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Mayor Aleli-3



For Candy Medina, being
councilor of Quezon City and
serving the people couldn’t be
more gratifying.

In the places that she visits, Quezon City (QC) Councilor Candy Medina gets welcomed like a movie star—with people carrying welcome banners and chanting her name, and groups of youth dancing to a hit song to honor her arrival.

“Kapag dumarating ako sa barangay, feel na feel ko ang love ng mga tao (Whenever I visit barangays, I could really feel the people’s love),” Medina says of her experience. The long-time QC councilor describes her constituents’ efforts as equivalent to mounting a variety show. “Sabi ko [sa kanila] ‘Masyado naman kayong production number! Eh, binigyan ko lang ng tent at mga upuan (I said, ‘You really went all-out with this production! I just gave you some tents and chairs).’”

In the years she’s been serving the city of the stars, Medina has won the people over through her performance as a public servant, particularly through the ordinances she’s successfully filed and the projects and programs for the marginalized sectors closest to her heart, such as the youth, women, LGBTQ+, senior citizens, solo parents, and the unemployed.


Observing how she’s so comfortable and confident in interacting with people from all walks of life, one wouldn’t believe that she was once a quiet young lady who shied away from politics.

“I actually wanted to be a dentist,” she reveals. “In my family, I am the only girl who was not exposed to people because of my introvert personality.”

But serving in government runs in the Medina family. Candy Medina’s grandfather, Rey Medina, and father, Eric Rey Medina, were both councilors of Quezon City. Five of her uncles are in the police force. “Every morning, nakikita ko maraming tao ang pumupunta sa bahay namin humihingi ng tulong sa Dad ko para sa (I would see many people going to our house to ask help from my father for) financial assistance, medical assistance, scholarships,” Medina relates.

In high school and college, it was inevitable for Medina to join her grandfather and later, her father at their barangay visits and house-to-house campaign activities. Eric Rey also assigned Medina to serve as project director for a few of his office’s outreach projects.


In 2007, when Eric Rey was on his last term as QC councilor, he had a heart-to-heart talk with his introverted daughter about continuing the family legacy. “Wala silang makitang papalit sa kanya (They couldn’t identify anyone else taking over his place),”

Medina remembers her father telling her. Plans for her brother, a barangay councilor, to run for city councilor did not push through so Medina—who was barely 24 years old then—ended up running for public office as an independent candidate. In spite of her inexperience and the lack of a political party to back her up, Medina defeated older and more established names—becoming the youngest Quezon City councilor to be elected in 2017.

Right after she took her oath of office, she quickly rolled up her sleeves and buckled down to work, so to speak. Medina says, “Nag-research ako. Nagtanong ako sa mga tao. Nag-consult ako sa Daddy ko kung ano ba ‘yung problems sa barangay (I did my research. I asked the people. I consulted with my dad on the problems of the barangay).”


Her consultative style of leadership and service paved the way for programs and projects that were relevant as they are innovative such as the setting up of the Violence Against Women and Children protection center (launched during Medina’s second term as councilor) and the creation of the first-ever Quezon City Museum.

Medina is especially proud of the Protection Center. “It’s a ‘one-stop shop’ at the Quezon City General Hospital wherein merong abogado, doktor, at iba pang key persons na handang humawak at litisin ang mga kaso ng pang-aabuso sa mga kababaihan at kabataan, bukod sa ito rin ang kanilang tahanan habang nililitis ang kaso (there’s a lawyer, doctor, and other key persons that are ready to handle and litigate the cases of violence against women and children, aside from this is the safe house for the victims while the case is ongoing). It’s a first in Quezon City and in the Philippines and I must say that having this is one of my proudest moments as a public servant.”

Aside from the usual scholarship programs for poor students, and cash assistance to indigent constituents, Medina endeavored to implement programs with impact that go beyond the financial dole-out. She coordinated with barangays and parishes to organize mass baptisms and weddings; the latter is particularly special for Medina who is a wife and mother who desires couples to be more blessed. Medina smiles as she explains, “Kasi for me, dapat lahat happy lalo na sa larangan ng love (Well for me, I think everyone should be happy, especially when it comes to love).”


When COVID-19 hit the country, Medina worked harder to provide help to those who needed it the most by distributing personal protective equipment (PPEs) and bicycles to frontliners, thermal scanners to establishments, gadgets for the online schooling of underprivileged students, and groceries to poor families. When supplies ran low, she sought help from friends and associates who willingly donated to Medina’s constituents. “May good friends ako na nagdonate like Mega Sardines and Reva Noodles, and may iba pang friends na nag-donate in kind, mga gustong tumulong sa district (I have good friends that donated Mega Sardines and Reva Noodles, and other friends also donated in kind, they want to help the district).

Going around various communities at the height of the surge brought about by the COVID-19 Delta variant made Medina vulnerable to the virus. In spite of strictly adhering to health protocols, the councilor also acquired the disease. She recounts that it was one of the most difficult moments of her personal and professional life. “When I tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, I was in limbo. I was afraid for my family because they might also get infected, and I was worried about how I could still perform as a public servant and help my constituents cope with the dreaded pandemic.”

In her period of isolation and rest, Medina drew strength from her loved ones. “Because of the messages of support from my family, friends, loved ones, and constituents, I stayed optimistic and asked God for help. Eventually, I recovered.”


The time of sickness allowed Medina more introspection. After battling COVID-19, she emerged stronger physically, mentally, and more so, emotionally. When the vaccination program was rolled out,

she supported the city’s vaccination drive and promoted to her constituents to get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19. Medina’s district had the most number of vaccination sites and the most number of vaccinated individuals in Quezon City. “Kahit sa Araneta Center, pati sa villages [meron tayong vaccination site]. Meron pang drive-through (Even in Araneta Center and villages [we had vaccination sites]. We also had a drive-through [vaccination site]),” Medina says.

Another innovative program that Medina launched during the pandemic was the distribution of food carts particularly to solo parents who lost their livelihood because of the lockdown. This program benefitted around 150 single parents and is also replicated in other QC districts.

For Medina, true service is reaching out to the needy regardless of who they are or, in her case, where they live. “Kahit ibang city or district, tinutulungan ko pa rin (Even if they belong to another city or district, I still help them out),” she says. “Lalo na ngayon na sa Facebook, Instagram, daming nagdi-direct message sa akin, kahit mga taga-Caloocan, Makati, Laguna, binibigyan ko pa rin ng tulong (Especially now with Facebook, Instagram, there are a lot of people sending message to me, even those who live in Caloocan, Makati, Laguna, and I help them as much as I can).”

While she tries to help whenever she could, Medina admits that there are times when she can’t. “You can’t please everyone. Hindi mo mapagbibigyan lahat at may sasama ng loob pa rin sa iyo (You can’t help everyone out and some will detest you for it).”

But in general, the impact of her work is more than enough motivation for her to keep serving. “It’s really heartwarming to be an instrument of change to many people and I thank God for choosing me to be a blessing to my constituents and vice versa.”

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