First Filipino Woman Councilor Elected in UK

cynthia barker carousel D8BED11B8D25441D91119376404B38F2 First Filipino Woman Councilor Elected in UK   In the recently held general elections in the United Kingdom on May 7, British-Filipina Cynthia Alcantara Barker was elected councilor of the borough of Hertsmere and town of Elstree and Borehamwood. She was the first Filipino to be elected to this level of public office in UK politics! In an interview with The Filipino Expat, Barker pinpoints her curiosity about her local town as well as her impressive list of political and community involvement. “I was used to just keeping things to myself and not speaking up unless I was asked to,” Barker said. “As I got to learn more about the country, the citizens, the culture and the law of the land, I became more patriotic as well,” Baker said. Barker will oversee the administration of Hertsmere, a local government unit in Hertfordshire located at the southern part of England aside from one of Hertsmere’s local towns, Elstree and Borehamwood. She was also a member of their local residents’ association, a school governor, and chair of trustees of the Elstree and Borehamwood museum. Among other charitable organizations, Baker was a former president of the Rotary Club. Barker cited her Filipino values as her “strength.” “I feel blessed that I came to the UK strong and armed with Filipino values instilled in me by my parents. Those gave me the strength to adapt to the new environment,” she said. Barker went to the UK to be reunited with her mother who worked as a school teacher, as well as the rest of her family. “She made the same sacrifice that most OFWs make, sent all her money home while she worked long hours to ensure that the family was well-fed and educated,” she said. She also encouraged other Filipinos to participate more actively in community development. “I hope that Filipinos will be encouraged and take an active part in the community and the whole of the country,” she said. With her achievement, the Filipinos in the UK have gained significant recognition over the years.   (photo, credit to rappler.com)