Meet Barangay BF Homes SK Kagawad Irene Juanico

A few years ago, Irene Juanico represented Barangay BF Homes during a beauty pageant that was part of what was back then Parañaque’s 19th cityhood anniversary. She did not make it to the final round but that did not stop progress in her life. Then on May 2018, she ran in the Barangay and SK elections, and ultimately got elected as a kagawad of the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK).

Recently I got to interview the incumbent SK Kagawad at barangay hall. This is the special feature of Irene Juanico.

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Barangay BF Homes SK Kagawad Irene Juanico.

Background

Irene Juanico was born in the Dela Rama community inside BF Homes subdivision. She is the only child in the family. Her mother is currently a government employee and her father is a customer associate for a courier. The SK kagawad is currently studying at San Beda Alabang taking Marketing Management.

Since she was young, Juanico got into modeling. She learned the way on not just looking pretty but also how to pose, what to wear, when to move and the like. Along the way, she participated in several pageants, modeling events and appeared as a muse in academic and sports events.

In 2017, she found a major opportunity to compete with other beauties from around the City of Parañaque by joining the Binibining Parañaque representing Barangay BF Homes.

“During my younger days, I noticed similar pageants that got organized by the SK and wondered, ‘what would it be like if I joined such events?’”, Juanico recalled. “My handlers, who paid attention to the 2017 Parañaque pageant, asked me to try out and compete since I was already into modeling. I was hesitant back then since I was just seventeen years-old but eventually I agreed to represent the barangay and compete.”

As Ms. Barangay BF Homes of 2017, Juanico joined the other candidates from different barangays practicing for the pageant, participating in showcase events (including the Sunduan-related event at SM City BF Parañaque) and more. Along the way, she had to adjust her schedule with school and family.

“The Sunduan showcase alone was challenging because I had to decide how to present myself in front of the judges, the special guests and many people watching. The pressure is real.” she said.

When asked about the evening of the Bb. Parañaque, Juanico confirmed that there was a lot of pressure not only on her to do her best but also on the other candidates as well. This was because there were so many guests watching including City Government officials, barangay officials, barangay fan groups, members of the media, family members of the candidates and the like.

Even though the pressure was high, Juanico simply focused on her future.

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Irene Juanico as Barangay BF Homes’ candidate in the 2017 edition of the Bb. Parañaque. (contributed by Irene Juanico, photo credit to Kevin Rebollo)

“I said to myself ‘win or lose, I at least represented my barangay well’. My experience also me motivate myself on participating future events representing the community,” Juanico said.

As it turned out in the 2017 pageant, Juanico’s name was not called when the organizers announced the five finalists. She and Barangay BF Homes did not go empty handed however as she won the Boardwalk Model sponsor award. That award was fitting considering the fact that Juanico had been modeling since she was little.

After the pageant, Juanico gained not only improved self-confidence but also respect and recognition from the residents of the barangay. A lot more people noticed her and remembered her participation in the city pageant.

Getting elected into the SK

A year later, Irene Juanico joined the Sangguniang Kabataan team of candidates under the umbrella of Paolo Marquez who ran for Barangay Captain (succeeding his brother Jeremy Marquez).

How did Juanico become candidate for the SK in the first place? It started with curiosity in a rather funny way.

“It all started with a joke with my friends, wondering if I should run for a seat in the youth council (Sangguniang Kabataan). They said I should do it but I reacted I was just joking. Eventually Zeny Pascual contacted me and asked me if I was willing to run. I replied that I would do it,” she recalled.

For Juanico, her candidacy was to inspire other youth of the barangay to aim higher in their lives. It was also her way of showing that a pretty face like her can climb up higher and become a public servant under the reformed Sangguniang Kabataan system. She really went against the local community’s conventional thinking that pretty faces or models have no place in public service which itself is ironic because charm (which comes in very different forms) is a factor on getting elected. She formally met with Paolo Marquez finalizing her candidacy.

During the summer of 2018, she and her teammates struggled to convince voters to trust them and vote for them. They went around from one house to another both in the mission areas (depressed communities) and also inside gated subdivisions. Shook hands and met with people of different walks of life (even former classmates of hers). They also took part in caucuses to reach out to the voters.

“When the campaign ended at last, I recovered by treating myself to a fast food meal. Then I went home to finally get some rest. I prayed to God. I had a very restful sleep and I really felt rejuvenated. Shortly after, my mother told me I won,” Juanico said.

Juanico’s victory in the 2018 Barangay and SK Elections for Barangay BF Homes was, indeed, a major milestone in her life. She and her friends celebrated and she cried out of happiness.

SK Kagawad Juanico and the SK Committee on Health

As an SK Kagawad, Juanico served with her colleagues under chairwoman Mariel Tumang. She is handling the SK Committee on Health. In recent times, the BFSK organized seminars about AIDS, mental health, teenage pregnancy, reproductive health and PWD (persons with disabilities) all of which were projects of her committee.

As of this writing, SK Kagawad Juanico is striving to get not only youth but also pre-teens and children involved with health projects and activities. There are also PWD children (as young as 1-year-old) that she wants to assist. The BFSK is also looking for private organizations as key partners to serve the youth and those with special needs. Team-ups with the health activities of Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Cielo Lazatin have been made.

Juanico confirmed that her committee has several more projects coming in 2020.

Message to the Readers

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BFSK Kagawad Irene Juanico (3rd from right) with the other members of the SK (chairwoman Mariel Tumang is 3rd from left) with guests who took part in a seminar about HIV, STDs and AIDS awareness.

