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HomeOpinionGirlie Balaba comes into her own

Girlie Balaba comes into her own

When I attended the press conference held by Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno to introduce his lineup for next year's midterm elections a month and a half ago, I saw an impressive mix of both veterans and neophytes.

Among the neophytes that caught my attention is a looker who goes by the name Girlie Balaba. It was the second time I met her the first being her filing of candidacy at the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office.

During the press conference, I asked about her experience working in the media and how it is related to politics. Her narrative was that it was during her media stint that she saw the many ills besetting Philippine society.

She saw for instance the many indigents in need of care like the persons with disabilities (PWDs) from the government. Girlie said she wants to be that person to represent the downtrodden and the minority.

Girlie who grew up in Tomas Saco Street, Cagayan de Oro City previously worked in ABS-CBN Davao City. She said she saw poverty in the course of her work and she wants to bring attention and help to their plight in the Cagayan de Oro City Council.

Hence she joined Moreno's lineup for the 2019 elections. There is some truth to the saying that one's surroundings influence his or her thoughts and sentiments.

She is like the female Howard Roark in the book Fountainhead by novelist philosopher Ayn Rand. I nearly fell from my seat when she mentioned that she loves Rand's books who happen to be my favorite.

I  told myself this lady means well. She admitted that Ayn Rand influenced her in her life choices. For those unfamiliar with Rand's work, tthe book Fountainhead tells about the struggle between the individual in society. 

Roark, the character created by Rand refuses to work to please anyone. And in a sense that is what Girlie is since she considers words and actions backed by commitment as what matters most in life. 

Girlie is pure Kagay-anon. She was born, raised and schooled in Cagayan de Oro City. She attended grade school and high school in Lourdes College and took up psychology and nursing in Xavier University. 

No wonder her heart is close to the elderly and the young. Girlie's sister Jemimah said Girlie gives without asking anything in return. Girlie also loves to eat binaki (local tamales) saging with ginamos (starchy bananas with fish sauce/paste) and when her schedule permits, she bakes ube (yam) cakes and makes ice cream for family and friends.

Girlie's batchmate Jackie Marte Serino described Girlie as a simple girl who has a ready smile for everyone. It is but providential that Girlie's favorite color is green, the campaign color of Team OKKa for the 2019 midterm elections.

This lady who loves to wear white loves adult coloring books and had been going around the city to meet city residents. 

“This election is more about them it is not about me. I believe that by listening to them and talking about their concerns I will be in a much better position to help them,” Girlie told me.  

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