Tuesday, February 25, 2014

VSO Bahaginan Honors Volunteerism Through Film Showings

Wazzup Pilipinas!

It was several years ago when I was offered to become a volunteer for Volunteer Service Organization (VSO) Bahaginan. After my stint with the United Nations, I felt so inspired to continue my advocacy of helping people. That time, I was determined to try an out-of-the-country assignment. My short assignments at other parts of the country including a few areas in Mindanao, and even outside the Philippines like Bangkok, Thailand,  made me thirst for more adventure.

But it was also the same time that my wife just gave birth to our third child. I was invited so many times to join but I was hesitant to leave my newly-born child. Realizing I was not ready to leave my family for a shot at being a VSO Bahaginan volunteer, I gave up the opportunity.

It was only a few nights ago when I got invited to an event organized by VSO Bahaginan that made me recall those days when I almost jumped in to a new adventure. They held a special screening of six short-films shot across Africa documenting the life and journey of Filipinos serving as volunteers in some of the poorest places in the world.

The event hosts guides us through all the video showings

Since the year 2000, an estimated 900 Filipino professionals have responded to the call for volunteerism. Serving in various countries from anywhere between three months to more than two years, these volunteers work with partner organizations to understand the needs and challenges faced by communities. This is where they try to focus their resources and apply their expertise where it can be best utilized.

In general, almost all volunteers often go unnoticed by many. It is only the ones who unfortunately die or get into an accident that are often heard in the news. Many remain anonymous even to our government but their lives are amongst the true testament of the Filipino spirit of "bayanihan", resilience, and heroism.

Vitaliano N. NaƱagas III, Chairman of VSO Bahaginan, shares his thoughts
Former VSO Bahaginan volunteers stand up to be acknowledged

Caloy, an organizational development adviser in Kenya

The short films featured the lives of a teaching advisor in Iringa, Tanzania, an organizational development adviser in Mumias, Kenya, an organizational development adviser in Great Rift Valley, Kenya, an agriculture adviser in the island of Zanzibar off the coast of the Indian Ocean, a laboratory management expert in Ifakara, Tanzania, and an education adviser in Nairobi, Kenya.

The videos shown at the event can be seen online on YouTube. Just look for the VSO Bahaginan channel.

Juanito, a teaching advisor in Tanzania, Africa
One of the many volunteers was Juanito who was assigned in Tanzania, a country in East Africa ranked 6th worldwide among countries with the highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. Juanito was there to share their knowledge on effective teaching methods and techniques. 

The film showing celebrated the passion and commitment of Filipino volunteers serving those in greater need than themselves. These volunteers chose to leave the comforts of their lives to serve in places where most would not dare go.

Photo ops with VSO Bahaginan volunteers and staff

VSO Bahaginan aims to highlight the important role these volunteers play in society and to recognize the global impact they make.The organization hopes to inspire Filipinos that every small act of kindness done by everyday people can create ripples of lasting change.

You may want to become a volunteer to fulfill your passion to serve and make a difference on the lives of the less fortunate.

You can contact them through their website:

or check their Facebook page:

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