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๐ƒ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ๐‚?

๐‘ฎ๐’†๐’•๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’” ๐’…๐’๐’๐’†. ๐‘ด๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’–๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’†๐’”๐’”. ๐‘ท๐’‚๐’”๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’๐’‚๐’•๐’†. ๐‘ญ๐’๐’„๐’–๐’”๐’†๐’…. ๐‘ฐ๐’“๐’๐’ ๐’‡๐’Š๐’”๐’•. ๐‘ฏ๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’• ๐’๐’‡ ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’๐’….

These are but a few of the descriptions attached to IC Calaguas. For many people, this is how they see IC. Undeniably, there is so much more to see.

I first met IC – Irish Cunanan Calaguas to be more formal – towards the end of 1995. My friend Peter Alagos had told me he had been called to join SunStar Clark, a publication that was about to debut. Since he had a meeting with the team the following morning, and in the hopes of possibly joining the team, I asked that he bring me along and he did. I then met my would-be bosses, veterans Ody Fabian, Sonny Lopez, Jose L. Pavia (JLP).

I also came across someone who introduced herself as IC, this lanky, enthusiastic kid who always showed up in her uniform of white polo and black pants, and a โ€˜legendaryโ€™ backpack. This backpack seems to have been attached to her permanently. It never leaves her back. The moment she comes into the office, finds an available computer and starts typing her submission away, until she finishes and rushes off to school, that backpack stays on.

IC officially became a sports writer for SunStar Clark. I was a lifestyle and features writer, and we were among the publicationโ€™s pioneer staff.

One coverage she was most excited about was CLRAA, where she had to fly solo – no photographer, so she asked to be briefed on the basics of a point-and-shoot camera. She came back to the office and couldnโ€™t wait to write about her biggest event to date. She took her film roll for printing, and the result of the photographs? For most of them, the foreground was blurred and the background was clear. Indeed a baptism of fire, which she charged to experience.

Like most start-ups, SunStar Clark was a struggling entity. We all started on allowances, money was tight, but the bond we formed was tighter. We came for the job, but earned more family in the process.

I left SunStar Clark after almost a year and tackled a different career path. Chances of seeing the โ€˜familyโ€™ I left behind became rare.

Reconnection with IC happened when she became the Executive Assistant of 3-term Mayor Carmelo โ€˜Tarzanโ€™ F. Lazatin. Later on, she became the Chief of Staff of Cong. Tarzan.

Cong. Tarzanโ€™s retirement from politics didnโ€™t sever ICโ€™s ties with the Lazatin family, which she has become a part of. She managed a multi-million feed mill company owned by the Lazatins.

IC returned to government service when she was named Chief of Staff of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron N. Aquino. Shortly after, she was appointed Deputy Director General.

I reunited in the workplace with IC when Gen. Aquino was appointed President and CEO of Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) and IC, who by this time is now my Boss IC, was named Vice President for Operations.

๐ด๐‘ก ๐ถ๐ผ๐ด๐ถ, ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž ๐‘ƒ๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘‘๐‘’๐‘›๐‘ก & ๐ถ๐ธ๐‘‚ ๐บ๐‘’๐‘›. ๐ด๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘. ๐ด๐‘ž๐‘ข๐‘–๐‘›๐‘œ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘œ๐‘“๐‘“๐‘–๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘  ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐ถ๐ผ๐ด๐ถ ๐ธ๐‘š๐‘๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘ฆ๐‘’๐‘’๐‘  ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘œ๐‘๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ฃ๐‘’ ๐Ÿ‘†

In 2019, Boss IC became the Chief Adviser of another Mayor Lazatin – Mayor Carmelo โ€˜Pogiโ€™ Lazatin, Jr.

๐‘Š๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘€๐‘ข๐‘ก๐‘ฆ๐‘Ž ๐‘๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐ด๐‘›๐‘”๐‘’๐‘™๐‘’๐‘  ๐ถ๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘š๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘’, ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘โ„Ž ๐ต๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘  ๐ผ๐ถ ๐‘๐‘œ-๐‘โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘Ÿ๐‘  ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘กโ„Ž ๐ธ๐‘ฅ๐‘’๐‘๐‘ข๐‘ก๐‘–๐‘ฃ๐‘’ ๐ด๐‘ ๐‘ ๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ก ๐ผ๐‘‰ ๐‘…๐‘’๐‘–๐‘›๐‘Ž ๐‘€๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘ข๐‘’๐‘™ ๐Ÿ‘†

Over the years, in all the posts that she handled and all the roles she took on, IC Calaguas never scrimped on efforts. Her accomplishments, which result from her hard work, speak for themselves. She is living proof that anyone can achieve what they set their hearts on. Take the case of her recent successful weight loss journey.

An accomplished worker. An empowered woman. A strong-willed individual. A total achiever. IC is all this and definitely more.

But beyond her track record, behind all the accolades and despite the innumerable successes, the IC that I see is someone who keeps her feet firmly planted on the ground even if she continues to soar.

The IC that I see has a heart big enough to take in everyone she touches and in whose lives she continues to make a meaningful impact on.

The IC that I see has grown leaps and bounds, yet never forgets to look back at her humble beginnings – yes, the backpack period – and serves as an inspiration, what with all that she has achieved.

This is the IC that I see. Do you see what IC?

๐‘ฏ๐’‚๐’‘๐’‘๐’š ๐’ƒ๐’Š๐’“๐’•๐’‰๐’…๐’‚๐’š, ๐‘ฉ๐’๐’”๐’” ๐‘ฐ๐‘ช!

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