Nationality

Philippines

Education

Bachelor's Degree in Tourism and International Studies, University of the Philippines, Philippines

Languages

Tagalog, English

When I was growing up the United Nations seemed to belong to a different world. I grew up in the Philippines, and started a family at a very young age.  Life was tough in the Philippines; crime was rampant and I worried about my children’s future.  I studied international law and international affairs, and eventually obtained a degree. While I wanted to provide more for my family, I also literally wanted to save the world. I was filled with idealism.

I always wanted to work for an international organization. I believed that I had the passion, personality, and perseverance to be able to somehow make a difference in our world.  At one time, however, it seemed like an impossible dream.  On a trip to California in May of 1991, I was looking for job opportunities in the United States, but my efforts had been unsuccessful and I was preparing to return back to the Philippines.

Before I returned to the Philippines, my cousin asked me, “Why not apply to the United Nations?” I thought to myself, “Of course. Here is my opportunity to work at the international level.” So I spent the last of my remaining dollars to pay for the fare to New York. The following day, I walked into Headquarters with my suitcase, was briefly interviewed, and asked to return the following week for the entry exam. The rest, as they say, is history.

With a lot of hard work, and a bit of luck, I was able to ascend the ranks in the United Nations.  In fact, I have been able to transition from the General Service to the Professional level by taking an internal competitive exam. Much to my delight, I successfully passed the exam and which led to a position with the Economic Commission For Africa.

Since 1991, I have worked with a number of peacekeeping and political missions within the Organization in places including Somalia, Mozambique, Nepal, and Afghanistan.  My experiences in the field definitely helped me gain a new perspective on life; you would live from one day to the next and be expected to embody the concept of peace while working in sometimes very volatile conditions.  The reality of a troubled world was hammered home to me and I was determined to pitch in and do my bit to help make it better.  It definitely made me develop a deeper appreciation for life.

Currently, I am a Human Resources Officer with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. I provide support for the people who implement a variety of mandates at the Commission such as reducing poverty, reviewing and making recommendations on economic policy, and working to prevent the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS.

I have prepared presentations on gender-based violence to enhance awareness in African communities.  Although you could say the work I do is just a spoke in the wheel, my duties enable the rest of the Commission to conduct business efficiently.  As a Human Resources Officer you are a gatekeeper for both the staff and human resources policies.

My career has taken me to places I have only read about to people whose diversity cannot be described in books; to situations that drive me to ponder my worth and inspire me to do good; and to live experiences that I believe my grandchildren will someday be proud to know about.   My career has taken me across the world to a total of 10 United Nations missions, including Somalia, Mozambique, Syria, Nepal, and Afghanistan.  I have been actively involved in the training of both military and civilian peacekeepers from East Timor to Sierra Leone.  I have specialized in developing staff throughout my career in human resources, and such skills are needed at all duty and field stations.  The work has proven incredibly rewarding and enriching, and makes me feel incredibly blessed.

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