Ayi Hernandez ‘unplanned’ political journey opens more opportunities
MISAMIS ORIENTAL—Social development advocate Ariel "Ayi" Hernandez admitted that it is not part of his plan to enter politics, but the eagerness to serve the public whole-heartedly pushed him to do so.
This, after Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, tapped Hernandez as his running mate, seeking to reclaim the governorship in Misamis Oriental in the upcoming national and local elections.
"Wala man sa plano. Kabalo man tanan ang akong kauban sa opisina, ug labaw sa tanan ang akong pamilya ang unang nihilak pagsulti nako nga giimbitar ko ni Oscar Moreno na magdagan ug bise-gobernador (This is unplanned. Even my officemates know it, especially my family, they were the ones who cried first when they heard that Oscar Moreno was inviting me to run for vice-governor)," Hernandez shared.
For a long time, Hernandez said he and his co-workers from various non-government organizations (NGOs) have been very intact and focused on helping communities, bringing families the happiness they deserve by accessing basic services and providing humanitarian services.
Hernandez has come to a realization that his social development job and engagement with NGOs for over 30 years, have become his purpose and mission in life.
"I think I am consistently committed myself to help others and in that professional life with NGO, I clearly saw my mission," he said.
Hernandez was referring to his cause of inspiring young generations to become leaders too and helping others without expecting anything in return.
"Mao na ang nakita nako nga purpose and mission sa akong social development commitment (That's what I saw as my purpose and mission in my social development commitment)," he said.
Hernandez said public service is part of his social development advocacy, which he noted "a very close to his heart."
"In fact, the NGO world is actually a public service on a small scale," he said.
Hernandez, however, accepted the challenge to join politics and become the vice-gubernatorial bet of Moreno's party, Kaabag Kami.
"Pero karon nga adunay kahigayunan nga mapalapdan pa ang mga serbisyo, mutabang, ug labaw sa tanan muhatag sa kaugalingon. Naengganyo ko (But now that there's an opportunity we could further expand the services, help and most especially serve the people. I was enticed)," he said, referring to his decision to join this year's elections.
Hernandez said he just wanted to be part of the solution to the societal problems, particularly pushing good governance in Misamis Oriental.
"Kung kita gusto magserbisyo o gusto mahimo’g parte sa solusyon, karon ang pinaka-ideal nga panahon nga mag-participate kita sa pangagamhanan, muapil kita sa pangagamhanan, ug kung adunay kapasidaran pagpapili kita para magserbisyo sa pangagamhanan (If we want to serve or want to be part of the solution, now is the most ideal time for us to participate in the government, we should participate in the government, and if we have the capacity we will choose to serve in the government)," he said.
For Hernandez, joining politics is an unplanned career for him. But many of his supporters believed that he is destined to lead and push for proactive government.Aside from engaging with social development advocacies, Hernandez has also been part of Mindanao peace-building works. (PR)