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23-Year Old Mayor In Pangasinan Makes Headlines For Action Against COVID-19

At 23, he is the youngest elected mayor in the country.
IMAGE FACEBOOK/CelesteArthBryan

Alaminos City Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste, 23, is presently the youngest mayor in the country.

A year after his graduation from De La Salle University in Manila, he followed in the footsteps of his father, Arthur Celeste, who served as mayor of Alaminos City from 2013 to 2019.

He is part of the list—currently topped by Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto—that glows with names of city magistrates using their vested power in the service of their constituents.

A netizen's remark puts it best, "Ang mga millenial [sic] public servants ay nagaalab.."

Mayor Brian's first initiative during lockdown was to hand out relief goods to 25,000 families in Alaminos City in the province of Pangasinan. He personally helped in the repacking and distribution of the bags.

Photos from the first day of his relief operations on Saturday, March 21, were uploaded on Facebook, and have now garnered over 8,000 reactions and 1,600 shares.

The post read: "Simula na po ang distribution ng relief goods dito sa Alaminos City. Antay-antay na lang po at mahirap na trabaho ang magbigay sa bawat pamilya.

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"Huwag po kayo mag-alala at LAHAT po kayo ay mabibigyan. Kasama po natin ang lokal na pamahalaan, ang ating mga brgy. officials at ang pribadong sektor na nagtutulong-tulong para makarating po sa inyo LAHAT ito. #AlaminosCityParaSaLahat."

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For the relief goods, Mayor Bryan bought 730 kilos of vegetables and 10 tons of fruits from their own farmers.

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He posted this on Facebook, Sunday, March 22: "Marami pong vegetable growers ang naapektuhan ng COVID-19 quarantine.

"Hindi po nila maibenta ang kanilang mga produkto kaya bilang tugon, binili po ng ating lokal na pamahalaan para hindi po ito masira at ito’y mapakinabangan.

"Kasama po ito sa mga ipamimigay natin na pagkain sa ating mga kababayan."

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Netizens left comments on his posts commending his work; others seemed just charmed by his good looks.

Bryan Celeste

Arth Bryan Celeste

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Arth Bryan Celeste

Mayor Bryan first served as barangay chairman in 2018, and headed Pangasinan's league of barangay chairpersons.

This story originally appeared on Pep.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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Katherine Go A day ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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