Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) has always been a subject of stereotypes, such as having only shallow projects.
But during the ongoing battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, SK Chairman Jaybie Mantilla — who suited up for Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season — is proving otherwise.
And the SK Chairman of Barangay Suba in Cebu City is taking pride in breaking the barriers that society always put in the youth council.
“May mga issue na talaga dati pa na huwag daw akong iboto kasi puro paliga lang ‘yan,” he said.
“But all I need to do is do my part at doon makikita ng mga tao na mali sila — na hindi kami magfo-focus sa basketball lang.”
In this pandemic, the 24-year-old former UP Fighting Maroon has his plate full, but is determined to get the job done.
His council has already given face masks, hygiene kits, and vitamins to the youth and senior citizens of Barangay Suba.
And the former CESAFI MVP is also making sacrifices for the barangay and his family.
To start, he has donated his half month salary from Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol to add to the council’s budget. And he does this all while not going home, instead seeking shelter at the barangay hall in order to protect his loved ones at their home.
“Hindi na ako umuuwi ng bahay. Pumupunta na lang kapag may kukunin na mga gamit. Doon na kami sa barangay hall natutulog para maprotektahan na rin mga kasama ko sa bahay.”
But the 5-foot-7 playmaker doesn’t notice all his hardships, as long as it is for his constituents.
“Masarap sa pakiramdam magserve para sa barangay kahit may halong kaba. Bilang isa sa leader ng mga kabataan dito sa amin, importanteng may puso ka sa pagseserbisyo.”
Mantilla will remain as a Shark in the fourth season of the MPBL — the second of five seasons Chooks-to-Go will back.
Story by Justin Valencia