Barangay Baclaran Youth Council plus Partners at Work (Community Quarantine and COVID-19 Crisis)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced by means of interviewing a top official of the Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Barangay Baclaran Youth Council plus Partners at Work (Community Quarantine and COVID-19 Crisis)

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Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Rachel Garcia (left, wearing black t-shirt) and her companions hand out free items to local residents to help them protect themselves from coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (photo approved for publishing by Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Rachel Garcia)

With the enhanced community quarantine in effect here in the Philippines as a result of the ongoing corona virus disease (COVID-19) crisis, life is now much different. Most businesses have been halted, people are required to stay at home and others have no choice but to make hard adjustments just as the national authorities work on preventing an outbreak of COVID-19.

When it comes to the authorities of each city, the local government unit (LGU) as well as the barangay units are mandated to govern and manage their respective communities. This includes enforcing curfew, the ban on liquor, traffic management, implementing awareness campaigns about COVID-19 and distributing useful items to the constituents.

Two days ago, I wrote about the community assistance and information campaign done by the Barangay BF Homes Youth Council (Sangguniang Kabataan ng Barangay BF Homes) in . This time, the focus shifts to the Barangay Baclaran Youth Council (Sangguniang Kabataan ng Baclaran) which performed community service (partnered with the Katipunan ng Kabataan) of the same nature.

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A man assisted by Baclaran’s SK chairwoman herself. (photo approved for publishing by Barangay Baclaran Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Rachel Garcia)

According to Baclaran SK chairwoman Rachel Garcia, her team and the KK prepared a total of 3,000 units of alcohol (with free refilling), 3,000 units of hand sanitizer and 2,000 units of soap. Those said items, which are meant for prevention of COVID-19 from spreading, were distributed by the Baclaran SK and the KK around the local community for free. Garcia and her companions endured the heat of the day visiting residents in Barangay Baclaran from one house to another house.

In addition, the group also organized an awareness campaign so that Baclaran residents will know what they can do to avoid infection, how to avoid infecting others and why they should follow the quarantine by staying at home.

Like their counterparts in BF Homes, the Baclaran SK has a tough task and a huge responsibility to fulfill with regards to the COVID-19 crisis. If you think about it very carefully, it’s just mind-boggling that very tiny microbes like COVID-19 could cause a tremendous, negative impact on the whole world. Look at the many people getting infected as well as those who died.

Overseas, several teams of scientists are working hard to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. In the United Kingdom, clinical testing for a vaccine will start soon. In Israel, biopharmaceutical company Kamada announced that it is working on a blood-plasma treatment for coronavirus. Until medical breakthroughs against COVID-19 materialize, local authorities will have to keep performing with their current duties.

Going back to the publicly elected officials of Barangay Baclaran and its youth council, Garcia and her SK kagawads have more than two years of service left before the next barangay and SK elections will take place. Previously the barangay-SK elections were scheduled to happen this coming May but that all changed when President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act Number 11462 (titled “Postponement of the 2020 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections Act”).

To learn more about the Baclaran SK, read my January 1 article and visit their Facebook page.


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. 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

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Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) Takes Part in Communities Assistance Campaign Related to COVID-19

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced by means of interviewing a top official of the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) Takes Part in Communities Assistance Campaign Related to COVID-19

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Informative flyers and hygiene kits were distributed by the Barangay BF Homes Youth Council to the residents in the mission areas. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan Chairwoman Mariel Tumang)

With the imposed enhanced community quarantine in effect, most businesses and all other activities of life have been halted. This shows just how tremendous microbes can have on people and society in general when it becomes widespread. Of course, I’m talking about Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which has infected a few hundred people here in the Philippines.

With the enhanced community quarantine going on, officials of the barangays have been ordered to do their part on managing their respective local communities. To put things in perspective, there is the standard barangay unit led by its chairman (or captain) and council members (kagawads) who were elected into office by their constituents.

And then there is the youth council under the barangay referred to locally as the sangguniang kabataan (SK) which is led by elected officials the youth chairman and youth council members (SK kagawads).

For the topic of this post, I’m focusing on the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) which, as of this writing, is already doing really serious work on managing the Barangay BF Homes local communities in relation to the COVID-19 crisis that has affected everyone.

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Barangay BF Homes SK kagawad Jerry Dalmero distributes a hygiene kit composed of soap and alcohol. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan Chairwoman Mariel Tumang)
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Barangay BF Homes SK kagawad Roselyn Regis gives to a resident. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan Chairwoman Mariel Tumang)

To put things in perspective, Barangay BF Homes is one very large local community in terms of both land area and population. As the late Parañaque Congressman Roilo Golez (1947-2018) told me years ago, Barangay BF Homes is a very vote-rich community in the city.

