A New Brand of Leadership: Meet the Three Leaders Redefining Public Service

A New Brand of Leadership: Meet the Three Leaders Redefining Public Service


These three local leaders are challenging the status quo and redefining the essence of public service

This is an excerpt from MEGA Man’s June 2023 cover story.

On Franz, Kimono barong by RANDOLF, and Inner shirt and Pants by H&M, On Edu Kimono barong by VINA ROMERO, Striped inner shirt by KNICKERBOCKER, and Pants by H&M, and On Chuck Striped inner shirt by H&M, Bib barong by CHED STUDIO, and Pants by KELVIN MORALES

It was a busy Friday morning in a studio tucked away in Pasig City. The sound of cameras clicking and lights flashing fill the air as the photographer tests angles appropriate for this issue’s cover personalities. The glam teams set up their stations, preparing to turn the vision of the MEGA Man team into a reality.

One by one, the cover stars for the issue arrive, each exuding his own unique energy and style. The atmosphere is electric as they step into the set, their cool confidence palpable— this comes as no surprise as these people are already used to being in the public eye. After all, they are public servants who are scrutinized by thousands of people every day.

We had the opportunity to have an intimate exchange with each of them in between layouts, where this realization dawned on us: They are leaders who are committed to transforming traditional political systems and structures— leaders who lobby for a more participatory and inclusive political process.


Black formal jacket by CHED STUDIO, Polo shirt by PORTUGUESE, and Pants by H&M

First to arrive on the set is Quezon City 3rd District Councilor Chuckie Antonio, who shares that he entered the political arena all for his love of sports.

“I wanted to have my own basketball league,” he says without batting an eye. At first, we thought he was deploying lightness to our conversation, but he was dead serious.

The 31-year-old councilor says his passion for sports eventually translated into his advocating for the development of his district in all aspects: “It turned into something even bigger. I fell in love with being active in the community.”

Arriving second, with his wife, is Cebu City South District Representative Eduardo “Edu” Rama. According to Rama, his early exposure to public service led him to pursue a career in politics. “We’re a family of public servants,” he shares. “My dad was a governor and representative of Agusan del Norte in Mindanao way back in the ’90s.”

He continues: “We have an ancestral house, and we talk about politics and public service almost every day.”

Yellow collared shirt by FAR AFIELD from RUSTAN’S MEN SHANGRI-LA, and Beige linen jacket and pants by H&M

But Rama says it wasn’t just his family’s influence that drew him to politics. He also felt a strong desire to make a positive impact on his community and country.

“I have been in public service since I was 25 years old, when we were first elected as Cebu City councilor, and also had the privilege of working as head of the Barangay Affairs Office of the Cebu City Government,” Rama recalls. “In that period of my life, I learned a great deal from elder statesmen on how to better serve the people, but at the same time, my youth allowed me to be more open to innovation, technology, and collaboration with partners in development.”

The last to arrive, but still on time, is House Deputy Majority Leader and Quezon City 3rd District Representative Franz Pumaren. He was elected into the position as, in his words, a “neophyte.” He says it rarely happens, which goes to show how much confidence other representatives have in him.

White shirt by KNICKERBOCKER from RUSTAN’S MEN SHANGRI-LA, and Blue printed polo and pants by H&M

Rep. Pumaren became a public servant after being convinced by the local officials in his community. A former professional basketball player, Pumaren first served as a councilor for three consecutive terms, 2001 to 2010. In 2013, he returned as one of Quezon City’s councilors again and was re-elected in 2016 and 2019. He served as the Majority Floor Leader in the council. All three of them have different motivations for entering the political stage. They also come from different generations, but they all have one thing in common: their commitment to bringing fresh ideas to the table and making a real impact on the lives of ordinary Filipinos.

Read more about how these three visionaries are making a difference in their communities in MEGA Man’s June 2023 issue, now available on ReadlyMagzter, Press Reader and Zinio.

Photography JAN MAYO


Photographer’s Assistants NATHAN ESCANO AND CLAY JOHN

Fashion Direction RYUJI SHIOMITSU


Beauty Direction MIA CASTRO

Hair and Makeup CATS DEL ROSARIO

Hair and Makeup LIONEL FABROS, assisted by BHADS CASTOR

Video Production REGINA ACERON


Shoot Coordination KZ FRANCISCO

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