By Jason Andrew Vila

Stories from our childhood taught us that leaders can come from anywhere as long as they possess the necessary qualities to herd their people to greener pastures. There is Nelson Mandela who grew up in a hut in Transkei Village (an underdeveloped place in South Africa at that time) or Benjamin Franklin who was the 15th out of 17 children of a candle maker. A similar story may happen with Berna Alberto, a proud mother of six children, who is planning to run as San Roque’s Kagawad in the coming Barangay elections.

Alberto is an aspiring Kagawad who was born and raised in the city of Antipolo. She also spent most of her life here where she studied from high school in Sumulong Memorial High School up to her college years where she became an undergraduate student in Nursing and a graduate of Midwifery. With this background, she was always exposed to people from different walks of life. She helped deliver new people to the world and this is where her passion for public service sprouted.

In an interview with Antipolo Star, she shared that “Nakakalungkot makita ang mga kababayan natin na hindi alam kung saan lalapit pag nagkaroon sila ng mga emergency.” She explained how people from her area often come for her aid to help lessen their costs when they experience emergencies like sudden hospitalization and deaths as well as financial struggles of some students.

She now works as a location coordinator for tapings done in Antipolo and uses the extra income to extend help to people who contact her even if they are outside of her field of responsibility. From her hometown of San Roque to Dela Paz and San Luis.

“Naramdaman ko ito noong pandemic. Nakita ko yung mga kababayan natin na nangangailangan ng tulong at hindi alam kung saan magsisimula,” said Alberto.

She also shared stories of sharing snacks with kids when she meets them on the streets. She also helped the barangay with the implementation of the curfew as for children. This and other acts of service and kindness helped spread her name throughout the barangay.

While she often met the newly born often because of her background as midwife she also helped those with deaths in the family. She helped bereaved families get free caskets and discounts for other funerary services.

She said she doesn’t like to boast about her achievements online although there are many who use social media platforms like Facebook to help popularize their names.

“Sapat na sa akin yung mga message na nagpapasalamat at humihingi na lang ako ng mga dasal. [Ito ‘yong] nakapagbibigay na sa akin ng lakas para mas marami pang matulungan,” said Alberto.

With her background in midwifery, it is also ironic that she plans to discourage pregnancies among teens because of the growing problem of teenage pregnancy in San Roque.

She shared her concern about the rising cases of teenage pregnancy in the barangay and plans to address it as the first thing she is going to solve if she wins the election.

“Gusto ko po magkaroon man lamang sila ng education tungkol sa family planning para magabayan natin ang mga bata at hindi sila maligaw ng landas,” said Alberto.

Although tempted to run as Punong Barangay she preferred to take her time and serve the people with what she called “Serbisyong Sigurado” and give way to Kapitan Anding (Cabasbas). She wants to witness the current barangay captain complete the full length of his term.