The Barangay BF  Homes main unit led by Captain Paolo Marquez has been working hard implementing several rules (meant to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection) such as night-time curfew (8PM to 5AM), social distancing (persons are supposed to be a short distance apart from each other), ban on mass gatherings, educating the residents about coronavirus and more.

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Barangay BF Homes SK kagawad gently hands over a hygiene kit to a lady. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan kagawad Alma Galindo)

For their part, the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) headed by chairwoman Mariel Angela Tumang and the SK kagawads have been working hard by visiting the many houses in the developing communities doing information campaigns about COVID-19 (with flyers being given to them personally) as well as distributing hygiene kits. Today, the BF Youth Council performed their duty by visiting eight mission areas and will continue to do so tomorrow in six mission areas.

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BFSK Kagawad Anne Corre hands over a hygiene kit. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan kagawad Kelly Haboc)
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Even in a tight place like this, BFSK Kagawad Kelly Haboc persevered to hand out a hygiene kit. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan kagawad Kelly Haboc)
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BFSK kagawad Stephanie Sebullen gives a hygiene kit to someone at a store. (photo contributed by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan Chairwoman Mariel Tumang)

Chairwoman Tumang confirmed to me that she and her team prepared five thousand (5,000) hygiene kits to be distributed to the residents at their respective homes. According to her, each kit comes with soap and alcohol which are essential for people to protect themselves with from the raging coronavirus. Along the way, they did their best to educate their constituents with discipline in mind.

“Maliit na tulong po na nanggaling sa amin pero alam po namin na hindi po ito yung lunas para makaiwas sa sakit ang talagang makakapaglunas po rito ay yung disciplina po ng tao. Sana po matututo nalang silang maging madisiplina, sumunod sa mga sinasabi ng gobyerno, manatili sa kanilang bahay at ingatan ang kanilang sarili,” BFSK chairwoman Tumang stated.

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Barangay BF Homes SK chairwoman Mariel Tumang wearing a mask and protective clothes. (photo approved by Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan Chairwoman Mariel Tumang for this website)

As Tumang made clear, the BFSK and Barangay BF Homes itself have been working hard on preventing COVID-19 from spreading in their local communities as well as doing their best to educate the constituents. All of these are being done in accordance to the rules and orders of the national authorities.

Watch out for further BF Homes and South Metro Manila updates here soon.


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. 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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

 

Allowances, Cash Incentives of 71,000 Scholars and Academic Achievers of Muntinlupa Raised

Allowances, Cash Incentives of 71,000 Scholars and Academic Achievers of Muntinlupa Raised

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Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and members of Muntinlupa City Council awarding local scholars during the city’s flag raising ceremony. (photo issued by Muntinlupa PIO)

With the new developments in the educational assistance program in Muntinlupa City, local students have all the reasons to be motivated and to study hard.

The City Government of Muntinlupa announced that the City Council has approved an ordinance increasing the annual allowance of scholars in the city and cash gifts given to honor graduates and licensure examination top-notchers.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed the City Ordinance No. 2020-054 amending sections of Ordinance 17-107 providing for an expanded Muntinlupa scholarship and educational assistance program and other incentives to students and academic achievers on February 5.

More than 71,000 scholars in Muntinlupa City are set to receive an allowance hike depending on their scholarship category.

Students in elementary, alternative learning system, junior and senior high school will have a P1,000 increase in annual allowance. The allowance of elementary/ALS students is raised from P3,000 to P4,000 per year, while allowance of junior and senior high school students are raised from P4,000 to P5,000 and from P5,000 to P6,000 per year, respectively.

Further, State Universities and Colleges students, including beneficiaries of Continuing Assistance for Reintegrating Students Program, can now receive a maximum incentive of P10,000 per semester. From base allowance of P5,000, college scholars will receive an additional P2,500 for having a GWA of 1.76 to 2.0 or P5,000 for having a GWA of 1.75 or better (or its equivalent grading system).

The City Government also increased cash gifts for its Honor Graduates Incentives Program and Licensure (Bar and Board) Examination Topnotchers.

Cash incentives for latin honor graduates residing in Muntinlupa were raised up to P10,000. Cash gifts for Summa Cum Laude graduates increased from P20,000 to P30,000, while for Magna Cum Laude, it is raised from P15,000 to P20,000. Cum Laude graduates will still receive P10,000.

In addition, the City Government raised the cash gifts given to licensure examination top-notchers by up to P100,000 and introduced a new bracketing system. For Bracket A which include Post Baccalaurate (Bar and Physician Board Examination) passers, Top 1 will receive P200,000, Top 2-5 will have P100,000, while Top 6-10 will get P50,000.

For Bracket B which cover Baccalaurate Degree (PQF Level 6) examination passers, Top 1 will have P100,000, Top 2-5 will have P50,000, while Top 6-10 will get P25,000. While Bracket C – NCIII, NCIV Certifications and Diploma Levels (PQF Level 3-5) topnotchers, Top 1 will receive P30,000, Top 2-5 will have P20,000, while Top 6-10 will get P10,000.

