Rebuilding after ‘Yolanda,’ a continuing process | Inquirer Lifestyle

Rebuilding after ‘Yolanda,’ a continuing process

COCA-COLA general manager Guillermo Aponte, Ayala Corp. president Fernando Zobel, Habitat for Humanity CEO Charlie Ayco

On Jan. 30, hundreds gathered at the Araneta open grounds in Cubao, Quezon City, for Coca-Cola’s #RebuildPH initiative. This campaign for volunteer round-up and donation drive is to benefit those affected by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in Eastern Visayas.

COCA-COLA Foundation president Cecile Alcantara, Coca-Cola general manager Guillermo Aponte, Red Cross chair Richard Gordon, Red Cross secretary general Gwendolyn Pang, Habitat for Humanity CEO Charlie Ayco, Ayala Corp. president Fernando Zobel. Back: Coca-Cola ambassadors Enchong Dee, Julia Montes, Kathryn Bernardo, Joseph Marco


Following its mantra of “Opening Happiness,” Coca-Cola, in partnership with two organizations, Habitat for Humanity Philippines and The Philippine Red Cross, hosted the event #RebuildPH to step up rebuilding efforts, and in the process share some happiness to storm survivors and volunteers alike.


Coca-Cola “happiness ambassadors” Enchong Dee, Joseph Marco, Kathryn Bernardo and Julia Montes, as well as representatives from Habitat for Humanity and Red Cross narrated stories and experiences from Yolanda’s devastation.

2013 Mr. Chinatown winner Randy See and runner-up Jerome Tan


The celebrities volunteered at the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity booths. They also related their own small acts of kindness to inspire more Filipinos to help, in whatever way they can.


Philippine Red Cross chair Richard Gordon recounted how, through the help of volunteers, his organization was able to provide immediate assistance in the Visayas region.


Habitat for Humanity CEO and managing director Charlie Ayco was also present and discussed how the organization’s members lifted the spirits of Filipinos affected by the storm.


From the Coca-Cola team, public affairs and communications director Adel Tamano and Coca-Cola Foundation president Cecile Alcantara expouned on the company’s efforts not just the homes, but also the lives of the storm survivors.

JULIA Montes


Coca-Cola Philippines general manager Guillermo Aponte extended full support to the event.


He was joined by Ayala Corp. president Fernando Zobel and former Miss Universe and peace advocate Margie Moran.


This year’s 40 Bb. Pilipinas candidates were also on hand to bring cheer to the occasion.


Before the event ended, Coca-Cola #RebuildPH encouraged more people not only to enlist as volunteers and donate, but also do their own small acts of kindness. The success of rebuilding efforts, Coke executives said, rests in the hands of every Filipino.


The event ended with a moving number from the Big Band Syndicate, composed of members of Callalily, 6 Cycle Mind, Banda ni Kleggy and Gracenote. They performed “Tulong Pilipino,” a song originally written for Yolanda survivors.


Visit and enlist as volunteers for The Philippine Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity Philippines. Post with hashtag #RebuildPH and encourage your followers to do the same.