Pola Vice Mayor Ina Alegre talks politics and showbiz

Vice Mayor Ina Alegre of Pola, Oriental Mindoro has said that she would love to do more showbiz projects in the future as she works hard to make her town free from illegal drugs.

"I’m always open to TV projects as soon as I can find time to them. As I’ve said earlier, my family and constituents are my priorities but a movie comeback is always possible. Acting is still in my heart and if we can get the right role and movie. Why not?" said Alegre during an interview.

Prior to public service, Alegre was busy in show business in the 1990s and early 2000s. The former delegate to the 2015 Mrs. Universe beauty contest is now the wife to Eastern Visayas Police Regional Office director Police Chief Supt. Gilbert Cruz. They have four children. She was also a former publisher of OffCam Magazine and host of “Thumbs Up”, a magazine show on ANC.

Alegre's daughter, Patricia Angela, has the makings of a beauty queen when she won at the 2015 Princess Universe pageant held in Bulgaria.

Asked how she divides her time as a mother, wife, and a politician, Alegre said: "From the very beginning, I always believe and rely in proper time management, especially, for the things I love and to the people who have a soft place in my heart. Being a public servant is indeed a tough job, that’s why I always see to it that I am available for my constituents all the time;

"However, being a mom is my top priority. I always see to it that I spend quality time with my kids, a day or two, even if it takes for me to travel from Mindoro to Manila and vise versa. I am thankful that my kids understand my responsibilities as public servant;

"They even join me and take part in my activities. I am very lucky to have a very generous and supportive husband. Since he also loves to help people, he fully understands my passion to make a difference in other people’s lives," Alegre said.

Alegre, 42, also talked about her biggest achievement so far as a politician.

"Every program that we are doing in Pola is an achievement coming from the heart. Though we are in a legislative side, we're able to build more homes in the community, covered courts in the barangays, provide assistance to senior citizens and those who are in need. To sum it up, being able to share my blessings, being able to care and love to people of Pola 24/7 without expecting anything in return (doon po talaga tumitibok yung puso ko sa pagtulong)," she said.

Alegre has also established the I.N.A. Foundation or the Institusyong Nag-aangat sa Antas ng Pamumuhay Foundation.

"I consider INA as one of my biggest achievements. It started as a dream for me, from someone who came from a not so well-of family, who strive hard to reach for her own dreams. I have always wanted to help the poor, to teach them to strive harder for their future, inspire and educate the youth, to teach them how to fish, and not just by giving them the fish;

"I established the foundation before I entered politics.  Now on its 8th year, we already have 14 programs for the youth, senior citizens, women and even for the Mangyan minority where we could see, it’s very productive and helpful in uplifting their lives," she said.

Alegre said that she idolizes Representative Vilma Santos of the 6th district of Batangas when it comes to public service.

"Hon. Vilma Santos is really an icon. I idolize her since I was a kid. And now we’re taking the same path, which is serving people, it’s really good to look up to her as a model. But of course, I wanted to create my own name and own tag in this field. Yes, it is fulfilling to help and acknowledgement is just a bonus," she said.

Alegre also said that she helps her husband in the campaign against illegal drugs in Pola. "Now that I am the town’s Vice Mayor, together with the members of Sangguniang Bayan, we are working hand in hand to monitor illegal drug activities, and implement the law in the town. I’m proud to say that we have attained many drug free barangays in Pola and we’re aiming that the whole town will be drug-free."

Alegre took her oath of office in MalacaƱang as secretary general of the Lady Local Legislators League (4L) of the Philippines in June 2017. She has been awarded the Emma Cordero World Class Beauty Queen and Public Servant 2017; and the Japan Excellence World Class 2017 Award. - ROBERT REQUINTINA

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