The development in Muntinlupa’s scholarship assistance also include the opening of additional slots for Educational Development of Government Employees (EDGE) program. The EDGE program will be expanded from catering to 20 slots for Undergraduate courses of City Government Employees to opening 50 slots while increasing slots for Graduate and Masteral program from 60 slots to 100 slots for Public School Teachers and 50 slots for City Government Employees.

The Muntinlupa City Council through Education Committee Chairperson Coun. Paty Katy Boncayao recognized the need to increase both the amount of allowances and number of beneficiaries to sustain the rising needs of the students due to inflation and other affecting factors.

Muntinlupa City holds the most number of scholarship program beneficiaries in the country with over 71,000 scholars. The City Government through the Muntinlupa Scholarship Program offers a comprehensive educational assistance program for students in elementary to college, including technical-vocational, graduate school, and for students taking up law and medicine.

Established in 1990, the scholarship program in Muntinlupa City initially catered to college students in local universities including the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, then called Muntinlupa Polytechnic College.

In 2013, under the leadership of Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, the City Government expanded to an inclusive scholarship bracketing as educational assistance was made available for elementary and high school students.

The mayor stressed his commitment to assist city residents in their education through financial assistance and other services. Fresnedi hoped that the scholarship program will inspire students in Muntinlupa to strive for academic excellence and be able to participate in nation building.

Muntinlupa Scholarship Program is headed by EnP. Alvin F. Veron and is located at Plaza Central Building, Brgy. Poblacion with tel. no. 8831-5971.

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This is an Official Press Release from the City Government of Muntinlupa

Mindbuilders Preschool Chopin Seniors 2020 Project: Making the world a better place one small step at a time!

Mindbuilders Preschool Chopin Seniors 2020 Project: Making the world a better place one small step at a time!

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The Chopin Seniors 2020 with the children of San Roque de Alabang Parish, Rev. Fr. Rustico Cruz and the volunteers of San Roque, Mr. Nicolo Aberasturi of Down to Earth and the teachers and staff of Mindbuilders Preschool. Taken last Feb 1 during the feeding program and turnover ceremonies. (photo contributed by Mindbuilders Preschool)

Recently, Mindbuilders Preschool’s Kinder Class (Chopin Seniors 2020) organized a new project titled “Let’s Go and Grow!” which, unsurprisingly, turned out successful.

It all started in the first quarter when the children learned about food groups and the importance of eating nutritious food. They also learned that not everyone can afford it and some vegetables were sprayed with chemicals.

As such, the younglings thought of organizing a feeding program and raised funds by selling personally designed grocery bags. Along the way they also learned about urban farming (Aquaponics, Vegepod, Down to Earth Tower Garden) so people can plant their own vegetables and have regular access to organic vegetables.

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One of the three Down to Earth Tower Gardens donated by the Mindbuilders Chopin Seniors 2020 to San Roque Parish. This is located at San Roque Catholic School Annex. (photo contributed by Mindbuilders Preschool)

On February 1, 2020, they had their feeding program for the children of San Roque De Alabang Parish Zone 9 and turned over three Down to Earth tower gardens to the community.

The Mindbuilders community were thanked for their support. Their team was led by the Kindergarten teachers Teacher Merv Lugtu, Teacher Issa Menchate and Teacher Lyn Salutan

About Mindbuilders Preschool

Mindbuilders Preschool is a Multiple Intelligence school located at 168 Tropical Avenue, BF International, Las Piñas City.  It was established in 2002 and is accredited by the Department of Education.  The preschool is also an active member of the Association of Las Piñas Private Schools.  To date, Mindbuilders Preschool established itself with not only good quality education but also worked with its students on several social responsibility projects.  The schools prides itself in having strong home and school collaboration.  The bond built with families is even carried beyond the child’s preschool years – evidence that Mindbuilders Preschool is more than just a learning institution.

Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mindbuilderspreschool.page/ 


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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

A Chat with 2019 SEA Games Gold Medalist and Southeast Asia’s Triathlon King – John Chicano

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from John Chicano by means of an interview and research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

A Chat with 2019 SEA Games Gold Medalist and Southeast Asia’s Triathlon King – John Chicano

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Southeast Asia’s best male triathlete John Leerams Chicano.

Since he first participated in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in 2017, John Leerams Chicano raked in notable honors for the Philippines and took his career in the multisport of triathlon (swim-bike-run) even higher.

Today, Chicano is one of the highest-ranking members of the National Team of triathlon and this past December, he won the gold medal in the men’s triathlon event of the 2019 SEA Games that was held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (so close to his native Olongapo City). With that big victory, he established himself as Southeast Asia’s newest triathlon king replacing Nikko Huelgas (2015 and 2017 SEA Games gold medalist). It was also the big reward for the long road (about a decade) he literally took engaging in multisport events like triathlon and duathlon.

