STANDING ON SOLID GROUND
Peaceful, self-contained, and affluent,
Barangay Magallanes, Makati City is an
aspirational place to live in.
BY MAAN D’ASIS PAMARAN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIEL SORIANO
Barangay Magallanes in Makati City is an aspirational place to live in. It is a peaceful, self-contained, and rather affluent residential community with a commercial area, church, and school that also sees progressive leadership under its chairman, Jose Mari A. Alzona. Even though the 32-year-old only took over the position last July, he is no stranger to serving their barangay. He was the next-in-line during the incumbency as barangay chairman of now City Councilor Armand Padilla, being the number one kagawad. Prior to this, he had served as SK chairman.
Through the years, Alzona initiated many projects focusing on the youth, such as holding free basketball clinics at their neighborhood court and cooking classes that come with free ingredients. “We also hold basketball tournaments with nearby barangays so we get to foster camaraderie with them. This is something that our kids look forward to every summer,” he states.
He also gives special attention to the household help in the community. For their Christmas get-together last year, he provided them with gift packs and organized a special dance party or baile.
For the homeowners themselves, he holds a yearly golf tournament, which raises funds for the scholars of their beloved church group, the Catholic Women’s League (CWL). “These gracious ladies have scholars who are studying at Don Bosco, and we have turned over substantial donations, raising up to hundreds of thousands.”
CLEAN, GREEN, AND SAFE
Of course, it is not all fun and games at Barangay Magallanes. They have a flooding problem that the chairman is trying to address. “We are known for our floods. When Ondoy hit, the water level was dangerously high. It rose to about one and a half of my height,” he recalls. This is why they conduct dredging activities regularly at their end of the creek, he says. “Our problem is that the trash also comes
from other areas, especially from the informal settlers of Pasay who live at our border. Even though we keep cleaning our part and make sure the creek flows freely in our vicinity, if the other communities around us are not effectively addressing the problem, we are all affected.”
With this in mind, he is also making sure that their community is calamity ready. He regularly holds actual search and rescue trainings for their Bantay Bayan or barangay security group. “There are trainings
offered by the government, but these are held at Manila Bay. Knowing that coliform levels are high there, I don’t want to risk it with our personnel. We really allot a budget for their trainings to be held in Batangas, so they can get actual quality training from the MMDA.”