Wit, grace, elegance and integrity rolled into one

Written by
  • Jefferson C.
  • 7 years ago

Leading the Iskolar ng Bataan program, her name has become synonymous with the program itself. Ma. Cristina Mangubat Garcia, or simply Ma’am Cris, as what she prefers to be called, fed this writer with bountiful quotable quotes and inspiring words of wisdom as we sat down in an exclusive interview with 1Bataan.

Residing in Brgy. Tenejero, City of Balanga, from the cracked shells of Eduardo Tuason Garcia and Teresita Ilaya Mangubat, Ma’am Cris is the eldest of nine children. As such, she was always tasked to look over her siblings, making sure that they are always in good condition, which she said she’s still doing, but this time, it’s the scholars of the province whom she motherly supervises with regards to their studies.

This woman of character and strength finished her elementary and secondary courses in Balanga Elementary School in 1981 and in Tomas Del Rosario Academy in 1985 respectively. Her eagerness to provide a better life for her parents and siblings inspired her to finish college and achieve her dreams. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree major in Accounting at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. Adding another feather to her cap of accomplishments, Ma’am Cris finished her Master in Business Administration major in Fiscal Administration in 2002 with flying colors as Cum Laude.

She also passed two licensure examinations: the Real Estate Brokers Licensure examination conducted by Department of Trade and Industry in 1996; the other one is the Career Service Professional examination conducted by Civil Service Commission in 1998.

Talking about her job stints, she started as a Congressional Staff up to Legislative Staff Officer VI at the House of the Representatives from 1990 to 2016. She also served as a private secretary at the Provincial Government of Bataan from 1992 to 1994. To date, she is the Consultant for Education and Head of the Iskolar ng Bataan program that caters to almost 12,000 college students in and outside the province.

Known to be an ardent believer in her core values and an outspoken woman of uprightness, she believes that every young Bataeño is entitled to an education. With that, she is very glad to render her full force and energy in thinking of and creating ways on how to help further the scholars of Bataan.

She envisions Bataan with professionals who can provide a better life to their respective families. She also said that she is one with the students because she knows their struggles and their hidden stories behind their triumphs. “May mapasaya lang akong isang tao kada araw, quota na ako.”, she said with a beautiful smile as she recalls the numerous inspiring and touching stories of beneficiaries of the Iskolar ng Bataan program.

Ma’am Cris is wit, grace, elegance, and integrity rolled into one, and these qualities shine through in everything that she does. But, in her kind of work, stress is inevitable. That’s why she discovered a way to fight stress— by just simply having an intimate encounter with nature. She makes it a point to start each day, with a walk in her mini garden, watering her plants and sometimes talking to those green creatures. This is how she finds peace of mind.

She may seem complex, but she is actually accessible and therefore approachable and this, along with her many admirable traits, has made her the respectable and dedicated public servant that she is right now.

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