The People, Above All
Every councilor has the same job but Cainta Councilor Sitti Ruaina “Ruru” Ferriols’ compassion for the people makes all the difference.
BY CAMILLE F. CABAL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROMEO PERALTA JR.
HMUA BY ANN LOMIBAO
She walks shyly in her completely glammed-up look inside the premises of the Cainta Municipal Hall as the team gets ready for the shoot. She tries to be as discreet as possible but her constituents recognize her beauty and approach her with smiles and compliments. As opposed to how the people looked at her before, sosyal (snobbish) and unapproachable, Cainta Councilor Sitti Ruaina “Ruru” Ferriols turned out to be more approachable than they thought. For s omeone who used to be timid, Ferriols shares that spending time with the people is what she grew to love the most in her job as a municipal councilor.
Fer riols has become known to the people of Cainta as a councilor they c an always run to for whatever help they need. While many come to her office for financia l assistance, there are some who just need to vent their problem. “Merong pupunta sa’yo humihingi ng tulong becaus e the daughter is dying of cancer. ‘Yung maliit na bagay na ‘yan na makatulong ka…’pag inabot mo magugulat ka na nabuhay sya (Sometimes people would come asking for help because their daughter is dying of cancer. Your little bit of help, you’d b e surprised how far it could change a person’s life),” she says. Ferriols adds that sometimes “it’s not a ll about what you give to them. Sometimes, it matters more that there’s some one who will listen to them.”
Ferriols also serves as a reliable friend to her fellow women in the municipality who seek help about their love life where she would talk to them casually. She says that someone in a government position doesn’t always have to be diplomatic when talking to constituents. Sometimes though, their stories are absorbed by the empathetic councilor. So being able to lighten their problems also makes her the happiest.
NEW LOCATION, NEW MISSION
Ferriols credits her political journey to previews Cainta Mayor Johnielle Keith 'kit' Nieto. she started working for him as a secretary, where she was exposed to dealing with the people who were seeking assistance from the humble office of the mayor. When
Nieto saw her compassion for the people, that was the start of a public servant's story who was eventually loved by the people.
“Sabi sakin ni mayor [Nieto] (Mayor [Nieto] told me), ‘Be a councilor, Ruru. Because I can see your heart [is in public service],’” Ferriols quotes her former boss. “I have this big heart na ang tiyaga kong makipag-usap sa tao (I have this big .......