The glory continued the day after when Chicano, along with teammates Kim Mangrobang, Claire Adorna and Fer Casares collaborated to win another SEA Games gold for the Philippines in the Triathlon Team Mixed Relay event there at Subic Bay. That was another gold medal for Chicano making him a 3-time SEA Games medalist (two gold medals and one silver medal).

Recently I met Chicano and had a nice chat with him.

For you, my readers, here is a look at 3-time SEA Games medalist John Chicano.

A quick look at his background

John Chicano has been engaging in triathlon for many years now and has been a member of the Philippine team along the way. He represented the country in many events of the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP), most notably the annual Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT). He also raced in other triathlon events organized by Bike King Philippines and other race organizers. On livelihood, he previously worked as a bike mechanic as well as a janitor. He now has his own family to support.

When it comes to triathlon at the SEA Games, he made his debut in the 2017 edition of the games held in Malaysia and won the silver medal in the individual men’s triathlon event next to teammate Nikko Huelgas who won the gold medal back then (note: Huelgas first won the SEA Games gold in 2015). His achievement was recognized by the media and the national government which in turn rewarded him (along with all other medalists) with cash incentives in accordance to Republic Act Number 10699.

Winning the SEA Games gold medal at Subic Bay

On the early morning of December 1, 2019, the SEA Games men’s triathlon event started with Chicano and Cebu-based teammate Andrew Kim Remolino representing the nation. After going through the pressure and enduring the pain of the 1.5 kilometer swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run event, Chicano won the gold medal in 1 hour, 53 minutes and 26 seconds. Remolino followed with 1:55:03 to win the silver medal, completing the 1-2 punch for the Philippines.

“We were confident in the sense that we prepared well for the SEA Games which includes three months of training at Clark,” Chicano said. “While I was confident to win, there were a few moments of uncertainty since the big competition (men’s triathlon) could turn out to be unpredictable.”

During the December 1 event, Chicano and Remolino raced together during the 40-kilometer bike leg and on the spot they came up with a new strategy to win gold and silver. At that particular stage, another foreign competitor biked near them. Earlier in the swim leg, Remolino was the first to emerge from the sea while Chicano was 4th (an Indonesian and a Singaporean were slightly ahead of him). During the 10-kilometer run leg, Chicano and Remolino built up their lead as a country and, ultimately, he gave it his all to win the gold, literally upgrading from silver (2017 SEA Games). The victory was witnessed by the top sports officials, the coaches, the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP), the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority officials, the spectators, corporate sponsors and, of course, Chicano’s family.

“It was a very happy moment for me to cross the finish line for the gold medal. I even felt like crying for happiness back then,” Chicano recalled the very moment he won the gold and became Southeast Asia’s best. “This was the big payback for almost ten years of effort racing in triathlon and growing to be stronger and more competitive. My triathlon effort and build-up started in 2010, preceded by biking in 2009. The feeling was so tremendous and happy.”

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Chicano and teammate Andrew Kim Remolino on the sports section of the December 2, 2019 edition of Business Mirror.

During the medal awarding ceremony, Chicano thought deeply about his SEA Games achievement and that he could bring further honors to the nation (plus his locality) in the years to come. The day after that, Chicano and teammates Remolino, Kim Mangrobang and Kim Kilgroe got tremendous spotlight together in the national newspapers which was expected considering their victorious achievements.

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Chicano (3rd from right) with his teammates who won medals in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games – (from L to R) Claire Adorna, Kim Kilgroe, Kim Mangrobang, Andrew Kim Remolino and Fer Casares. (photo source – Kim Mangrobang Facebook page) 

His SEA Games gold medal achievement not only raked in praise from many, financial rewards also came in from the national government (RA 10699), the City Government of Olongapo, corporate sponsors and other generous parties. Chicano even got to visit the Philippine Senate and met with Senator Richard Gordon.

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Chicano and Kim Mangrobang on the front page of the December 2, 2019 edition of the Manila Times.
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Chicano with coach Melvin Fausto and Senator Richard Gordon. (photo source – Subic Bay Community Center Facebook page)

As of this writing, Chicano is strongly focused on triathlon and he believes that what he achieved so far as a triathlete, and also as Southeast Asia’s best male triathlete, will be remembered for a long time and perhaps inspire the next generation of Filipinos to excel in sports.

When it comes to the near future, Chicano will go to Australia very soon to attend the Annual General Meeting and Awards Night of the FilOz Triathlon Club as their Guest Speaker. After that, he will undergo triathlon training for a few more weeks there in Australia.

