25 May 2012- Six Filipino professionals and entrepreneurs from Rotary International District 3800 visited New Zealand from April 19 to May 24 under the 2012 Group Study Exchange (GSE) of the Rotary Foundation (TRF).
Its district partner, New Zealand Rotary International 9980, hosted Team Philippines R.I. 3800 led by Past President and entrepreneur Rudy Retirado with Dr. Rocky R. Dizon, financial analyst Mary Angeli L. Quianzon, professional photographer Marydell R. Alsola, public elementary school teacher Christine B. Sierte, and kindergarten teacher Maria Anna Katrina M. Fernandez as members.
The Rotary International District 3800 in Metro-Manila consists of 90 Rotary Clubs from Malabon, Navotas, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Marikina, Pasig, San Juan and Mandaluyong and the cities and municipalities in Rizal province.
As envisioned by the Rotary Foundation, GSE aims to foster greater international understanding and friendship through the exchange of visits of professional and business people between two Rotary Districts in various countries.
In New Zealand, Team Philippines R.I. 3800 became outstanding ambassadors of goodwill as they went around the South Island for 36 days immersing themselves in its different cultures, learning more about the local people’s way of life, gaining vocational, professional and business knowledge and experiences, making presentations to several Rotary Clubs and promoting the Philippines as an attractive tourism, investment, trade and business destination.
They were treated to Southern hospitality when Invercargill Mayor Tim Studbolt received the Philippine delegation members who were accompanied by Rotary Club President Alice Pottinger at the Mayor’s office recently. They were also featured in local newspapers.
Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Virginia Benavidez was requested by Dr. Rocky Dizon, who is specializing in Diabetology, to administer his Pledge for Diplomate in Internal Medicine.
In her dialogue with the Rotarians, Ambassador Benavidez stated that “their presence in the South Island and participation in the exchange program offered a wealth of insights, ideas, information and interaction with the Rotary Clubs’ partners, local people and Filipino community and in the process fortified the bridges of friendship, deepened the reservoir of goodwill and strengthened fellowship between Filipinos and New Zealanders. True to the Rotarian spirit, Team Philippines R.I. 3800, in their respective fields and interests, helped make a positive impact on the people they met and projected a favorable reputation of our beloved country.”