Bagumbayan Movement launched, raise P17 Million in contributions.
A national movement composed of more than 30,000 volunteers was officially launched today (April 27) at the historic Manila Hotel on the occasion of the 488th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan, the nation's first victory against the colonial invaders.
Leon B. Herrera, president of the Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines Movement, said Bagumbayan's grand launching was timed on the anniversary of the Battle of Mactan because Lapu-Lapu, the first Filipino hero, is one of the movement's inspirations.
"Lapu-Lapu courageously defended his community against the colonial invaders. Like Lapu-Lapu, Bagumbayan volunteers seek to defend our country from corruption, immorality and transactional politics so that we can have a New Philippines, a Bagumbayan," he said.
About 2,000 delegates who paid for their own way from all walks of life and every corner of the country including overseas Filipinos flocked to the movement's grand launching and national convention that raised P17 Million through individual contributions and which was graced by Independent Senator Richard Gordon, the keynote speaker.
In his speech, a teary-eyed Gordon said there is a need to abandon the “transactional politics” of the country’s “corrupt leaders.”
“Change ourselves first, before we change our leaders,” he said.
The senator was joined by other guest speakers, to wit: world flyweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr., CNN Hero nominee Efren Penaflorida, Journey band lead vocalist Arnel Pineda, and Chikka.com founder Dennis Mendiola.
They were chosen for being ordinary people who went on to do extraordinary things.
“Nonito, Efren, Arnel and Dennis are ordinary people who made a difference in their lives and the lives of others. We have many of them in our midst, and we will surely see several of them as volunteers of a new Philippines, our Bagumbayan,” Herrera said.
"Senator Gordon has been one of Bagumbayan's inspirations. With his impressive track record in bringing about positive changes wherever he went, Gordon's forward-thinking ideas tie in with our aspirations," Herrera added.
Bagumbayan is a movement of individuals united by a common vision for the nation, inspired by the courage and bravery of Lapu-Lapu and the ideals and wisdom of Jose Rizal, and empowered by the spirit of volunteerism.
"We in the Bagumbayan movement seek to break the walls in our minds and depart from a transactional society. We work for genuine transformation in our country through the collective efforts of the society anchored on the strength of volunteerism," Herrera said.
The Bagumbayan Movement started as a volunteer group whose members served in the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), which Gordon chaired in the 1990s.