Dhenver C. Guilaran
Business Owner of AutoConnect Transport, Paranaque City
National Secretary – HiAce Club Philippines
Since the 12th January 2020 the eruption of Taal Volcano has displaced over 270,000 people in South Luzon. Both Batangas and Cavite have been placed under a state of calamity, and electricity and water supplies were cut off from several locked down cities. Dhenver has been involved in a number of Relief Drives for those affected by the Taal eruptions.
Name of Relief Drives:
HiAce Club Philippines Taal Relief
Intransit Manila Taal Relief Operation and Medical Mission,
Project Ronin : Tuloy Ang Ating Laban (TAAL)
Relief Drive Activity Details:
1st Taal Relief Operation As early as the 14th January the HiAce Club Philippines, by Gods grace and generosity of all Chapters, family members and friends, were able to provide relief goods specifically in Tagaytay City Integrated School. This was done in coordination with the Central Command for Relief Distribution in Tagaytay.
Chapter members from Manila, Cavite, SouthSide Vans worked hand in hand to give out hygiene kits, blankets, sleeping mats, clothes, canned goods, mineral water and instant food to more than 1,000 people in the evacuation center.
2nd Taal Relief Operation was a Medical Mission and Relief Operation on the 19th January. This was in partnership with Intransit Manila, with Team Leader Mytze Coi of Alorica, together with a team of Doctors, Nurses, approximately 50 Volunteers and the Army. A total of 5 Evacuation Sites in Balayan Batangas were visited : Brgy Canda, Lantanan, Gumamela, Brgy Putol and Brgy Carenahan.
The Team of HiAce Club Volunteer Vans picked up relief goods before the operation, and during the operation we served as cargo vans for relief and volunteers.
3rd Taal Relief Operation was operating a Cargo Van for Project Ronin, to pick up relief goods in different areas of Metro Manila and deliver them to the Project Ronin base, inside Camp Aguinaldo. Project Ronin is a pure advocacy and voluntary movement to promote sustainable local tourism and responsible travelling in the outdoors. It aims to empower local communities to be more confident, pro acive and engaging. Project Ronin aims to promote and empower, environmental and cultural awareness to travelers and outdoor enthusiasts by providing quality outdoor education.
4th Taal Relief Operation was on the 19th January, with the 2nd Relief Drive of the HiAce Club Philippines to Batangas. By this time mandatory evacuations had been enforced in communities living within the 14 km radius of Taal Volcano’s crater. With the continuous volcanic activities, we do not know when the affected children and their families would be able to go back to their homes. HiAce Club Philippines now knew the most urgent needs. Together with HiAce Club Founder, Roy Dancel and family, we delivered the relief goods to Lipa Batangas Fernando Airbase, where they also had evacuees. A total of 256 families received medicines, blankets, water, facemask, food, potable water and sleeping mats.
Why do you think it’s important to get involved? On a personal level it is good for my mind and body; it has a profound effect on my psychological well-being, reducing stress and anxiety. It also increases self confidence. It may seem strange but helping others give you a “high” that makes you feel good. It’s also about perspective. By looking at the challenges of others’ lives, you can take that point of view into your own. It gives a sense of meaning in our lives. A meaningful life isn’t found, but created through our actions. And it starts with looking for ways to help others.
Three things you make sure you focus on, in your work:
First is Always Find the FUN in what I do. I am in the transportation business; I love travelling. I love meeting people, talking to people. Different projects comes in, from surveys to long distance traveling. I always ask myself why I should drive, since I employ drivers too. But I find that there will be that output you so desire, and you value the task.
Second is Prioritize Tasks. They say that the first hour at work is where most people are productive. This is because all energies are yet to be spent. I put difficult and challenging tasks on my agenda during the first hour, and then end with those routine tasks that I find boring. It makes me stay focused and I avoid getting stressed, without spending precious time on doing tasks I don’t like.
Third is Keep Learning. I want to be a lifelong learner, to thrive as a well-informed person. So always read; read quality books and magazines. Watch interesting screen time, enjoy a good movie. And surround yourself with like-minded people but also be around people who are different than you.
Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues:
The number one thing you can bring to the table is all that energy you have stored somewhere inside you! When you are enthusiastic about a cause, your energy will be contagious and spread to others. You will find that your positive spirit can motivate others to take action towards the cause as well.
Be Selfless this is what volunteering is all about; giving your time to a cause you believe in, in order to help others in the process. The whole experience can be very rewarding and addictive. A little selflessness can go a long way and you might find you get a lot out of the experience.
Be a Team Player last but not least, being a part of a team is essential to volunteering. The world is very rarely changed by just one person. Instead it’s the collective effort of a group of committed individuals, working together that makes the difference. Stay Friendly, respect all opinions, and be compassionate and you can achieve something wonderful with your team.
Inspirations: There are 3 kinds of people; those who MAKE things happen, those who WATCH things happen, and those who wake up one day, and asked, What Happened?
The Bayanihan Spirit of the Filipinos inspires me in times like these. Faith, resilience and a good sense of humor to sum it up. A simple act of kindness awakens the hero inside of us.
What’s in your Future?
“I will try my very best to bring myself and family to a place where I can be happy with who I have become, and what I have done”.
Regardless of how simple these words are, they hold a lot of meaning and do have some sort of heaviness inside them. This is all due to me being used to planning. However, there is no denying that life has taken a weird and unplanned turn. Things went unplanned. Yet everything is still fine. That is why I have a general future plan to keep on going with my business, pursuing my dreams. So, my future plan would be to keep chasing dreams, keep building myself up, be a better me – never stop believing I will succeed.
Everything else is just a plan of my well-being, mentally and physically. I truly plan to bring myself to a place where happiness will be guaranteed and I am going to be the one doing that for myself. I am going to work hard, I am going to make sacrifices, I am going to lose once in a while, but everything is going to be okay. Because that’s my plan. To make everything okay for me and for the people I love.
Happiness is the Plan. Is has always been that way and will always remain the same.