The unexpected in Panabo City Councilor Raquel “Bangbang” Geraldo

Sept. 16-22, 2010

For Panabo 7th placer City Councilor Racquel “Bangbang” Geraldo she’ll just be doing what has been expected by the people for the elected- serve with sincerity.

But “expect the unexpected”, she says.

Four months ago, she ran as independent candidate, shook hands and talked with the vast discerning electorate in the villages, just giving her sincere and natural ways of relating with them no matter what it brings.

In the tight race against seasoned and veterans of organized political parties, she got whooping 25,047 votes placing her in the 7th.

“Tinuod lang ko nga nangumpanya sa ila. If sincere ka, depende na na sa ila,” she says, recalling her own difficult electoral fight as an independent bet in the polls that tested the Panaboans’ will mettle.

But really by now now campaigning with sincerity, walang kaplastikan, proves to be clincher of getting people’s trust and confidence, like in the case of Councilor Raquel of Barangay Malativas. The village where she grew up and hails from is about 20 kms from the city’s heartland.

Prior to the filing of certificate of candidacy for the last polls, the 23-year old lady councilor first consulted her base- the Sangguniang Kabataan leaders on her prospect of taking a crack for a councilor’s post in the 10-man city council. There was no one who opposed, and all of the SK leaders who converged around pledged to support her.

Councilor Racquel is no stranger to the city’s youths- the SK leaders foremost, because from 2000 to 2007 she had been an SK president, the last 5 years of which she served as the SK city federation president. She started an SK leader in her rugged, faraway Malativas village, where their family farm and banana business are based.

In the hustings, the SK leaders campaigned and fought so hard for their jewel Racquel, who wanted to sustain, institutionalize and even flourish more the many accomplishments she made for the city’s teeming youths during her five-year stint as the SK city federation president. She had few barangay captains supporting her candidacy.

By the youthful strengths and vibrancy and by her own merit, she won a strong people’s mandate.

Her father Rolando aided by her mother Lourdes have long been in the business of exporting lakatan and latundan bananas to Manila markets for about 20 years now. In her two-year political forlough out from SK affairs, from 2008 to 2009, when she already graduated from her business administration course (major management) from Holy Cross College in Davao City, she turned a full-pledged businesswoman, performing larger and decisive tasks as enthrusted by her father for their family business.

Councilor Bangbang is sportswoman. She loves to play volleyball and badminton. She was the captain ball in volleyball during her college.

This chinky-eyed, petite, beauteous lady youth city legislator is so much single, and admits she’s still searching nowadays (move over brave Valentinos). She finds more cozy to be in jeans doing social research and consultations for her coming pet legislations as the chair of the socio-cultural and women’s committee- she’s presently preoccupied crafting the unfinished gender and development (GAD) code and her other legislative measures including one proposed amendment that would increase budget allocations for the araws ng barangay.

And particularly this youngest city legislator is training her sight in realizing bigger plans for youth development and intervention in the city, including education advocacy on disadvantages of the young going into early marriages.

That might speak well that, for City Councilor Racquel, entering into relationship or marrying are least of her priorities now. (RUN/cha monforte)

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