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New Councilor Maliksi joins the city council of Imus, Cavite, bringing her own style of leadership focused on women and family.

Known to many as first lady to then-Imus, Cavite Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi, Jelyn Maliksi has forged her way to politics by bringing her own style of engaging and dynamic leadership. Her experience as an active member of different socio-civic organizations and the support of the people of Imus paved the way for her to become part of the new set of city councilors.

Maliksi wants to focus on her advocacy of representing and empowering women, children, and the family; and to encourage them to participate in different community projects.


Even before being elected as a city councilor, Maliksi had been active in doing volunteer work since 2007, being a member of different non-government organizations (NGOs). She is the charter president of the Inner Wheel Club of Mutya ng Imus and was president of the Rotary Club of Imus. She also served as part of the board of directors of the Red Cross Cavite Chapter and has organized Maliksing Kababaihan, an organization that provides different support projects directed to women. She also spearheaded the Imus First Women Credit Cooperative, the first cooperative exclusively for women in Imus.

The neophyte councilor describes her brand of leadership as dynamic and engaging. She makes sure that she is involved in the activities of her organization as well as encouraging the people to be part of it. “I want to serve and enjoy the experiences together at the same time,” she says. She sees this as similar to being a servant leader as she actively participates in projects and chooses not to delegate to other people. All of these, on top of being a mother and wife.


“I had a very simple childhood because I came from a simple family,” Maliksi recalls. Her mother was a real estate broker and her father, a jewelry designer. The second of four siblings remembers that her parents were very strict but is proud that they were protective of her and their family.

Maliksi describes herself as a shy girl and a late bloomer. She started modelling during her college days and was into beauty pageants where she met her husband, former Imus Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi. She participated in school activities a little later and came to enjoy the experience.

When asked how she became a public servant and if it was planned, she says, “I would say no. I did not plan, because if I did, I would have started a long time ago.” Comparing her experience with that of her husband’s, she says that she could have started while he was in his first or second term as Imus mayor but she’s a private person.

“Dumating lang ‘tong opportunity (This opportunity just presented itself), to be honest,” she says. She explains that the Serbisyong Maliksi brand of leadership which started from her father-in-law has been known and trusted by Imuseños, and paved the way to start her career in politics. Aside from that, she realized that there was a great need for women leaders in the City. She believes that she is a great instrument or voice for women and families. Given the time she spent working with NGOs, she’s confident and convinced that she can do it.


Maliksi has identified the people in her life as her inspiration to be the leader that she is, “Of course, family is foremost. Because they’ve always believed in me and I get inspired every time I look at our children.” She also mentions the people of Imus who have been supportive during his husband’s journey as a public servant and up to the time she entered politics. Lastly, she says that her husband has influenced her leadership with the attributes and qualities that she has learned from him. His charitable work and pakikisama are some of the things which inspired her own brand of leadership.


Being a family woman, getting married to her husband, and becoming a mother to her children have been linked to her advocacy for women and children. “Since I started joining NGOs or socio-civic organizations, most of my projects were focused on women and children. It’s the the same advocacy actually, when I ran for public office.” Her motivation is centered on her family, especially her son. Asked what drives her every day, she answers, “My son, my youngest son, and also serving other people, to do something good and not only for myself.” Balancing her time for family and work may be difficult at times but she wants to be remembered as “someone with compassion, that I really shared with other people.” And that’s what she loves about her work in the community. Maliksi aims to push for ordinances and programs focused on women, children, and family as she understands the importance of the role of women, herself being a woman, wife, and mother. “The family is the most basic unit of society. Kapag matibay ang pamilya, matibay ang community (Strong families make strong communities).”


Maliksi has her mind set on maintaining her values and attitude towards others. “One of my biggest learnings is to always put your purpose first. You need a purpose with a heart,” she says. This, together with compassion, has become her guide when dealing with difficult people and situations. Starting from her pageant days and even as she became the wife of the highest elected official in Imus, she has had her fair share of detractors and people who keep an eye on her every movement. “I think it’s very important that we possess that value,” she shares about the importance of helping people even if she’s not an elected official. “There are other ways to help. We Rotarians have a motto regarding that: service above self.”

Maliksi stresses the importance of kindness in her activities and daily life. “Marami nang problema sa mundo (The world has enough problems, as it is). You always have to be kind because you don’t know what the other person is going through.” She explains that kindness can be in different forms such as smiling, a simple touch, sharing a part of yourself, or anything that you can do to lift another person.”


Asked about the biggest moments in her life, aside from winning as a city councilor, Maliksi talks about the organizations she spearheaded which reflect her advocacy for women and the family. Maliksing Kababaihan was organized by her in 2018 with 3,000 women volunteers. “The goal of the organization is to have a network of women helping other women,” she shares. There are ongoing projects such as feeding and livelihood programs, and medical missions that are focused on women, especially the members of the organization. Another organization that she is proud of is the Imus First Women Credit Cooperative, of which she is one of the founding directors. It helps women and mothers to have credit services geared towards their needs.

There are other projects which reflect her advocacies for children and the family. With the NGOs that she’s connected with, she was able to provide kits for kids which contain tablets for online distance learners and Wi-Fi towers to support their online classes. Each tower can provide Internet access to more than 10 students. She believes that this project can be reapplied to other cities and provinces and can greatly help children in need, especially during the pandemic.


Consistent with the promises she made during her campaign, Maliksi will focus on her advocacies as there haven’t been any woman official in Imus for the past three years. “Sa abot ng aking makakaya (As much as I could), I’ll try to fulfill the promises I made during the campaign,” she stresses. She also gives her thanks to the people who trusted her and placed her in office, even as she promises to provide a broader range of services for the people.

Aside from her plans of pursuing projects that could help advance her advocacies, she also wants women’s groups to have more active participation in the activities of the city government. Maliksi notes that she will need engagement, involvement, and dynamics—which have helped shape her brand of leadership—to draw in these groups. She feels confident that she’ll be able to do such, with the support of her constituents. As a piece of advice to women who plan to enter politics, Maliksi highlights “I believe in the importance of equal rights, not only in politics but also in business and civic arenas. I also think that investing in women can lead to a just, equitable, and more peaceful society as women are the primary caretakers of the family. This can be achieved by women empowering women.”

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