MANILA, Philippines - More and more Filipinos are pushing for change through volunteerism.
For five days in early March, the province of Cavite, witnessed a milestone movement that is expected to bring positive changes in the country.
Instead of carrying arms, the participants - composed of ordinary citizens, notable celebrities, organizations, and corporations - pushed four-wheeled carts that symbolized the different advocacies they support.
This is Kariton Revolution, the brainchild of 2009 CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida and the young members of the Dynamic Teen Company (DTC).
More than three years after he bagged the CNN Hero of the Year Award for his innovative Kariton Klasrum program that reached out and provided education to out-of-school children on the streets, Peñaflorida, together with his team, now encourages Filipinos of all ages to push for Kariton Revolution's seven advocacies: environment, livelihood, culture, peace, education, youth, and health. The campaign is a volunteer sign-up program that encourages Filipinos to support any of the worthwhile causes they believe in.
"The idea for Kariton Revolution came from one of our young members, Cris 'Kez' Valdez, a 13-year-old boy who united and mobilized the entire city and collected donations for the victims of typhoon Sendong," explained Peñaflorida. "He showed that as long as your heart is in what you are doing, no matter what your age is and even if you lack resources, you can help out and make a difference when the opportunity arises."
More than 100 karitons representing different groups marched from the Ladislao Diwa Elementary School to Samonte Park to signify their support for the campaign for five consecutive days.
Personalities including DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro; actress Lorna Tolentino, and Zsa Zsa Padilla; musicians Dulce, Aiza Seguerra,Juris Fernandez, Krizza Neri and Paolo Valenciano; TV hosts TJ Manotoc, Makata; and Philippine Volcanoes Rugby superstar player Andrew Wolff joined students, employees, and members of different organizations during the event.
"I believe that caring for others is innate in every Filipino. Through Kariton Revolution, we want to serve as the bridge between those who want to help out but don't know how and the organizations and groups that work for worthwhile causes," said Peñaflorida. "We should all take an active participation if we truly want to transform the country."
To sign up for Kariton Revolution, interested volunteers may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (46)431-5263.