Friday, November 7, 2008

REACT PHILLIPINES


REACT PHILIPPINES (Regional Emergency Assistance Communications Team) a nationwide organization providing emergency assistance and communications support in times of disasters and calamities, have asked its members nationwide to solicit relief items and help in the relief and rescue efforts in the aftermath of typhoons.

REACT History









In the ides of the year 1994, Brandon Villegas had thought of organizing a civic organization that would meet the needs of providing emergency assistance communications to the community. He was supported and guided by his elder brother Audie "Browning" Villegas who was the Group Chief of REACT Sidlakan in 1994.

Being able to scout for prominent and potential group members the organizing process made progress. Despite the fire incident that blazed and destroyed the major commercial district of the Municipality of Guihulngan on October 4, 1994, the group was determined to pursue the organizing process. REACT NEGOR1 Group was finally chartered under REACT Philippines in October 23 of 1996.

The group was chartered under the Presidency of Atty. Edgar "Bacarat" Valdez ( now Hon. Party-list Representative of the APEC ). The Founding Group Chief Brandon "Branvil" Villegas was successful in placing REACT NEGOR1 in the REACT Philippines Map with the support of the pioneer members from Guihulngan, Canlaon, and Jimalalud.

Among the pioneer members were Brandon "Branvil" Villegas, Webster "Financier" Aragones (deceased), Caesar "Accurizer" Macalua, Joselito "Automatic" Paras, Ronald "Waverunner" Besario, Teresito "Mr. Bond" Planas, Samuel "Yellow Flippers" Rizon, Glen "Fulton" Facturan, Eriberto " Kamandayon" Alcorin, Benjamin "Beefloaf" Lim, Pepito "Red Lion" Tan, Tommy "Master Shooter" Delgado, Glecerio " Advancer" Asentista, Adolfo "Hachman" Gargoles, Edgardo "Plexus" Pialago, Dario "Audio Captain" Libosada, Calixto "Hasper" Go, Hilarion "Mc Call" Macalua, Hilario "Kennel" Konahap, and Freddie "Papoose" Carvajal.

Brandon "Branvil" Villegas served as the Charter Group Chief and served for a year until he ran for a political position in the Municipal Government. Due to the vacancy of the position Joselito "Automatic" Paras took over the leadership in 1996.

The chartered group expanded its membership in 1995 to include Canlaon City. Later upon the increase in the number of members from Canlaon City, it is but practical to create a new group due to their geographic distance. Despite the opposition of the Group Chief to such separation, Canlaon Group and most of the NEGOR1 members are amenable to the practicality of the proposal. REACT NEGOR1 then sponsored for the chartering of REACT PASAYAW group in 1996.

Joselito "Automatic" Paras held the Group Chief position until he ran for Municipal Councilor in 1998. He prepared for an election for the purpose, and endorsed Roberto "Shyguy" Villegas an equally potential and respected officer of the group for the leadership position but the membership elected Bon Mark "Braveheart" Uy as group chief.

Braveheart was the youngest member of the group at that time and belongs to the second batch of members. He was a former Junior Member of REACT Masareal Group of Mandaue City and served as Public Information Officer of NEGOR1 before the election. He was also instrumental to the establishment of a VHF repeater system for the group.

The 1998 May elections had brought about political chaos which has in effect placed the new leadership under political persecution. The group chief called for a meeting while tendering an irrevocable resignation to provide the group a chance for an alternative leadership that may provide a better solution to the problem. However, the group reelected Braveheart to the position and have pledge commitment support to the leadership despite the situation.

Blessing in disguise, while the leadership and the membership was placed in a hard-up situation it had gained the advantage of retaining a few but very committed and visionary individuals. It has also gained more idealistic members for REACT. In the later days of 1998, the group had conducted a 3 Day Planning Workshop on the direction that REACT must take in the next 10 years. It was then that the concept of the REACT Command Center was finalized, the acquisition of an Emergency vehicle, the continuous recruitment , upgrading and training of members and volunteers were considered as the most significant objectives in the following years.

It was in 1999 that initiatives were made for the acquisition of a very appropriate location for the REACT Command Center. In September 15, 2000, under the motion of Honorable Edmund Nalam and seconded by Honorable Saleto Erames of the Negros Oriental Provincial Board, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan resolved to authorize the Honorable Governor George P. Arnaiz to enter into and sign for and in behalf of the Provincial Government regarding the Memorandum of Agreement for the use of a lot inside the Governor William "Billy" Villegas Memorial Hospital Compound for the REACT Command Center construction. Finally, in October 18, 2000, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by the Honorable Governor George P. Arnaiz and Engineer Bon Mark "Braveheart" Uy in the interest of public service to utilize the portion of lot inside the hospital compound for the REACT Command Center.