From this point on, I recommend you all to take a close look at Chicano in triathlon events both local and overseas. He is, after all, Southeast Asia’s reigning triathlon king.


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

Parañaque City Council Approves Proposal Granting Monthly Financial Assistance to all Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Members, Secretaries and Treasurers on Third Reading

On February 6, Parañaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto announced that the legislative body (presided by Vice Mayor Rico Golez) passed on third and final reading Draft Ordinance Number 3 (Series of 2019) which is fully referred to as “An ordinance granting monthly financial assistance to all Sangguniang Kabataan members, Sangguniang Kabataan secretaries and Sangguniang Kabataan treasurers in the City of Parañaque and providing funds therefor.”

To put things in perspective, the approved piece of legislation, once signed by the mayor of the city, will lead to the City Government’s release of funds for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK or Youth Council in English) members (from the chairperson to the youth councilors), their respective secretaries and treasurers in the form of allowances.

“We recognize the efforts and contributions of each Sangguniang Kabataan Member in bringing public service among youth,” Councilor Sotto expressed. “It was an honor for me to be part of this.”

While it is a fact that the respective SK units of barangays in Parañaque (specifically those who met the requirements of the banks and the Department of Interior and Local Government) now have access to earmarked funds needed to for their projects and activities, their officials and officers worked without any financial assistance, at least from the City Government. Under the reformed SK system, SK units are supposed to be independent from their respective barangay units.

We will find out soon enough from the City Government when will Draft Ordinance Number 3 be signed by the mayor.

Reaction from Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK)

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The hall of Barangay BF Homes.

Upon seeing Councilor Sotto’s announcement, I reached out to Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Mariel Tumang for a reaction.

“I’m happy because all of us SK Chairpersons had wished to have an allowance provided so that we can cover the costs of local transportation heading towards our events,” chairwoman Tumang reacted.

As of this writing, Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez has yet to reply to my inquiry of the same issue.


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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Meet Southeast Asia’s Reigning Triathlon Queen – Kim Mangrobang!

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from Kim Mangrobang by means of an interview and research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Meet Southeast Asia’s Reigning Triathlon Queen – Kim Mangrobang!

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4-time Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) medalist and reigning triathlon queen of Southeast Asia Kim Mangrobang. (photo taken at Akrotiri, Commercenter, Muntinlupa City)

When triathlon (swim-bike-run) made its debut in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in late 2005 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone here in the Philippines, Marion Kim Mangrobang was still a teenager who witnessed the event as a spectator. Already a junior-level member of the Philippine triathlon team, she naturally cheered for her older teammates Ani De Leon and Sandra Araullo who represented the nation in the first-ever SEA Games triathlon event for women.

Fast forward to December 1, 2019, Mangrobang represented the Philippines in the 2019 SEA Games individual women’s triathlon event (her 3rd SEA Games since 2015) which was also held at Subic Bay and, more notably, won the gold medal in front of a large cheering crowd (with coach Ani De Leon – Brown, the other Philippine team coaches, officials of the Philippine Sports Commission, PHISGOC and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority plus other important personalities watching near the finish line) followed by her teammate Kim Kilgroe who copped the silver.

The winning streak concluded a day later when Mangrobang, 2015 SEA Games gold medalist Claire Adorna, 2019 SEA Games gold medalist John Chicano and Fer Casares combined their efforts to win the gold medal in the Triathlon Team Mixed Relay event which was held also there in Subic Bay. For the country, she won two 2019 SEA Games gold medals (note: the Philippines as a whole won 149 gold medals in the SEA Games it hosted) and got rewarded for it in return by the national government and by corporate sponsors.

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The entire Philippines got delighted on the morning of December 1, 2019 at Subic Bay when Kim Mangrobang successfully defended her title as Southeast Asia’s best female triathlete by winning the 2019 SEA Games individual women’s triathlon gold medal. In previous SEA Games, she won the silver medal in 2015 and her first gold medal in 2017. (photo source – Kim Mangrobang Facebook page)
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Mangrobang with her 2019 SEA Games individual women’s triathlon gold medal and the mascot. (photo source – Kim Mangrobang Facebook page)
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Mangrobang with teammate John Chicano and other Philippine team athletes on the cover of the December 2, 2019 edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. (photo source – Triathlon Association of the Philippines Facebook page)

As far as the SEA Games records go, Mangrobang won a total of four medals since her debut in 2015, specifically 3 gold medals (the first gold won in 2017) and 1 silver medal (won in 2015). In retrospect, her gold medal victory at Subic Bay was a successful defense of her gold medal achievement in the 2017 SEA Games which essentially established her as Southeast Asia’s reigning triathlon queen.

That being said, I am very happy to present to you my feature interview of Kim Mangrobang which starts right now.

