What drives Rep. Claudine Bautista?

WORDSWORTH - Mons Romulo - The Philippine Star
What drives Rep. Claudine Bautista?
Rep. Claudine Diana Derequito Bautista.

Rep. Claudine Diana Derequito Bautista ran in 2019 as the first nominee of the DUMPER PTDA party list, a party list focusing on the welfare of drivers and commuters. She now sits in the 18th Congress as Assistant Majority Floor Leader, as vice chair for the Committee on Transportation, as member of the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Committee on Good Governance and Public Accountability, Committee on Games and Amusements, Committee on Legislative Franchises and most importantly, as a representative of the drivers and commuters.

The eldest child of the first and current Davao Occidental Gov. Claude P. Bautista and Genelyd D. Bautista, Claudine was born and bred in Davao City. She graduated with a diploma in Hospitality Management from the L’Institut de Hautes Etudes Glion in Glion, Switzerland in 2005. She also obtained a degree in BS Entrepreneurship from the Ateneo de Davao University in 2013.

At 15, she ran and won as the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president in Davao del Sur. When typhoon Sendong devastated Cagayan de Oro City in 2011, Claudine was among the volunteers who joined Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes for the families who were displaced by the typhoon. In 2012, typhoon Pablo struck Davao de Oro and she led a fundraising campaign, together with Habitat for Humanity, to provide relief operations for the victims of the typhoon. Soon after, she was chosen as Habitat for Humanity Philippines ambassador for Davao and the CARAGA Regions. Among her projects was the construction of classrooms and mini libraries in public schools in Davao.

In 2017, she was designated as the provincial head of the Women’s Council of Davao Occidental, where she worked closely with her father, Gov. Claude Bautista, on programs and projects for the women of the province.

I asked Claudine to share with us lessons learned in politics from her father, who is also the present president of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional political party composed of all the LGUs in Region 11 or the Davao Region. HNP was formed in 2018 by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Claudine with her father, Davao Occidental Gov. Claude P. Bautista.

Here are the 10 things she learned in politics from her father:

1. If it is destined for you, God will deliver it to you. Many of my dad’s friends already took notice that even as a child, I was somehow like him. I had leadership skills and I was maka-masa (pro masses). After my SK Federation days, I was offered to run for office but I declined.

It was only a few months before the 2019 election that I felt I was ready. After several years of deciding to be away from public service, at age 33, I finally succumbed to my destiny and that was to become a public servant. And I am grateful and happy in doing my job.

2. Always thank and seek God. My father is very religious. I have seen my family through its ups and downs in politics. However, when things went bad, my father would always tell us that God is in control and God has bigger plans. When things were good, he would thank God for all the blessings bestowed on him and our family.

3. Be a responsible leader. I’ve seen my father’s work ethic since he started his political career. As a child, I would stay at his office and observe him. I honestly think that the reason he wanted me to work for him at 13 years old was because he wanted to teach me to be responsible, to focus on the problem so you can find solutions. Work towards your goals. Be decisive. Work hard.

4. Share your blessings. I grew up in a very giving or generous household. Since we were children my parents would have us visit orphanages and donate food or money. My papa instilled in us the value of generosity. To share is to care.

5. Always show respect. My father is a disciplinarian. Early on, I already understood what he meant by treating every person with dignity and respect regardless of social status or achievement in life. I love talking to our household staff as much as I love having conversations with public servants.

6. Be humble. Being the eldest, I have witnessed my father’s humble beginnings. And if there’s one essential lesson I have learned growing up, it is that regardless of what you achieve in life, always be humble. Be humble in acknowledging your past, be humble in acknowledging the people who have helped you achieve your goals and be humble in admitting your shortcomings.

7. If you cannot be friends with everyone, don’t make unnecessary enemies. My family has been in public service for long time and as clichéd as it may sound, there are no permanent friends and enemies in politics. You will realize that even your friends have opposing political views, even your party mates won’t agree to everything, and even your allies may contradict you. Sometimes, your “enemies” are the ones who might even agree with you. Nothing is ever so certain. Thus, if you can’t be friends with everyone, be civil and don’t make unnecessary enemies.

8. Don’t take criticisms seriously. One very important lesson I have learned growing up in a political family and now, being a public servant myself, is that not everyone will be pleased with you. Regardless of your good intentions, some people will always have something to say. It is vital that you should take other comments as constructive criticism and a motivation to do better at your job. It’s important that you do not let the opinion of others affect you, and should it affect you, it should affect you in a positive way. Disregard any negative vibes that will affect your peace of mind.

9. Don’t take yourself too seriously all the time. My father taught me the importance of work-life balance. In the whole time that I was working for our family business, I was rewarded with days off. Knowing that I would be able to spend time with my friends and family motivated me to work hard on my assignments. Hence, I have carried this attitude towards work-life ever since. Learn to enjoy life out of work. Spend time with friends, family and loved ones. Do not ever allow yourself to be buried in work that you forget how to live. And, oh! Learn to laugh at yourself sometimes and have fun.

10. Girl power. I feel privileged that my father has trained me to carry out responsibilities and activities that were mostly given to men. When I was seven, he taught me how to shoot. He allowed me to ride bikes and drive. He taught me how to play billiards and basketball. He would ask me to represent him in events. He taught me how to speak in public and how to speak with the public. I was also heading the family business. I met and dealt with men from the military, politicians and businessmen. I own a basketball team, too. And now, I have the responsibility of continuing the legacy of my grandfather and my father.



(We welcome your suggestions and comments. Please e-mail me at monsrt@gmail.com. Follow me on Instagram @monsromulo.)

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