Norma Frias: The Making of a Rotary President

By Marjorie Alba Ocido

Roxas City—Much has been said about women leaders considered women of substance.

One such leader is the Past President of the Rotary Club of Metro Roxas-Central District 3850, for 2018–2019, Norma D. Frias.

PP Norma came from a very humble family who believed that a woman’s place is in the home—and needs not pursue higher education. But being ambitious, she succeeded in convincing her parents to think otherwise.

She has undergone so many hardships to get what she wanted. She wanted to change their lives not only for herself but most especially to her parents and siblings.

With this dream, she struggled and hurdled obstacles with the help of her brother who was a tailor at that time.

PP Norms, as I call her, obtained two college degrees: Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education which she obtained in Iloilo City and another degree in nursing.

After a short stint in teaching she then realized she wanted to be a nurse.

She then migrated to Canada, married her boyfriend, obtained a nursing degree and continued to work there until her retirement.

PP Norma is a true-blooded Panit-anon not only because she was born in Panitan but also of her strength of character.

Her straightforwardness, self- discipline and kindness are the very qualities she inherited from her parents.

She is a conscientious leader and a friend rolled into one. She’s always a generous spirit to anyone who needs her help.

She had sent her nephews, nieces, and grandkids to college who, in turn did not fail her. They all became engineers, nurses, teachers—all thanks to her generosity,

This is why she is well-loved and well- respected by her family.

She has always inspired them to face their struggles—by helping them in the finance of their own households. She never fails to assure them that she’s always behind them.

As Rotary President, she has done more than her share of responsibilities. She has lead feeding activities not only in Roxas City but also in the neighboring towns, banking in the cooperation of the members.

She lead the Rotarians’ sponsoring of washing facilities to eight public schools, thru the benevolence of Engr. William Bantigue; conduct of literacy classes in daycare centers—all these things can’t be done easily without the cooperation of the Rotarian members.

She also advocated for education—acting as inspirational speaker in the Journalism Seminar of the Capiz Times and donating books solicited from benevolent individuals to three different public schools.

Such are just a few of the many admirable qualities of this humble and soft-spoken and caring and thoughtful president—and friend.

Her legacy to service is unquestionable; her great example of being a Rotary president will be long remembered by many.