Kim Mangrobang’s background

Mangrobang was born in Sta. Mesa, Manila, in 1991 to parents Richard (an engineer) and Dine (a manpower firm executive). Since the age of four, her family has been living in Santa Rosa, Laguna which is now a progressing city south of Metro Manila.

Mangrobang got into the sport of swimming as a result of her parents’ encouragement for her when she was little. She found sports to be an enjoyable pastime.

“As with most other parents, my mom and dad encouraged me to get into sports during the summer season when I was young. So I joined a swim team and along the way I felt I was playing given the aquatic aspect of swimming,” she recalled. “My teammates and I had fun with swimming and later I realized that swimming would be a serious form of competition.”

At the age of nine, she started swimming and eventually it became a daily part of her life similar with her teammates. As an elementary student, she continued swimming and eventually she became a varsity swimmer in her high school days (with the goal of making it in the Palarong Pambansa) and participated in many swimming competitions (between local sports clubs).

Being a member of her school’s swim team and of a separate swim club, Mangrobang learned a lot about competitive swimming related to national sports and inter-club competition. Along the way, she had to deal with a certain disadvantage of hers – her height.

“I really was a short girl back then. When I was twelve, my swimming coach noticed my height disadvantage and he figured out that it would be more helpful if I would try out with the Philippine team of triathlon,” she said.

That coach turned out to be none other than Abelardo “Abet” Alon-Alon who was a former national champion in triathlon as well as a former national team coach in the said sport. Historically, Alon-Alon was a standout in Philippine triathlon’s early years back in the 1990s His suggestion to Mangrobang to get into triathlon and into Philippine multisport turned out to be a blessing for her and the nation.

She immediately took part in a tryout (for the Philippine triathlon team) which was composed of a 1.5 kilometer swim and 3-kilometer run. Her swim time was 27 minutes and 36 seconds while she timed around 12 minutes in the run. She qualified and her membership with the Philippine triathlon team started on the junior (youth) level.

“That was the start of my new journey in sports and I realized that there were better opportunities in triathlon,” she recalled.

Triathlon career and rise in prominence

Gradually Kim Mangrobang redeveloped herself athletically under the guidance of triathlon coaches like Raul Cuevas (now heading race organizer Bike King Philippines), Peter Gonzales and Abet Alon-Alon to name a few. As she maintained her swimming, she learned to bike and run gaining valuable skills and experience. Before participating in triathlon, she engaged in aquathlon (swim-run) events.

At age thirteen, she took part in a Fit-and-Tri event for youth finishing 6th overall in a short distance aquathlon race held in Ayala Alabang Village. She finished 2nd to the last back then as she was still getting oriented. She went on to join a lot more aquathlon events later.

Her first-ever triathlon performance happened in another Fit-and-Tri event some time later. In that race, she finished 6th place. In further triathlon events, she gradually made her way up until reaching 1st place.

“To the best of my memory, I finished at around 4th place overall during the first year of competing in the Fit-and-Tri series. In the following year, I reached 1st place overall. Emerging 1st became normal for me in the years that followed, until I reached the age of fifteen or sixteen,” she recalled.

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Kim Mangrobang as a teenager way back in 2005. (photo contributed by Mangrobang)

In 2006, Mangrobang joined the Junior Elite race of the Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT) held at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and finished 2nd. That event was her first time to compete with foreign triathletes her age and instead of feeling intimidated, she performed well and still enjoyed the experience. Her value as a member of the Philippine team grew more. That same year, she raced in the Asian Duathlon Championships held in Clark finishing 4th in the Junior Women contest.

At age seventeen, Mangrobang tested herself in a Standard Distance (1.5 Km swim – 40 Km bike – 10 Km run) event during the 2008 Subic Bay ASTC Long Distance Triathlon event and won the bronze. Ahead of her were LC Langit (gold) and Monica Torres (silver).

In May 2009, Mangrobang finished 10th in the Elite Women contest of that year’s SUBIT clocking 2 hours, 32 minutes and 45 seconds (2:32:45). In the years that followed, she kept on representing the Philippines in the Elite Women contests of not only SUBIT but also in other triathlon events of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) that were held around the world. No matter how tough the field of competition was, the Santa Rosa triathlete kept focusing and persevering on doing her best and improving herself.

In the 2016 edition of SUBIT (2016 Subic Bay NTT ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup) held at Subic Bay, Mangrobang emerged as the Elite Women champion followed by her teammate Kim Kilgroe and Hong Kong’s Kate Rutherford. She timed 2:10:40 and won several ITU qualifying points in return. For the Philippines, it was a rare gold medal victory in the history of SUBIT which has often been dominated by foreign triathletes. The said victory was also proof that Mangrobang’s overseas training (under the guidance of Portugal-based coach Sergio Santos) paid off nicely. To this day, her training in Portugal continues.

