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JAGERS (The League of Butterflies): Helping form friendships

JAGERS: The League of Butterflies was established in September 2012 after a group of friends from a different clan saw the need to form a group that allowed the voices of all its members to be heard. As co-founder Jaydee Calpo says: “I think the biggest achievement of the group is… its formation. We now have a group that treats each member not just a friend, but like a member of our family.”

In September 2012, Jaydee Calpo – with colleagues from another clan – decided to establish JAGERS: The League of Butterflies. “In that (older) group, we actually felt that we were just second-class citizens,” he said. “I was one of the pillars of my former clan, but I still felt that I wasn’t be given enough credit for what I contributed to it; just as the voices of the other members were not being heard.”

The new clan was a “new and re-formed group because many of my former colleagues wanted to have a new group that values its members, as they contribute and give their inputs.”

The name chosen was JAGERS: The League of Butterflies, with an emphasis on the “butterfly”, which – Calpo said – may represent LGBTQ people, not only because of their metamorphosis into more complete beings, but also because of their attraction to beauty (i.e. butterflies are attracted by beautiful flowers).

As a relatively new clan, many challenges were faced. For one, many of the leaders of the new clan (including Calpo) remained identified with their former clan. The leaders, therefore, focused on capacity building to strengthen the new clan. “I had to prove my capability , my sincerity and my goals and vision for the new clan,” Calpo said.

Still, there are achievements worth highlighting, according to Calpo. “I think the biggest achievement of the group is… its formation. We now have a group that treats each member not just a friend, but like a member of our family. We are there when someone needs help. We don’t hesitate to extend our help.”

It is this focus on friendship that, for Calpo, also sets their clan apart from other clans. “We welcome newbies not only in parties, in get-togethers and grand eyeballs,” he said. Instead, “I make it a point to make each clan member become good friends… and true friends.”

How this is done is through members’ bonding, be that through their online site or through actual (physical) meetings.

More than simply gathering like-minded people, however, the clan aims to have some social relevance. In 2013, it had its first outreach program, “and we’re looking at doing more,” Calpo said. To do this, “a certain percentage of what we earn from our GEBs are allocated to our charitable works.”

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In fact, “we launched a battle cry: ‘Sa JAGERS, nag-enjoy ka na, nakatulong ka pa.’”

To become a member of JAGERS: The league of butterflies, one must consistently attend at least three get-togethers. “The possible member should have a good heart, and be willing to open his heart and life to others,” Calpo ended.

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