Feature Stories, Local News

Three Millennials Take the Lead in Serving Local Community

Millennials Serving Community

#JaniuayWaayBayaay is the hashtag that defines the passion of three millennials serving their community in Janiuay. The trio, composed of Dr. Gracia Marie Dureza-Loffe, Atty. Mayen Mar Estandarte Gulmatico, and Nurse Jemar Coscolluela Alerta, lives by the principle that they are for the people – indi maka administrasyon, indi maka opposition (not with the administration nor the opposition), but for the Janiuaynons.

Janiuay is a first-class municipality in the Province of Iloilo and is located 33 kilometers (21 miles) northwest of Iloilo City. Established in 1769, it has a population of 63,031 (according to a 2010 census) and is composed of 60 barangays.

The three have already been serving the community since their Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) days.

Dr. Gracia Marie Dureza-Loffe, often called ‘Doctor kang Masa’, is a physician by profession but a public servant by heart. She finished her Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2013 at West Visayas State University, her Doctor of Medicine in 2017 at Central Philippine University, and her Post Graduate Internship at Iloilo Mission Hospital.

Dr. Loffe has been offering free medical consultation to Janiuaynons for three years already, in partnership with Generica. Moreover, she uses social media to educate the public about health and wellness – and offers online teleconsultation and e-prescription services. To her, it is a way of giving back to the community and is her lifelong commitment and passion.

“Let me borrow this from John Welch: genuine leadership comes from the quality of your vision and the ability to spark others to extraordinary performance,” begins the doctor. “Ang Janiuay ga panawag sa akun as a doctor. Pag pasar ko sa board three years ago, I had the passion to offer free medical service in partnership with Generica. Didto ko na kita nga damo gid sa atun mga utod specially sa barrios kag kabukiran nga five years ago last consultation sa tood nga medical doctor,” she continues.

“I decided nga mag saka bukid to see the actual picture. Nalooy ako sa sitwasyon nila. Iba sa ila ga kamatay indi dahil sa ila sakit, pero sa kapigaduhon kag indi ka avail quality medical service,” she adds.

Mayen Mar Estandarte Gulmatico, meanwhile, is a lawyer by profession and advocates for social legislation and justice. He graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Management at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas and completed his Juris Doctorate degree in 2018 at Central Philippine University.

Atty. Gulmatico is not afraid to share his thoughts on social media, especially when defending those who cannot defend themselves. According to him, it is his responsibility as a lawyer to help those who are in need, especially his kasimanwas.

“No one will help this municipality kung indi man lang kita nga Janiuaynon,” states Atty. Gulmatico. “Diin man kami dar-on kang amon tagsa-tagsa nga handom, maabot ang adlaw, mauli gid tamun sa amon nga gin halinan kag mag serbisyo sa Janiuay,” he adds.

The young lawyer also shared his thoughts on leadership and public service.

“Public service is our calling. No money or fame can compensate for our passion to serve, especially to our fellow Janiuaynons. This is where our hearts belong. We have the heart and brain that would help us deliver the demand of the community especially during this pandemic. This period requires physically and mentally prepared leaders, and as millennials, we both have that capacity. Contemporarily and technologically, we are ready,” says Atty. Gulmatico.

Last but certainly not least, Jemar Coscolluela Alerta is a registered nurse and has a passion to ‘confidently care for people’. He finished his bachelor’s degree in Nursing at Central Philippine University in 2012 and is currently completing his Master’s in Communication at the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication.

Although heavily involved in the corporate world, Alerta never forgets his promise of helping people. He is among those responsible for spearheading community service initiatives together with the company where he is currently employed. As a nurse, Alerta’s primary concern is health and the health sector. He believes that serving Janiuay especially in these challenging times (pandemic) can put his knowledge in the medical field to the test.

His advocacies also center on tourism and helping the out-of-school youths find opportunities to pursue their education. He sees potential in Janiuay as a center for tourism with its rich natural resources. Being young himself, he believes that out-of-school youth can supplement manpower needs in any municipality and can also help uplift economic growth through skilled employment.

When asked why he is doing all these, he just smiled and gave a simple response, “my heart tells me to go back to my town and serve the Janiuaynons where I belong.”

Alerta also believes that he, together with Dr. Loffe and Atty. Gulmatico can create change and that they too, as millennials, can have an impact on the community. They also aspire that future generations can take inspiration from them and pursue public service.

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