Finding a new niche

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

WHEN nurse Lucille Colina came back to Cebu in 2006 with husband Vicente to retire, she told herself that that she would volunteer in church and volunteer also in a local hospital, neither of which she has done to this day.

For one thing, her husband’s company, Astrofoil, refused to buy out his shares and instead asked him to open a branch in the Philippines, of which she’s now treasurer and vice president of another company, Kolinski Phospates. Then she became involved, after she arrived in Cebu, with Zonta 1, becoming its secretary from 2008-2010, then its vice president from 2010 to 2012, and now its president, for 2013-2014.

Zonta, Lucille says, is a very demanding voluntary organization of business women.


For years now, the club has been involved in a micro-financing project in barangay Budlaan. While that continues, the club is now looking into another barangay, Talamban, to help women in ecology, for garbage composting and management, for the recycling of waste materials into bags and rugs. This year the club has actually looked into the Takakura way of home composting and it hopes to bring in experts in this method to teach the barangay women so they can sell compost as fertilizer.

The other thrust of the club is to eliminate violence against women. For this she plans to have various forums “just to develop consciousness of women and to empower them to avoid being a victim.”

Zonta 1 is also a part of Forward, an umbrella organization of women’s clubs, whose thrust is tree planting. Therefore, Zonta I is also into that, with emphasis on the planting of indigenous trees.

The person who invited her to join Zonta I also invited her to join the Cebu Maternity hospital. She is now a member of its board of trustees. All of these make her very active in her retirement years. So for relaxation, Lucille plays golf. She says, “If not for golf, I would not be sitting here. It’s good physical exercise, and is also good for emotional and spiritual health because it teaches you to be patient, to be humble and not to tell a lie!”

Of her experience with Zonta I, she shares: “I came to find out that being a leader of a voluntary organization is not easy compared to being a leader in the corporate business world. When I was in the US, I had 70 women under me. The difference is that it was not hard because in a corporate world, there are performance evaluation controls, compared with a voluntary organization where everybody has her own individual priorities. However, in a voluntary service organization, whatever goals you attain, your rewards are greater. Whatever the Lord has given you, you have given back. At the end of the day you have served voluntarily.  In spite of frustrations, failures, the Lord will always tell you, you have done a good job.”

After her Zonta presidency, Lucille looks forward to sending more orphans to school (college). She already has four and one of her graduate scholars works in the Astrofoil/Kolinski offices.

Lucille says it’s probably because her husband Vic was orphaned at an early age and had to support himself through school that she and Vic, being childless, are concentrating on this private charity.

Then perhaps also, she will finally be able to do church volunteer work and volunteer work in a hospital, which was what she wanted to do when she came to the Cebu to retire, after nine years as nursing staff and 21 years of nursing administration in outpatient surgery and care in the United States.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 18, 2013.


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