Name: Sergia L. Jumadla
Age: 57 years old
Birthday: February 24, 1957
Highest Educational Attainment: Elementary graduate
Hometown: Lataban, Liloan, Cebu
Name of Children: Cheryl (37), Karl Anthony (34), Keith (31), Kristian (28), Kenneth (25)
Biggest joy in life: Successful children
Motto in life: Always believe in God. He controls everything we do.
Sergia Jumadla is like the “big sister” to their small community in the town of Liloan, Cebu, where she leads and organizes more than 80 households.
The 57-year-old mother of five is the purok leader in Purok Pinya, Barangay Lataban, Liloan, where community volunteerism has led her to a path of helping address issues in their purok.
Married to a retired military man, she has also dedicated decades of her life serving as a Parents-Teachers Association officer, a barangay scout leader, a board member of Lataban Water Service Cooperation, and a member of KALIPI, a women organization of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, to name a few.
“Daghan gyod kong gidumala nga mga grupo. Malipay ko makakita nga naay paglambo, bisan unsa ka gamay, sa among lugar. Dili lalim apan satisfied ka inigka-human,” she said.
Upon the establishment of purok system in their place in 2011, Jumadla was chosen by majority of the households to lead their purok. According to her members, her long experience in community service and as a former barangay councilor made her a natural fit as their leader.
“I used to be a councilor for three terms. I did not run for (public) office after my last term because my children advised me (not to). However, they did not stop me to run our purok. They can see a lot of changes now, especially in our environment,” she said.
She is also a member of Lataban’s lupong tagapamayapa (barangay mediators), where she helps settle fights or problems among neighbors. She does not receive any honorarium as a lupon member; except when there is a case and she manages to pacify the feuding parties to have the matter settled, because she gets to receive P200.
In implementing the purok system, she divided the 80 households into groups where each is assigned to clean a specific area. As early as eight in the morning, when their children have gone to school, she starts calling the purok members to clean the vicinity of their purok. The mothers go out from their houses, brooms and gardening tools in hand.
“Sa una grabe ang hugaw sa palibot kay wala may mangusog nga manglimpyo. Ang uban manglimpyo sa ilang tagsa-tagsa ka tugkaran. Bisa’g asa lang ilabay ang mga basura. Ang sapa kaniadto pwerteng hugawas gyod,” she said, adding that it was a challenge for her when she started leading their purok.
Before the introduction of the purok system, plastics litter the community and almost all did not bother addressing this concern. Now, every month, purok members gather together in their center to hold their monthly general meetings. Included in their agenda are environmental issues and plans for the purok. The center also has a reading corner for children and a mini-gallery of artifacts, among others.
“Mag-present gyud ko nila sa mga updates sa purok. Sila pod mag-suggest og mga kalihokan nga pwede maapilan sa mga kabatan-onan o sa mga edaran. Di ko magpataas sa akong garbo nga ako ang dapat masunod kay presidente ko sa purok. Tagaan na ko sila og higayon nga makaambit sa ilang gustong mahitabo,” Jumadla said.
She said that it is her patience that helped her successfully manage the purok. Her commitment also contributed to her not to giving up on what she is doing. She started from scratch in introducing the concept of purok and the importance of collaboration to leaving a better legacy to their children.
“Lisod pod ang pagsugod kay wala baya mi bayri ani. Kugi akong gibuhat sa pagpasabot nila kon kon unsa ka importante ang pagtinbangay, ilabi na naa ra mi sa usa ka purok. Nagpasalamat ra sad ko kay walay mga badlongon nga mga membro,” she added.
The materials used in the construction of the purok center came from the members. Some donated hollow blocks, nipa, bamboo and any amount of monetary contribution.
Since 2011, the group has introduced various developments in their purok. Members also created a vegetable garden where ginger, kangkong, and malunggay grow abundantly. They also engaged in raising livestock, which are sold to nearby sitios and neighboring barangays.
The purok system is part of the Expanded Green and Wholesome Environment Nurtures (eGWEN) Our Cebu Program initiative of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and the Province of Cebu.
Purok Pinya was the grand champion in the purok category of the 2012 eGWEN Our Cebu last 2012. It was adjudged third most eGWEN responsive purok last 2011.
“Dako kaayo among kalipay dihang nakadaug mi. Wala baya gyod mi mag-hunahuna nga makadaug kay adunay 223 ka purok dinhi lang sa Liloan. Dakong pasigarbo ug dungog gyod ang award sa mga purok members,” Jumadla.
Their cash prizes were deposited in the bank to be used as fund for future development projects.
“Gipuhonan namo ang ubang daog. Namalit mi og mga baboy aron naay kita ang among purok. Mao sad siguro nga daghan gyod modayeg sa namo kay naningkamot sad mi nga molambo og maayo ang among nasugdan,” she said.
For Jumadla, the purok system highlights the bayanihan spirit of Filipinos. Through the system, everybody embraces their responsibilities as members of the community.
As purok leader, she also addresses the concerns of her neighbors, and her home has become some sort of sanctuary for everybody. As long as she can help, she never says no.
“Naay panahon nga mangayo og bugas ang silingan. Ako pod wala sad bugas. Tungaon gyod usahay aron patas nga makakaon pod sila. Malooy pod ko kon dili nako sila tabangan. Kinsa ra man sad ang pagtinabangay, kita ra man managsilingan,” she said.
Doing kind deeds was not new to her, as she has learned it from her parents at a very young age. Her father was also a councilor before of Lataban, and she saw how her father went beyond the call of service to help his ka-barangay.
“Nakita nako sa akong papa ang iyang pag-value sa isig katawo. Dili man gani ta makatabang pinaagi sa financial assistance, basta mapakita nato kanila nga anaa ta andam moayuda ka nila,” she added, smiling.
Now that four of her five children got their degrees, she wants to pay back the blessings through her various community services.
“As long as my body permits, I will be the purok president. I always pray to God to give me more years to continue serving my beloved purok,” she promised.