“Service is something that can be given to others without position and without expecting anything in return. It is better to give than to receive. Public service requires not only action but a whole lot of heart.”


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Another Highly Productive Weekend by the BFSK

This past weekend, the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) proved itself to be very productive yet again.

On Saturday, the BFSK (led by its chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang) organized not one but two seminars inside the Phase 1 gym along Pilar Banzon street, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City. The seminars, which were attended by one hundred and seventy youth from around the local communities, focused mainly on the topics of early pregnancy and HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), STD (sexually transmitted diseases) and AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). For the lecturing, some officials from the barangay health centers as well as from the health department of the City Government of Parañaque arrived.

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A view of one of the seminars.

Right from the start, the youth were engaged over a series of issues relevant to the main topics. They were asked questions about puberty such as when did they each notice pubic hair first growing on them, when did their voice change, how they dealt with sexual arousal, what where the bodily changes happening and the like.

With regards to HIV and AIDS recorded cases, official statistics from the City Department of Health – Epidemiology Bureau showed that from 1984 to present, Parañaque has 275 cases of males who had acquired HIV or AIDS due to having sex with males and females, 138 cases of male-female sex only, 594 cases of males having sex with females only, 2 cases of mother-to-child and 3 cases labeled unknown. Parañaque has a grand total of 1,012 HIV-AIDS cases recorded.

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Registered nurse Glovie Marie Nunez of the hygiene clinic under the City Government’s Health Department explains STDs.

When it comes to transmission of HIV, AIDS and STDs, it was explained that using condoms does not guarantee 100% protection. It was stated that abstaining from sex is the safest way one can protect himself or herself from viruses. For the record, contraceptives and condoms are still made available through the local authorities for local residents to use even though such products are being sold through several retailers.

During my talk with her, registered nurse Glovie Marie Nunez confirmed that the City Government’s Health Department closely follows the standards of the Department of Health (DOH) and that contraceptives and condoms distributed by the high department are all imported from overseas sources.

More on the topic of STDs, there were graphic images of infected body parts – including the male and female organs – showing what they look like when infected by diseases acquired through sexual contact. I personally noticed some youth participants showing signs of discomfort from seeing the images. The others, meanwhile, were focused as they wanted to learn. Unsurprisingly, some advice was given so that they will know what to do so they can avoid STDs.

By the end of the seminars, the youth participants were enlightened and the guest speakers Glovie Marie Nunez, Markneil Santos and Richie Dayto were ceremoniously acknowledged by BFSK chairperson Tumang, the SK Kagawads and the SK officers.

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The guest speakers, as well as a few other guests, showed the certificates they received from the BFSK after the seminars ended.

“We are happy that we had a good reception today as the turnout was within our targets. What is more important, however, is that the youth will apply into their respective daily lives what they learned,” Tumang said during my interview with her.

The next day, Tumang and the SK kagawads and officers went to Masville, Sampaloc Site II. Clinicville and Lagoon to organize the latest edition of their special project called Waste for Rice 3.0

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The BFSK kagawads and officers with a portion of the many eco bricks they collected from local residents. (contributed photo)

The project was a trade between the BFSK and the local residents. It goes like this: a resident gives a 1.5 liter bottle filled with silver-coated sachets (this is called the eco brick) to the BFSK which in turn gives the resident one kilogram of rice grain. Under their rules, a resident can give away a maximum of five eco bricks to receive 5 kilograms rice grain.

You must be wondering how chairperson Tumang, SK kagawads Alma Galindo, Jerry Dalmero, Kelly Haboc, Irene Juanico, Anne Corre, Stephanie Sebullen, SK secretary Darrenz Fabros and SK treasurer Jefferson Ching performed with their project.

The result: two thousand eco bricks were received from the residents and two thousand kilograms of rice grain were given to the residents. These numbers were confirmed to me by BFSK chairperson Tumang.

The numbers, however, does not even include the eco bricks and rice grain exchanged at schools according to Tumang. She said there is still an amount that has yet to be counted as of this writing. That should translate to going beyond 2,000 eco bricks and 2,000 rice grain.

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For each eco brick they collected, they gave a kilogram of rice grain. (contributed photo)

The next Waste for Rice activity of the BFSK will be held some time this December.

Overall, the weekend of September 28 and 29 was indeed highly productive for the BFSK whose officials really worked hard and performed their tasks independently from Barangay BF Homes (led by Captain Paolo Marquez who supports the BFSK).

No doubt about it. The BFSK is really performing its public service tasks, engaging the youth of Barangay BF Homes and literally sowing the seeds on developing the local communities with their projects and activities (with the youth in mind). The BFSK’s 2019 Linggo ng Kabataan event attracted more than 300 youth participants and their previous seminar (about suicide awareness) was also successful. They also proved to be compliant with the January 2019 Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) Number 1 which is no easy feat to do. Clearly Tumang and the SK Kagawads/officers are showing what the Reformed SK system of the nation is meant to be.

The youth council also has upcoming events people can look forward to such as the Smart-play Mobile Legends Tournament on October 6 at the Phase 1 gym. P17,500 in cash prizes are at stake. On October 19, they will organize the Mutya ng BF Homes also at the Phase 1 gym. This local beauty pageant is currently open to local residents who are willing to participate and to do so, they need to attend the pageant screening of candidates on October 5 at 1PM at the conference at Barangay Hall.

If you want to approach the BFSK, visit their office at the Barangay BF Homes hall along Elsie Gatches street.

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Another view of the venue during the Saturday events.

In ending this piece, here is a scripture from the Holy Bible.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 19: 14 (NKJV)


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com