Champion Rotarian Liza Elorde: Ascends Ring of District 3810; Inducted as District Governor

by Albert S. Alday
SDG for District Publication
GML Editor-In-Chief
Club Sec, Director of RC Manila

There are those born to follow and there are those born to lead. From humble beginnings as a daughter from a rather large brood with a well-known journalist father and a mother of Chinese descent, Liza Tan Vicencio-Elorde, gradually built a name for herself through her assertive yet calibrated ways of leadership, distinguishing herself as a marquee student and a champion debater for which she has carved her niche early in life as a student leader.

Caring, devoted and passionate in whatever endeavor she has indulged in, thy call of leadership in a service organization was certainly not far behind. Yet, humble and unassuming as she has always been, her keen attention to detail has become the proverbial yardstick that would serve as the compass of her future in governance. No wonder, the Parents Association of De La Salle-Santiago Zobel School was quick to take cognizance of her strides and so, too, were the Inner Wheel Club of Manila and the Rotary movement to whom she has endeared herself to the many service projects and acquaintances that have painted the bright colors of her life.

With a boxing legend for a father-in-law and a mother-in-law who is deeply ingrained with the rudiments of managing boxers, Liza was quick to learn the tricks of the craft as she, together with her loving husband, Juan Lope “Johnny” Elorde, a Rotarian, as well, quietly made the greatest impact in Philippine boxing, honing many homegrown legends. most famous of which is the fighting Senator and boxing legend. the Honorable Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, the Charter President of the Rotary Club of Manila Premier. Indeed, the heart of a Champion innervates her veins as two of her sons, Bai and Mig, have embraced the boxing pedigree of their forebears while Nico has distinguished himself in the pro ranks of Philippine basketball as one of the most sought after players in the guard position. Her immersion into the sporting world with her entire family has taught her the discipline ola multi-tasker, dabbling between her roles as a hands-on mother to her children, a doting grandmother to her cute grandchildren. a manager with keen attention to detail and a civic organization enthusiast whose ways of “Service Above Self” truly manifest the champion she has always been, in life, in work, and in selfless service. Her life was pretty much a routine until the call of the helm brought her to Rotary’s Changemaker year as President and like the true champion that she has always been, she did not let setbacks in her Rotary career deter her from the clamor of a district wanting in the brand of leadership she has manifested throughout her years as a Rotarian of worth and promise and the All-Star year of “Rotary Serving Humanity” presented the perfect backdrop for her to shine the brightest among the stars where she began as a Senior Deputy Governor for Programs and ended the year, with her election as District Governor in a tightly fought race chat brought out the best in her and her will to succeed.

Three years, hence, from chat fairy tale All-Star year, the lady of humble beginnings has now blossomed into the lady of hope for a district whose thirst for touching lives knows no bounds. On a quaint Monday afternoon on the first of July 2019, on a rather busy start of the workweek and precedence of centennial events in Rotary chat saw then Rotary International President-Elect Mark Daniel Maloney inducting the District Governors of the Philippines and the Presidents of the different clubs in the Philippines. Liza Tan Vicencio•Elorde, in the presence of her immediate family, clubmates in the Rotary Club of Manila Premier and a sea of Rotarians from District 3810, was inducted by fellow Rotarian and Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivares, amid of a thunderous applause indicating the mark of approval of an engaged Rotarian audience who continue to seek light in a fresh leadership. The auspicious event began with a Children’s Party by the Solid Cavite Group of Rotary leaders where District Governor Liza was gracious enough to show her motherly ways of caring by making sure these children from the marginalized sectors, feel the comfort of the family of Rotary. Thereafter, being the religious leader she has always been, she, together with her entire family and members of the Executive Committee as well as other district officers and Rotarians present. attended the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated with the intention of a prosperous Rotary year of “Service Above Self” ahead. After a quick picture taking of the Champion Presidents with the District Governor. Champion Presidents and Inspiring Presidents alike assembled at the entrance of the Grand Ballroom of the posh OKADA Manila to take their respective places in the much-awaited parade of Champion Presidents and Inspiring Presidents together with their respective club banners. Female Champion Presidents were clad in light blue Filipiniana attire while male Champion Presidents were as equally dashing in their beige barong and light blue sash which they wore over their necks. They were followed by the Executive Committee with females in their yellow Filipiniana attire while the males were in beige barongs with a yellow sash. The Council of Governors, many of whom were in attendance, were next in line for the parade. before the champion of the evening, District Governor Liza and her immediate family prepared for the entrance and parade of a lifetime.

