(IC Calaguas has joined the iOrbitNews team as a columnist. Calaguas, who started as a sports writer of the former Sun Star Clark in the mid 90’s, will delve on various issues that will interest the reading public in her column ‘The Bystander’. – Editor)
IRISH CUNANAN CALAGUAS known as IC CALAGUAS was one of the pioneer editorial staffers of Sun.Star Clark now Sun.Star Pampanga, the first local daily community paper in Central Luzon established in 1995.
Calaguas was hired by Sun.Star Clark headed by veteran newsmen Jose L. Pavia and Fyodor Fabian immediately after graduating from High School, where she finished as class valedictorian.
She was then Pampanga’s youngest reporter at age 17, handling the paper’s sports section.
At age 18, she was chosen as the pioneer President of Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) Pampanga Press Corps.
She also later joined as deskman of Sun.Star Subic circulated in Olongapo City and Sun.Star Mabuhay circulated in Bulacan and had a brief stint with the daily Malaya as Central Luzon Correspondent.
At the age of 21, she joined the government service and appointed as Executive Assistant of the three-term Angeles City Mayor Carmelo F. Lazatin.
As Executive Assistant, she was responsible for the implementation of the full computerization of all the revenue generating offices of the Angeles City Government. The computerization project was later certified as ISO 9001:2003 of the Certification International Philippines, making Angeles City the first ISO-Certified Local Government Unit outside Metro Manila in 2002.
Aside from being Executive Assistant, she was also the concurrent Chief of the Angeles City Disaster Management Office, Trade and Investment Office, Quality Management System Office, City Information Office, Information Communication Technology Division, City Nutrition Office and Mayor’s Office Desk in the Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center.
It was during her stint as City Nutrition Action Officer that the City has ranked No. 2 in Central Luzon with the Best Nutrition Program.
As head of the Trade and Investment Promotions Office, she successfully headed trade missions and sisterhood agreements with the Cities of Bacolod, Cebu and Hampyeong, South Korea.
Further, she successfully organized and pioneered the city-wide Sisig Festival for four consecutive years 2003 to 2006. The Sisig Festival is a feast of a Filipino dish made from parts of pig heads and liver. Because of the success of the event, Angeles City earned the distinction – Sisig Capital of the Philippines.
In 2007, she joined the House of Representative as Chief of Staff of First District Representative Carmelo F. Lazatin.
In 2011, she organized the Kabahagi Ako sa Handog Silid Aralan tungo sa Kaunlaran adopt a school program,, a district-wide project of Representative Lazatinlaunched to address the 444 classrooms backlog in public schools in Angeles City and Mabalacat and Magalang towns.
In 2013, after the retirement of Representative Lazatin, she started managing Biotop Philippines Agriculture Co. Inc., a multi-million feed mill company owned by the Lazatin family located in City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
Calaguas has a degree in Political Science and Communications from New Era University.
She also earned her Masters of Education from Philippine Women University and is now taking up Masters in Business Administration at New Era University.
She is a holder of an open water diver license and has 68 hours private pilot flying time.