Young Tabaco councilor wows Obama, audience at White House meeting

TABACO CITY—A young councilor of Tabaco City made an impact on United States President Barack Obama and the audience as she posed a question at the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Meeting at the White House in Washington D.C. on Monday evening.

Sheina Onrubia and President Obama at the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Meeting

Sheina Onrubia, 28 years old, and a graduate of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, drew the attention of the audience as she sought the President's advice "for budding political leaders, local legislators, and elective officials like [her] in a developing democracy like the Philippines."

Visibly impressed by her confidence, Obama jokingly told her, "First of all, don't be shy."
He went on to advise her on maintaining one's principles and desire to help the marginalized and those who have less opportunities in life.

On Facebook, Onrubia expressed her elation at the chance to ask Obama a question, a rare opportunity even for the others who were present at the event.

In attendance, the councilor said, were 75 young ASEAN leaders, the Ambassador of the Philippines to the United States, and other State officials.

She also shared that after the meeting, the President shook her hand and said a few words.

Earlier today, she posted a photo of herself at the meeting, where she donned a red abaca top, in her words "to promote our local product."

A few days ago, she remarked on social media that she was initially hesitant to apply for the Professional Fellows Program/Exchange Program:

"Ayaw ko mawala nang medyo matagal, medyo nakakatakot mag-isa sa ibang lugar, hindi pa right time, hindi ata ako matatanggap kasi marami pang mas active sakin, wala pang vision, at most especially naisip ko na what I could learn in the US (kung meron nga talagang matutunan) I could also learn here in my country, mas matindi pa. May pride ba. Tapos yung colonialism issue, imperialistic ang program, and the like. Pero hindi naman pala masamang sumubok, umalis saglit, matuto sa ibang lugar."

"Pag may vision ka, lagi ka pa ring babalik sa commitment mo. Sa tinitibok ng puso mo, na mahal mo ang Pilipinas. Na patuloy kang magsisilbi sa bayan mo. Lagi akong proud na Pinoy ako, na taga Tabaco City ako. I always promote our city, our province, our country sa lahat ng pagkakataon dito. Sa mga natutunan ko, lagi kong iniisip na gagawin ko ito para sa ikakabuti ng bayan ko," she continued.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM Pirming enot. Pirming bago.


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