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Mangrobang (rightmost) with (from L to R) then Triathlon Association of the Philippines Secretary General Tom Carrasco, Chinese Taipei’s Chang Ting Ting and her teammate Kim Kilgroe during the awarding ceremony of the 2016 edition of the Subic Bay International Triathlon (SUBIT). Mangrobang emerged as the event’s Elite Women’s champion. (photo source – Triathlon Association of the Philippines Facebook page)

Mangrobang also achieved great honor for the nation in non-triathlon events. She emerged as the women’s champion in the Lisbon Meia-Maratona Dos Descombrimentos Half Marathon that was held on December 6, 2015 in Portugal. Her victorious performance saw her timing 1:22:40 outclassing 2nd placer Ceu Nunes (1:26:55) and 3rd placer Sofia Mateiro (1:27:34). That particular sports event was noted to be a programmed race to test the fitness of triathletes. It was also a rarity that Filipinos get to race in the said event, which made Mangrobang’s victory even more outstanding.

Triathlon at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games)

As mentioned earlier, in the history of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), triathlon made its debut in the 2005 edition of the games specifically in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (already well established as the nation’s triathlon hot spot and favorite destination of local triathletes). Back then, Kim Mangrobang was 14-years-old and a junior member of the Philippine team. How she witnessed triathlon’s SEA Games debut was indeed interesting.

“I was still in high school back then. Me and my family left Santa Rosa at dawn to go to Subic Bay to watch the SEA Games triathlon. I had to take a leave of absence from school since that was a school day and I had to go back to school the very next day,” Mangrobang recalled. “When we arrived, there was already a huge crowd of spectators around the venue. The excitement was really high even before the race started.”

Mangrobang recalled that as a spectator, she felt nervous for the nation and what was at stake just as the individual participants were formally introduced during the pre-race ceremony. Like many others, she could only stand and watch the race unfold from behind the barricades (used for crowd control) and experience bouts of anxiety and nervousness. She cheered for her older teammates Sandra Araullo and Ani de Leon. Araullo went on to win the silver medal while De Leon (now a coach) finished 4th.

“I was really nervous back then as a spectator. Then I said to myself, ‘how much more nervous I would be if I was the one racing for the Philippines in the SEA Games,’” she stated. She added that she noticed the added pressure of participating and literally carrying the nation and the local people’s hope that victory would be achieved. She imagined herself in the future being in such a high-stakes situation.

After almost ten years later, Kim Mangrobang made her debut in the SEA Games (2015) in Singapore as a triathlete. Her teammate back then was Claire Adorna.

“Coaches of TRAP selected who were the best to represent our country in the SEA Games with results required,” Mangrobang recalled. “Based on the results of the time, they saw that me and Claire were the best and we were selected for the games. There were no qualifying races back then, which is different compared to today.”

In the 2015 SEA Games individual women’s triathlon event, Claire Adorna and Mangrobang worked together with a strategy to help the former gain a lead early in the event. Adorna raced with a foot injury back then and the team’s focus was to help her (and the nation) build up a good lead in both the swim and bike legs of the race, and ensure victory even if her injury would slow her down in the 10-kilometer run leg. The strategy was a success for the Philippines as the injured Adorna won the gold medal and Mangrobang captured the silver medal. Their respective times were 2:13:08 and 2:14:26. The bronze medal went to Thailand’s Arunsiri Sanruthai who was more than seven minutes behind Mangrobang.

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Mangrobang and Claire Adorna on the front page of the June 7, 2015 edition of the Philippine Star. She captured the silver medal while Adorna got the gold medal. (photo source – Triathlon Association of the Philippines Facebook page)

Two years later, the SEA Games triathlon events were held in Malaysia. In the individual women’s triathlon contest, Mangrobang won the SEA Games gold medal timing 2:11:14 while her teammate Adorna won the silver medal in 2:18:58. Literally speaking, the two ladies switched places and ultimately helped the Philippines which finished the games with 24 gold medals grand total. That was also the start of Mangrobang’s reign as Southeast Asia’s triathlon queen.

“During the build-up heading to the SEA Games of 2017, there was anxiety and pressure among us teammates mainly because expectations for us to repeat success were so high as a result of what we achieved in the previous SEA Games,” she stated.

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Mangrobang and her teammate Nikko Huelgas on the front page of the August 22, 2017 edition of the Manila Bulletin. This marked her first time to win the SEA Games gold medal. (photo source – Triathlon Association of the Philippines Facebook page)

To put things in perspective, the Philippines not only repeated its success in the 2015 SEA Games, they exceeded it by having twin gold-and-silver medal victories in both the individual men’s and individual women’s triathlon events in the 2017 edition of the games. On the men’s race, Nikko Huelgas won his 2nd consecutive gold medal while John Chicano added more punch to the victory by grabbing the silver medal. For Mangrobang, that particular event marked her first time to win the SEA Games gold medal.

