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

Las Piñas City Provides FREE Initial parking for Senior Citizens and PWDs (Persons With Disability)

Las Piñas City Provides FREE Initial Parking for Senior Citizens and PWDs (Persons With Disability)

The City Government of Las Piñas announced today that starting December 1, 2019, senior citizens and persons with disability (PWDs) will be exempted from paying parking fees on the first three hours in all business establishments and offices within the city’s jurisdiction as a result of a new ordinance that was approved.

City Ordinance No. 1623-19, otherwise called the “Senior Citizens and Persons with Disability (PWDs) Free Initial Rate Parking Fee Ordinance of 2019,” as proposed by Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery grants the privilege to the elderly and PWDs who are either driving or on board the vehicle that will park in any commercial or pay parking areas.

“This is one way of providing social services to our senior citizens and PWDs because their welfare is one of our priorities,” Vice Mayor Aguilar-Nery said.

She also acknowledged the cooperation and support of the city’s business establishments in granting the exemption to the senior citizens and PWDs of Las Piñas.                            

The exemption covers the first three hours of the prescribed parking fee, while  the corresponding rate shall be imposed for the succeeding hour. But no charges shall be collected in the case of flat rate policy provided it does not exceed four hours.

Parking booth attendants or cashiers who may be found violating the ordinance shall be meted penalties ranging from P1,000 to P3,000 with 30 days to a maximum of six (6) months imprisonment, depending on the discretion of the court.

Mayor Imelda Aguilar welcomed the passing of the ordinance by the City Council. She said that “the ordinance will contribute to the Tuloy-tuloy na Serbisyo Program of her administration in promoting the welfare of the senior citizens and the PWDs of Las Piñas.

The City of Las Piñas has more than 80,000 registered senior citizens and 15,200 PWDs who are enjoined to avail of the privilege and other benefits as mandated by Republic Act No. 7432, known as the Senior Citizens Act of 1995.

A Look Back At Prototype #1

There is nothing like witnessing a superhero use technology to fly around with high speed, blast with energy, lift heavy objects using extra strength and use whatever special features to beat the bad guys and save people from harm. I’m not talking about Marvel Comics’ Iron Man here. I’m talking about the Ultraverse parallel to him called Prototype and here is my retrospective review about the 1993 superhero comic book Prototype #1 published by Malibu Comics.

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Prototype #1 cover.

Co-written by Tom Mason and Len Strazewski with art by David Ammerman and James Pascoe, Prototype #1 is the story of the armored figure called Prototype but there is one huge thing to take note here – the armored figure is actually a high-tech project of a corporation called Ultratech and it involves more than one person piloting it.

To put things in perspective, some time in the past the Prototype armor (which was very large and bulky) was piloted by Bob Campbell until a major incident happened during an aerial exhibition that cost him his right arm. Subsequently he got replaced by a much younger man named Jimmy Ruiz. In the present, Campbell is a PWD (person with disability) who was dismissed by the company which compelled him to sue them for age discrimination.

Then he attends the stockholders’ meeting of Ultratech which was organized to be lavish and showy. It is here where Prototype (piloted by Ruiz) makes an energetic appearance sporting a leaner looking armor that closely resembles a human being.

Ruiz says “Stand back, America…it’s showtime!”

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The leaner and meaner armor of Prototype.

While showing off, Ruiz encounters some problems. He has not fully gotten used to the technology and his head feels like exploding. During the stockholders’ meeting, Bob Campbell causes some trouble prompting private security to escort him away. It turns out that Ultratech really distanced themselves from him.

Of course, the company is very happy with the Ruiz-piloted Prototype and they are confident their major financial bets will yield great results. Their executive Stanley Leland stated, “He’s not just a showpiece, he’s a corporate asset!”

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Jimmy Ruiz in the Prototype suit with the Ultratech executives.

As this is a superhero story, life is not normal. As such an incident happens that, predictably, requires Prototype to take action (and entertain readers like you and I).

Technically the story was nicely told and its pacing flowed smoothly. There is a nice balance between spectacle, storytelling and character development. Ultimately by the time I reached the 24th page, I got a grasp of the comic book’s concept, the characters (especially the two pilots) and where the series was going.

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Action for you. Really nice job done by the artists.

How does this comic book compare with Iron Man? To say the least, the concept of a large corporation owning and controlling a high-tech suit of armor piloted by their employee is not only a nice alternative but a very engaging alternative to the Iron Man concept (super rich industrialist who wears a powered suit of armor and uses his special talent on technology).

The Ultraverse was the most interesting and most entertaining superhero line of comic books I read back in the 1990s and Prototype went on to become one of the major heroes of the franchise. Prototype went on to become part of UltraForce, a superhero team that had its short-lived comic book series (with famous artist George Perez doing the art in some issues) as well as a short-lived animated series based on the said comic book series.

Had the Ultraverse lasted longer, succeeded and profited, chances are Prototype would have been a major contender among all other superheroes from the different publishers  today and there would have been more merchandise and perhaps even video games based on the character.

If you plan to visit a local comic book store to buy old comic books, I highly recommend Prototype #1.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article to be 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.