thanks to Fr. Manny Abogado, his parishioners at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center – who pooled in about P62,000 -- anonymous KCI and Kris Library donors, poor children in this virtual “no man’s land” are given a better future as they are now aided by decent libraries. They also received basic school supplies and snacks from KCI and Kris Library.
In a resettlement area for Typhoon Ondoy victims in Rodriguez, Rizal, we have also established the CUPA-KCI-KRIS Library where we have likewise given books, set up two computers and gave school supplies for poor children. And we again thank the parishioners of Fr. Manny, former KCI President Auggie Cadua, future Ambassador Charlie Macaranas; Fr. Paul Polintan for bringing a van full of books from the Colegio de San Bartolome de Novalices; and anonymous KCI and Kris Library donors for their generosity.
In all these activities, we are clearly partaking of the mission of our CMF priests and brothers in our capacity as laymen. In doing so, we are also giving back to CMF whatever blessings it has given us in our start-up years here in Metro Manila.
We came from Claret, yet we are out of it because we now belong to the world outside where we excel in our careers, businesses; and family lives. And to show our care and sympathy for this world, KCI in a very big way threw its full support in the relief and recovery mission in helping the victims of Typhoon Sendong where we raised almost P100,000 from our KCI brothers and Kris donors from all over the world.
At a crucial point in our country’s history where the Filipino people needed us the most, KCI became a conduit for the people of New Zealand who donated P51,000 to the flash-flood victims in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. For this, we thank Fr. Carmelo Constantino Cruz for tapping the help of his parishioners at the diocese of Auckland to help our poor countryman.
And in perfect synergy with our KCI brothers in the area, we thank Bro.Toto Zerrudo and Leo delos Reyes for undertaking the difficult task of buying, identifying the beneficiaries; and organizing the distribution of the basic relief goods, t-shirts and schools supplies to the typhoon victims. This task was made even more impressive by the fact they themselves were unfortunate victims of the cataclysm.
It is worth mentioning that among the victims we helped with financial support is the family of our very own Em Lacaste, whose house was wiped out by the great deluge. Ganyan ang KCI, walang iwanan!
But there were also lots of fun in our first two years term. KCI also made a strong showing in the annual Claret Unity Cup. Our teams may not have won, but we did succeed in showing our never-say-die attitude. Talagang parang Ginebra ang KCI and they better watch out for us next year! KCI members also had a good time at the Kapatiran sa Kagubatan bonding moments in San Mateo, Rizal.
Amid all these accomplishments in helping our dear CMF community, assistance to our KCI members; and fellow Filipinos in need, our biggest accomplishment was to work for the stability of KCI as a non-stock, non-profit association. This past year, we have put our SEC papers in order, paid our association dues and reopened a KCI bank account to bring greater accountability to KCI.
I would like to thank our Vice President for Finance Fr. Paul Polintan for being steadfast in ensuring that we be as HONEST and TRANSPARENT as possible in handling our accounts. More than the donations made to us, KCI’s biggest treasure is its credibility in the eyes of its members and other who have entrusted us with their hard-earned donations. We may not have time to acknowledge all the donors to include Bros. Toby Garcia, Albert Alo, Arnie Catungal, Amba Gilbert Segara, Dexter Carreon etc, but we thank you all very much!
Along with Paul, I would like to thank all the board members of KCI who have been working very hard – one of them even got sick doing so – to help us live up to our program slogan to: Revitalize, Re-Strengthen, and to make KCI Relevant to the world.
We are just warming up, among our priority projects in the coming months – and in cooperation with the KCI-Pangasinan Chapter under Romano Bulatao – we will be setting up a marker at the altar dedicated to St. Anthony Mary Claret inside the Holy Family Parish Church in Santa Barbara, Pangasinan, where the first mission of the Claretians in the Philippines and Asia was set up in1947.
Our biggest goal and challenge in the second and last year of our term in KCI would be to strengthen and fully stabilize the operations of KCI as an organization as we pass it on to younger and hopefully more progressive and forward-looking young crop of KCI members.
Having shown our capacity to contribute to nation-building, having given back to the Claretian community by supporting their missionary works, we are now going to look inward and go back to our roots.
This year, we are going to initiate activities to increase the employment and business skills of KCI members and their families by holding skill-training and business-sharing activities.
Likewise, KCI is looking at ways to establish a cooperative type of business to bring financial stability to the organization and its individual members. One of the activities in the pipeline is the possible establishment of a school in Metro Manila.
Nothing is final yet and so in the coming days, we will be seeking suggestions and ideas from you to see how we can all can fuse together resources, talents, careers and businesses to come up with business projects that will gel and further bring us together; while at the same time benefitting us, our families and the KCI organization as a whole.
These are all plans and dreams, but that is where we all started with seven years ago and look where KCI is now seven years later. So, please join us in making all these plans happen! We can do it! Bravo de KCI!
Gracias a todo.