A Chat with the First Barangay Captain of #healthierPH, Ciarra Opeda
Going up the ranks made me feel like my efforts are being rewarded, and I could not be any happier. My goal was simply to give back to the community, but having received a little bit more than what I gave out was an unexpected surprise.
How do we build a #healthierPH? Through bayanihan! So when we hear how Voluntars are making a difference in their own way, it’s always such a thrill.
We are happy to share with you our online conversation with the first Barangay Captain of #healthierPH, Ciarra Monillas-Opeda. Her story proves that volunteerism can be easy, fun, and fulfilling at the same time. Read on and be inspired.
1. Tell us something about yourself.
I'm a full-time mom and a happy wife. My favorite thing to do is to make sure that my family is healthy and happy every day. I'm a mompreneur, and I manage a home business of baking customized cakes and sweets, which I’ve named Sweets by Happy Mommy. During me-time, I volunteer for various programs like Unilab Foundation's #healthierPH Volunteer Portal, where I can help inspire and encourage people to build a healthier Philippines, one day at a time.
2. How did you know about Unilab Foundation and the #healthierPH Volunteer Portal?
I was very lucky and blessed to be invited by Unilab Foundation to volunteer via Instagram and they encouraged me to join their #healthierPH activities. And so I did.
3. What inspired you to start volunteering with Unilab Foundation? How was your experience so far?
I've always had the heart to reach out to others. When I was in college, I decided to be a choir member so that I can serve and give back the many blessings the Lord has given me. My mom would also help me prepare packed meals for the homeless – we would do this every weekend. When I started working, I joined Gawad Kalinga to help and teach children. However, when I already had a family of my own, I found it harder to find time to do volunteer work that requires me to be there physically. Right now, my priority is caring for my husband and kids, so helping others had to take a back seat. That was until I heard about Unilab Foundation's Volunteer Portal. I was so excited that I joined right away! Since then, my experience has just been amazing. I'm very proud to be part of building a healthier Philippines, and more importantly, I am very happy to be back to doing volunteer work while still being here with my family.
4. How does it feel to be the first one to reach the Barangay Captain rank in the Portal? What can you commit to do in your real barangay?
It was very humbling and very emotional at the same time. Going up the ranks made me feel like my efforts are being rewarded, and I could not be any happier. My goal was simply to give back to the community, but having received a little bit more than what I gave out was an unexpected surprise. This is something I carry with me, and it inspires me to do more.
With the help of the growing Unilab Foundation community, I plan to be on the lookout for opportunities for improvement in our barangay, and share my ideas with others. In turn, I hope this simple gesture will allow other volunteers who can do something about it to be informed that change is needed within my area. Although I cannot do physical volunteer work, I am hoping that the ideas and thoughts I share will guide the ones who can with their programs and priorities.
5. What's your message to the citizens who want to be a Barangay Captain like you?
I would encourage them to join the cause of building a healthier Philippines. While the labels and ranks bring pride and inspiration, what matters most is that they come with equal shares of honor and responsibility. I urge everyone to do their best and do their part. Let's all help each other build a better and healthier Philippines. Thank you!