Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting: An Icon How Motherhood and Public Service Work Perfectly Together

“THE EMPOWERED Woman, she moves through the world with a sense of confidence and grace. Her once reckless spirit is now tempered by wisdom. Quietly, yet firmly, she speaks her truth without doubt or hesitation and the life she leads is of her own creation. She now understands what it means to live and let live. How much to ask for herself and how much to give. She has a strong, yet generous heart and the inner beauty she emanates truly sets her apart. Like the mythical Phoenix, she has risen from the ashes and soared to a new plane of existence, unfettered by the things that once posed such resistance…” – Excerpts from the poem Empowered Woman by Sonny Carroll.

Old and recent studies revealed that women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t when it comes to politics and parenting. If women are mothers, their ability to do political work is questioned, because some wonder if they will be able to balance their private responsibilities to their families as mothers with their political duties to the public. Similarly, when women are not mothers, their ability to do politics is also questioned, because some suggest that women who are not mothers may not know or care about certain programs, particularly those that relate to families and children.

On the other hand, this is not to say that motherhood is always negative in politics because there are women in politics—who wield their maternity into good use as advocates of women’s rights, child’s welfare and protection, women empowerment and dedicated to taking care of the educational and healthcare programs of a local government unit— typically do well in electoral politics. A prominent example is the undefeated Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting of Angeles City. Notwithstanding her challenging duties as presiding officer of the 12 Honorable City Councilors in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, she wears multiple hats as loving mother to Arthur Vincent and Andrei Victor. She shared, “Being a mother has been my greatest inspiration. I learned the most valuable lessons. I knew the importance of helping people and I understood that politics is an avenue for change.” She is also an adorable wife to Central Luzon Daily editor-in-chief and best chess player Arthur since January 27, 2002. Consistently an eloquent debater and public speaker, a singer and actress. She had a long history of being a public servant—in different capacities both appointed and elected. She was also among the legislative staff of Congressman Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin in the early 1990s.

In 2001, she was appointed Gender and Development (GAD) Officer by then Mayor Tarzan. She ran for city councilor and topped the council polls in 2001 and 2004. In 2007, she won as the first woman Vice Mayor of Angeles City, a post she held until the third and final term. She said with God’s grace and support of the people, she is always elected to head the city council— what we fondly tag as “franchisee” in politics . Her main line of work may have been legislation, but the hardworking Vice Mayor Vicky performs her duties beyond her capacity by providing outreach programs and projects. She initiated the Kabuhayan Patrol, women’s livelihood projects, Gabay sa Paghimlay’ burial assistance, and ‘Women Heal’ program, which aims primarily to assist women with ailments such as cancer.

In 2012 marked a significant breakthrough for the Angeleños. The city launched the Gender and Development (GAD) Code formulated by Vice Mayor Vicky—a well known advocate of women’s rights— and spearheaded the Parangal Para Sa Lider Kababaihan with the DILG which recognizes women’s participation and empowerment in governance. Vice Mayor Vicky gave recognition to female barangay officials for their unselfish dedication to their respective tasks. She stressed in her message that these are women leaders helping women in the grassroots. The GAD Code is a solid proof that the city really means business as far as women empowerment is concerned.

She portrayed Indie roles and became known for films like Area (2016), The Coffin Maker (2014) and The Spider’s Lair (2013).
Vice Mayor Vicky always shows her support for artists whenever she can. She graces art exhibitions for a cause to illustrate avid recognition to Kapampangan artists by posting them in her social media platforms and providing sustainable skills programs.

In her latest “Ulat Sa Paglilingkod ng Sangguniang Panlungsod 2021” Vice Mayor Vicky says the top priorities of the administration of Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr. are health and education, which is why the SP is giving its “all-out support”. She noted the SP has also launched activities anchored on the 8-point legislative agenda: Women Empowerment, Public Health Promotion & Initiatives, Education Governance, Environmental Management, Social Entrepreneurship & Strategies, Barangay & Community Empowerment, Institutional Linkages & Research, and Culture & Arts Appreciation. She has been encouraging everyone regardless of political differences to embrace the spirit of togetherness, to persevere and maintain harmony and stability for the common good amid the pandemic.

Historically, in the years to come Vice-Mayor Vicky is best remembered among the major shakers and movers of the Save Chevalier School Movement triumphantly quashing the sudden closure order slapped against the 61-year old school which may have thrown in disarray 1,300 students and 80 teaching/non-teaching personnel amid a land dispute between the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga.

Meanwhile in her latest Facebook posts, Vice Mayor / Girl Scout Vicky and SP members have been roving tirelessly around the city’s public schools distributing paints, sanitizers and cleaning materials for DepEd’s 2021 Brigada Eskwela Program in the light of the opening of School Year 2021-2022 on September 13.

Vice Mayor Vicky explained, “The slogan of Brigada Eskwela, Bayanihan para sa Paaralan, is adopted as the theme for this year to emphasize our collective efforts in promoting collaboration for safe living and addressing social issues and concerns in schools, at homes and in the community.

Teaching personnel are entitled to earn vacation service credits arising from their active involvement as members of the Brigada Eskwela working committees and/or voluntary services in the Brigada Eskwela activities, including engagement in the Brigada Pagbasa which is an after-school reading program that brings together education partners and experts to help learners read and become functionally literate.”

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