While the there was no budget source for the construction for the REACT Command Center, the members had started to contribute voluntary labor, monetary or construction materials to start with the construction. While the center design was quite big, it took a long time to finish the center. To augment the financing a fundraising activity in the form of a "Peso Per Signature Campaign-Build REACT a Home" was conducted and was able to raise a small amount to continue with the construction. Another fundraising activity was conducted thru sponsoring a " Motocross Competition and Exhibition" which raised a substantial amount to finish another room.

During the year 2002, the Vizcaya tragedy was one of the major operations of the group. This involved the death of 5 police officers thru an ambush within the groups area of responsibility.

The 10th Charter thanksgiving activity was held inside the Negros Oriental State University covered court under the theme: "REACT Service: A commitment to God and Country". This was graced by the National President Antonio " Sand Piper" Campus, with Dinagyang Group of Ilo-ilo CIty , Nabinkalan Group of San Carlos City, Pasayaw Group of Canlaon City, and Sidlakan Group of Dumaguete City. Sports activities were also conducted.

While initiatives were made to continue the construction of the REACT Command Center, extensive community activities were made. This has placed REACT NEGOR1 to significance when the group was declared as an outstanding group in the country receiving the "Kaakbay ng Bayan Award" under the leadership of Braveheart during the 21st REACT National Convention held on May 3, 2003 in Cebu City . This was the first time that the group got a formal national recognition.

Braveheart has been reelected yearly to the leadership for 5 years. The Visayas Area Conference which was held in Bacolod City elected Braveheart to the Regional Chief Position-Region VII, thus leaving the group leadership vacant in 2003. This prompted for the the election of Roberto "Shyguy" Villegas as the 4th Group Chief . While this term for Shyguy was short lived due to personal matters. Another election was made to finish the remaining unexpired term. The group was then lead by Rowel "Nemesis" Malayo until 2004. Another term has ended and placed again Shyguy to the Group Chief position.

The 16th Visayas Area Conference in 2005 had made a significant development for the group. Braveheart who has been occupying the regional leadership for two years ended as he was elected Regional Representative for Region VII, and consequently the National President Enedina "Enzyme" Cacabelos, appointed him as National Area Vice President for the Visayas. This event also was special, the Honorable Sunny Rose "Mandarin" Madamba had pledged to finish the REACT Command center upon seeing the initiative and the need of the constituents.

The 24th National Convention held in Mactan, Lapu-lapu City was a double victory. REACT NEGOR1 was awarded for the second time the "Kaakbay ng Bayan Award" under the leadership of Roberto "Shyguy" Villegas while REACT Region VII was awarded the "Kapit-bisig Award" under the leadership of Bon Mark "Braveheart" Uy this award is given to the top 4 most outstanding regions in the country, the first time for the region to garner a national award.

The national convention further made a significant progress for REACT NEGOR1, the national leadership has commissioned the group to host and spearhead the national website project - "www.reactphil.org" under the direct responsibility of Bon Mark "Braveheart" Uy and consequently appointed him as National Public Information Officer while holding the National Area Vice Presidency for the Visayas.

July 16 2006 is another significant day for the group, the new REACT METRO CEBU Group was chartered under the sponsorship of REACT NEGOR1. The second group sponsored by the group for chartering. Roberto "Shyguy" Villegas-Group Chief, Audie Michael "Climax" Litrada, Reggie "Passenger 57" Carbero, and Bon Mark "Braveheart" Uy hosted the chartering ceremony in Cebu City.

While the construction of the REACT Command Center has not been completed, minor construction activities were maneuvered to accommodate the 17th Visayas Area Conference. With God's grace, the group successfully hosted for the first time the Visayas Area Conference on September 23, 2006. It was the first official REACT activity that was conducted at the REACT Command Center. This event was special in a way that the group also celebrated its 12th Charter Thanksgiving Anniversary. There was also the dedication of the REACT Training Institute, and the Official Launching of the National Website. This event was also coupled with the announcement of the Hon. Sunny Rose "Mandarin" Madamba for an additional budget for the completion and enhancement of the REACT Command Center structure. A very happy occasion indeed.

In October 4, 2006, the group launched the 12th year commemoration of the October 4, 1994 Fire event which blazed the heart of the Guihulngan's commercial district. It is the second activity hosted at the REACT Training Institute but the first multi-sector activity conducted in its premise. A forum was conducted on the present Fire Prevention Capabilty of the Local Fire Station and the problems that the community is facing with respect to fire hazards. This signifies the start of the REACT Command Center activities in the coming years.


I am proud to be a part of this organization. There were so many things that I've been experienced and it was fun. This is the awesome team that I was belong to and got to know how to build up a a good team work.


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