The idea of setting up a non-governmental organization called Remembering Isagani Serrano (RISe) was first broached during the week-long tribute after he passed away on February 22, 2019.   As a recognized visionary leader of social movements and the development community, the week- long tribute for Gani, as he was fondly called, was held from March 11-15, 2019, and drew the participation of many.  It was organized and hosted by the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) where he was President at the time he passed away.  Organizations that co-organized the week-long tribute include Social Watch Philippines, Earth Day Network Philippines, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Ganito Tayo Noon, Village Idiots and other groups that he co-founded, led or inspired.   

A brainstorming session followed as one of the activities during the commemoration of Gani’s 40th Day on April 2, 2019 at feeling@home in San Juan, Samal, Bataan.   Workshop groups brainstormed on RISe focusing on three key questions:  How do we envision RISe?  What are the factors that would make RISe successful and sustainable? What are the ways forward?

An initial concept note was developed from the April 2, 2019 brainstorming session.  The concept note was further developed and enriched over a period of one year through consultations involving people and institutions who were interested to set up RISe.

RISe was registered as a non-stock, non-profit corporation with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with Registration No. CN202104113 on April 7, 2021.

Nature and Objectives of RISe

RISe is a channel for family, friends and the many people whose lives Gani touched globally, to keep alive his memory and legacy of pursuing “fairness in a fragile world”.  It shall pursue his many imaginings of a sustainable future, well articulated in his books and articles, alongside the organizations he led, co-founded and inspired in his lifetime.   

RISe shall be based and take off from the initiatives Gani started at the farm house he built with his life partner, Marie Lisa Dacanay in Samal, Bataan starting 1994. Gani named the farm house feeling@home.  

Feeling@home was where Gani spent his happiest moments with family and friends until he passed away.  As he wished, his ashes were used to nurture a pair of lanzones trees in the garden of feeling@home.

In Gani’s lifetime, feeling@home became a bed and breakfast place for people being hosted in Bataan for PRRM’s evolving eco-tourism and student internship program.  Feeling@home was where the Samaleno Organiko Producers’ Cooperative (SOPCO) was born as part of a partnership program between PRRM and other NGOs with the Department of Agriculture promoting organic agriculture.  Feeling@home was where many songs of Village Idiots, a band composed of  development workers that Gani inspired, were composed.  Feeling@home has been where many meetings of friends and various groups Gani belonged to met to discuss and debate, to plan and strategize, or to rest and simply spend a quiet vacation surrounded by nature.  Feeling@home has been where vegan and healthy flexitarian dishes were shared and enjoyed by family, friends and visitors.     

Building on these and Gani’s advocacy of “fairness in a fragile world”, RISe has its headquarters at feeling@home and shall pursue the following objectives in Bataan and beyond :

  1.  To share and promote Gani’s writings and work as a contribution to awareness raising on societal problems and the search for solutions towards a sustainable future.
  2. To develop a learning hub for farmers and advocates of sustainable agriculture, health and wellness and social enterprise in agricultural value chains espousing sustainable consumption and production.
  3. To develop educational tours promoting agri-ecotourism linked to a national and global network of learning centers and destinations
  4. To develop a nurturing education hub for young artists to hone their imaginings for a better world
  5. To develop a vibrant educational hub for imagining local initiatives with a global perspective for a sustainable future.   

RISe shall link its efforts and add value to sustainable development initiatives in the municipality of Samal, and in the province of Bataan and beyond.  In Bataan, these include what have been undertaken in the province by PRRM and other development actors in terms of sustainable agriculture, community-based coastal resource management, conservation efforts at the Bataan National Park and the Pawikan conservation project.  

Over time, RISe shall develop a social enterprise arm to address its organizational and financial sustainability.    

RISe Initiatives Under Program Development

Some RISe initiatives that are at various stages of program development are:

  • Earth Day or Eco-Cultural Tour in Bataan (proposed in partnership with PRRM and Earth Day Network)
  • Residency Program for Development Workers and Youth on the Art of Composing Music and Songs (proposed in partnership with Village Idiots)
  • Publication of Books on Isagani Serrano’s Selected Writings (proposed in partnership with PRRM and Ateneo de Manila University Press)
  • Setting Up of Isagani Serrano Memorial Lecture Series


RISe is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of 10 members, with representatives from various RISe constituencies namely the Serrano family and key non-government organizations and social movements Gani co-founded or led namely the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), Social Watch Philippines, Earth Day Network Philippines and the band he inspired, Village Idiots (formerly the RR Band).  The following are the officers and members of the Board of Trustees:      

RISe Board of Trustees

Chairperson:  Prof. Leonor Magtolis Briones

Vice Chairperson: Mr. Edicio de la Torre

President:  Dr. Marie Lisa Dacanay

Secretary:  Ms. Toni Serrano-Soriano (Daughter)

Treasurer:  Ms. Rosalie Ona (PRRM-Bataan)

Members:  Mr. Ricardo Serrano (Samaleno Organiko Producers Cooperative)

                     Dr. Maria Victoria Raquiza (Social Watch Philippines)

                     Atty. Wigberto Tanada Jr. (Earth Day Network Philippines)

                     Mr. Marlon Palomo (Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement)

                     Ms.  Catherine Tiongson (Village Idiots)

A Global Advisory Council has been set up to provide and reflect a global perspective and outreach and is composed of the following :

Co-Conveners:  Dr. Robin Broad  (U.S.A.)

                             Dr. Takahiro Nanri (Japan)


Dr. Shigeru Suganami (Japan)

Dr. Arjun Kharki (Nepal)

Ms. Zhang Lanying (China)

Ms. Maria Lourdes Almazan-Khan (India)

Mr. Cesar Cala (Canada)

Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana (China)