“It was a very happy moment for me personally because all the efforts and training invested paid off in the best way possible,” Mangrobang recalled her feeling of winning her first gold medal. “A lot of relief followed as all the pressure and nervousness accumulated just vanished and got replaced with the thrill of victory. Naturally, I became very thankful.”

With regards to the 2019 SEA Games, Mangrobang spent a great deal of her time overseas. As she kept training in Portugal (plus a month of training in Mexico), she represented the country in many sports events that were held in other parts of the world for the first eleven months of 2019. As such, she did not spend much time in the Philippines.

Regardless, she won the gold medal of the individual women’s triathlon once more in the latest SEA Games marking her successful defense of her standing as Southeast Asia’s triathlon queen. Her time was 2:02:00. The December 1, 2019 victory at Subic Bay also marked the full turn of life for Mangrobang who went from spectator in the 2005 SEA Games triathlon into Southeast Asia’s best female triathlete fourteen years later at the same freeport.

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The Sta. Rosa, Laguna-based triathlete making a U-turn during the 40-kilometer bike leg of the 2019 SEA Games individual women’s triathlon event at Subic Bay. (photo source – Kim Mangrobang Facebook page)
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Mangrobang and Chicano on the front page of the December 2, 2019 edition of the Manila Bulletin. (photo source – Triathlon Association of the Philippines Facebook page)

After winning the two 2019 SEA Games gold medals (individual women and mixed team relay), Mangrobang and her medalist teammates were greeted by lots of local spectators who also expressed their gratitude to them.

“Getting praised and being thanked a lot in return for the victory is normal. It is also a very humbling feeling to see so many spectators rooting for us national athletes to win. Through that experience, I realized there is truth to the 2019 SEA Games tagline of ‘We Win As One,’” she stated.

Mangrobang and her winning teammates (John Chicano, Kim Kilgroe, Kim Remolino, Claire Adorna and Fer Casares) plus members of the coaching staff were nicely rewarded by the national government through Republic Act Number 10699. They formally received their cash incentives in a special ceremony held at Malacanang Palace in the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The President jokingly said I resembled a certain past classmate of his from his days as a Grade 5 student,” Mangrobang said recalling her short chat with Duterte as she had her photo session with him at Malacanang. It was her 2nd time to be with the President.

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Mangrobang with her teammates and fellow 2019 SEA Games medalists (from L to R) Claire Adorna, Kim Kilgroe, John Chicano, Andrew Kim Remolino and Fer Casares. (photo source – Kim Mangrobang Facebook page) 
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Southeast Asia’s triathlon queen with President Rodrigo Duterte. (photo source – Kim Mangrobang Facebook page, photo care of Presidential Communications)

The post-SEA Games buzz did not stop with Duterte. Apart from meeting corporate sponsors and having sessions with some members of the press, Mangrobang was acknowledged by the respective local government units (LGUs) of Santa Rosa in Laguna and Bauan in Batangas through social media.

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Mangrobang right in the middle of the Santa Rosa-based 2019 SEA Games medalists. (photo source – City Government of Santa Rosa, Laguna Facebook page)
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A congratulatory message from the authorities in Bauan, Batangas. (photo source – Bauan MIO Facebook page)

Bauan claimed Mangrobang as their own since her mother is a native there. After accepting their invitation, she attended the flag raising ceremony at Bauan and was presented by the LGU officials to the locals. They gave her a certificate of recognition. Mangrobang also attended another flag raising ceremony with the Provincial Government of Batangas (headed by Governor DoDo Mandanas) held in Batangas City.

Aiming High for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

As of now, Kim Mangrobang is aiming to get qualified to represent the Philippines in the individual women’s triathlon event of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. With the support of San Miguel Corporation, Nike, Specialized, Oakley, Garmin and the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP) and the guidance of coach Sergio Santos, she is now in full training in Portugal and eventually she will be joining several triathlon events (recognized by the ITU) that serve as qualifying races for the Olympics.

According to Mangrobang, there will only be 55 slots for the Tokyo Olympic Games individual women’s triathlon event. The qualifying period will end this coming May and subsequently the final lineup of triathletes racing in the Olympics will be announced.

“I’m very focused now on getting into the Olympics and I’m using whatever energy I have for it,” Mangrobang declared.

Message to the Readers

“When I race, I realize that it is a big responsibility because I become an inspiration to other people and I hope that what I achieved will inspire others to engage in the active lifestyle as that is important. I also hope that once they get into triathlon, they will learn to work hard and train smart.”

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Mangrobang and myself at Akrotiri, Commercenter, Alabang.

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

Note: My special thanks to Akrotiri restaurant located at Commercenter, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City. Akrotiri really has a nice place (which was great for this feature interview) as well as a fine selection of food and beverages. Those of you who are reading this, I highly recommend Akrotiri.