Hao Foundation’s Project Zen achieve great milestone

Holds 1st Culmination Exercise for Hilot Massage Training Course to help individuals earn income, improve lives
Hao Foundation’s Project Zen achieve great milestone
Photo by Ramcez Villegas

R.A. Hao Training Development Center Foundation’s “Project Zen” marked a significant milestone as it held its 1st Culmination Exercise for Hilot Massage Training Course with 23 graduates on Friday morning, October 27, 2023.

The culmination ceremony was led by Mr. Rodolfo A. Hao, President of the foundation, along with Davao City Councilor Al Ryan Alejandre as the guest speaker, Brgy. Captain Nestor Cirunay, Brgy. Coun.Timoteo Flores of Matina Aplaya, Nikko Echegorin on behalf of Davao City Vice Mayor Atty. J Quitain and Francis Rey Q. Buñawan, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) Specialist I from Tesda-Davao Region.

In March 2005, the R.A. Hao Training Development Center Foundation was established with the initial focus on providing auto mechanics training, creating opportunities for individuals eager to learn auto mechanics and earn a livelihood from their skills. The foundation was able to produce more than a thousand auto mechanic graduates who are now gainfully employed locally and abroad. 

This year 2023, the Hilot Massage Training Course was introduced with a similar goal: to offer livelihood opportunities while enhancing skills. The training program, according to Mr. Hao, is a step towards providing livelihood opportunities to the local community while enhancing their valuable skills.

“I will not give you a fish, I will teach you how to fish,” Hao said.

“Naundang lang ang atong auto mechanic pag pandemic. So karon ato na pu’ng i-revive atong auto mechanic training then ingon ko magdungag na pud ta’g bag-o mao na ning Zen Project na livelihood gihapon nga makatabang sa katawhan nga… siguro dali makakwarta then mao puy uso karon kay ang mga tao karon conscious na kaayo sa ilang health, kanang gusto healthly lifestyle, kanang pampakundisyon, daghan karon nagpa home service, daghan nag-open og massage parlor, so isa namo diha nga kaning mu-graduate diri is mao na ning dakong tabang (Our auto mechanic program was halted during the pandemic so now we will revive it and add another project, and this is it, the Zen Project, also a livelihood project aimed at helping people to easily earn an income. Aside from that, this is also the trend now since people nowadays are health conscious, want to live a healthy lifestyle. Several people have already opened a massage parlor, so this is one of the goals for the graduates of this project, and it’s a great help),” Hao added.

Hao emphasized that this training would help graduates by enabling them to cover their electricity bills and rent, send their children to school, and achieve a higher standard of living.

Coun. Alejandre, during his culmination message to the graduates, emphasized not to squander this opportunity and encouraged them to utilize their newfound skills to support their families.

Alejandre also said that their team would reach out to connect with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to endorse these graduates for job placement and to provide ongoing support for both the graduates and the training program, as well as for this advocacy.

“We will help you accredit sa DOT kung naa nay cooperative gwapo na kay ato ng i-endorse sa DOT as accredited group, sila na ma-endorse. Pwede na sila makasulod sa mga hotels. 

I-organize gyud ninyo kay gwapo kung organized inyong group kay makaduol example sa DOT, ma-accredit mo, makapangayo mo’g [help] (We will help get accreditation from the DOT [Department of Tourism], if you have a cooperative, then that’s better because we will just endorse you at the DOT as an accredited group and then they will be accepted at the hotels. You organize yourselves since it is better if you are organized as a group because you can easily approach any agencies like the DOT for you to be accredited, and you can also ask for assistance). They can also apply for the cooperative sa (in the) city. They can have the 350,000 pesos grant from the city, i-comply lang na nila ang mga requirements nato (They will only need to comply with the requirements),” Alejandre said during his speech.

With the guidance of Mr. Buñawan, these graduates were fortunate to undergo an immersion program and receive accreditation for their training.

“They are eligible to take the assessment kay ang atong training hours man kay na meet man nato ang standards so pwede ta maka take og assessment then makakuha jud sya’g (because they have met the full training hours to be able to get an assessment so they can take) full NCII,” Buñawan said.

Buñawan also encouraged the graduates to serve as a beacon of hope for others within their communities. It's not just about them; the graduates will also serve as an inspiration to people who aspire to undergo similar training through the “Project Zen” of the foundation. 

“As the graduates embark on this new chapter, they should remember that the knowledge they have acquired and the relationships they have formed will lead them toward prosperity. Their journey should inspire others to follow in their footsteps and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future,” Buñawan added.

As a new chapter begins at the foundation, Hao expressed the commitment to continue the training, with the hope of assisting even more individuals in need within the community. 

“Ang future nato is continuing lang gihapon kung unsa pa ang program na mahuna hunaan na nato na dali lang sila mukita. Dili pwede na palisuron nato sila na-okay mag train ka for one year, kung pwede lang naay after one day lang, sige pwede na. Kung pwede lang nga naay ing ana og basta himuon nila ilang part nga maningkamot pud (We will sustain the programs for the future, if we can only lighten up their training for them like so that they will also strive then that would be better),” Hao said.

Dedicated to community assistance, Hao is on a mission that goes beyond enhancing skills and providing livelihood; it's about ensuring that those in need receive help.

While signing certificates for the graduates, Hao mentioned that these certificates represent more than just a paper – they hold a significant value. Hao doesn't just reap what he sows; he is genuinely happy to see these graduates receive their certificates as if they are receiving a fresh start that will improve their lives. AJA


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