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When Service Becomes Her

It was when she decided to break the spell at 38 years old that she went full bloom.

Unknown to most, Dr. Jinky Banatao-Banusing has decided earlier to be eternally single and to enjoy its blessedness. But a guy from San Jose, Antique, a Haiti-based Operations Officer of the United Nations Contingent, between 2007 to 2008, came like a dashing Romeo and swept off her feet.

Love will always be a miracle as it suddenly did wonders to her. It was destiny that she married that guy, Colonel Larry Tan-Banusing of the Philippine Army.

A very religious individual who first saw light and grew up in idyllic Barangay Malabbac, Iguig, Cagayan. Doc Jinky is a practicing member of the International Association of Orthodontists and the Philippine Academy of Aesthetic Dentistry and a former member of the Zonta Club of Central Tuguegarao.

“These organizations empowered me in my line of work,” she said.

She first did her initial stint as an instructor-coordinator at a local college in Tuguegarao. When she finally established her private practice as a dentist, she bid teaching goodbye.

Then, public service beckons thru her chosen Zonta club. It was the day that she discovered that she was fierce and strong as a woman and full of life. Her passion to help others burned brighter than her fears.

When Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’, he might be thinking ahead of that sweet little girl from Iguig. She soon realized that while charity should begin at home, it should not end there.

Iguig’s pride soon initiated various projects and programs as President of Cagayan Dental Association-Tuguegarao Chapter. It was a baptism of fire that she tremendously enjoyed; she was giving a part of herself, that’s why. Through all these, her husband Larry was there to provide support in all forms.

Doc Jinky is adept at coordination and linkages. Her group linked with a sister club, the Cheongju Leaders of South Korea for several community-based projects which benefitted the marginalized. It was during her club presidency at Rotary Club Tuguegarao Rainbow that she brought potable water to schools in the province and benefitted a good number of households.

“The COVID-19 global pandemic has also brought to the forefront the importance of water as an essential solution to this current health crisis... indeed water is the elixir of life,” she said.

Doc Jinky led her club members into fund-raising activities thru Oplan Sagip Cagayan which was able to raise more than a million peso to help victims of massive floods brought by typhoon Vamco (local name: Ulysses) in Cagayan and Isabela provinces. The Oplan Sagip Cagayan likewise assisted a housing project in Cagayan towns.

“Having this kind of activity embodies the ideals of a Rotarian. It is nice to see Rotarians working and pooling resources together to help the underprivileged sectors. It is putting into action the theme for the Rotary Year 2021, “Open Door Opportunities,” Banusing said.

Due to the number of programs and projects she delivered during her term, the Rotary District 3770 awarded her club the following: Covid Response Award, Disaster Response Award, Excellent Participation Award, Compliance Award, Social Media Award, Public Image Award, Polio Plus Governor’s Citation Award.

Other awards include the Club Citation Achiever for Service Project, Outstanding Transforming President, Outstanding Rotary Club, Best Rotary Club in Subscription to the Philippine Rotary, Transforming Leadership, Membership Retention and Growth, Well-Prepared Governor’s Visit, and the Top 20 Highest Absolute Amount in TRF Giving.

Rotary International President Holger Knaack also awarded the club’s Citation Awards for helping Rotary open opportunities in the lives of people all over the world.

This 2021 Iddu Awardee has arrived in full circle; she has made change work for women, her very essence of being one. (ALM/ADS/JCC/PIA-2)

About the Author

Alvin Delos Santos


Region 2

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