The formalities of the evening began with outgoing District Governor Rudy Bedioncs of the Rotary Club of Manila calling the induction ceremonies to order. The Dream Girls of Rotary fame rendered a moving invocation while the Philippine Marines clad in their gala uniform undertook the Entrance of Colors. In line with tradition, the Philippine National Anthem was played last after the national anthems ofSouth Korea and Japan, in honor of visiting Rotarians from these places who graced the momentous occasion. District Executive Secretary Eric Candidato undertook the arduous task of introducing the Rotarian dignitaries for the event. After the brief District 3810 audiovisual presentation, Senior Deputy Governor Joyce Michelle Anabray, the overall Chairperson of the District 3810 Handover and Induction Ceremonies delivered her Welcome Remarks followed by the Valedictory Address of outgoing District Governor Rudy Bediones who highlighted the gains of an Inspiring Rotary Year that was. With the night progressing, it was time to satisfy the hunger pangs of the multitude of Rotarians in attendance as the service crew of OKADA Manila clad in boxer hoodies paraded the red carpet and served the delectable dishes carefully selected by the Induction Committee for the evening. While the food was being served, Rotarians took time to make congeniality commonplace as cellular phone selfies and photo opportunities became the delights of the dinner recess. Performances by Mission Hymnpossible, The Angelos and Buganda spiced up the dinner break as Rotarians were enthralled with their superb performances. When the program resumed, Incoming District Governor Lira Elorde took her oath and thereafter, now, Immediate Past District Governor Rudy Bediones turned over the bell and gavel to District Governor Liza Elorde, symbolizing the transfer of the mantle of authority. A brief audiovisual presentation introduced the District Governor as Liza Elordc took the podium amid the background music of °Eye of the Tiger” of Rocky movie fame and delivered her Inaugural Address which delved on championing the different causes of Rotary and her advocacy of Peace and Conflict Resolution. Not long thereafter, Past District Governor Ernesto Yuyek, during whose incumbency, she won as District Governor, introduced the Keynote Speaker, Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez who spoke about his Rotarian ways and what to expect from the City of Paranaque where the venue of the induction is located. Representatives from sister Districts 2820 and 3661 delivered their respective messages of goodwill. The highlight of the evening was the Oath Taking of the Champion Presidents and the Champion Executive Committee and District Officers, the latter group of which was presented by Chief of Staff Maribelle Chua. In both segments, District Governor Liza Conic was the inducting officer. Subsequently, District Membership Chairperson Past District Governor Connie Beltran•de Venecia charged the new members of the different clubs in the district after which District Governor Liza administered the oath.

The Induction of the Council of Governors of District 3810 ensued where Past District Governor Edmond Aguilar was inducted as Chairman in the presence of his family and all the governors of the district. District Rotary Foundation Chairman Past District Governor Macng Mercado led the recognition of The Rotary Foundation Donors for Rotary Year 2019-2020 before District Governor Liza Elorde made her very first adjournment.

The grandeur of the evening was a much talked about induction with the festive atmosphere pervading the legion of Rotarians whose resolve to do good in the world has been their continuing mantra. With the throng of Rotarians present that evening giving their utmost attention to the inaugural address of a lady governor whose concern for the many cannot be completely undermined, District Governor Liza Horde, indeed, has served as the proverbial bridge that fills the gaps between Rotarians, the catalyst who has now ensured that “ROTARY CONNECTS THE WORLD”.