Loven Grace Canon Bautista in the time of empowerment
By Deneb Batucan
THERE’S a soft glow around her wherever she goes. The life of the party, there’s never a dull moment when she’s around. Yes, she is beautiful, intelligent and charismatic. But best of all, Loven has the heart to serve.
The twenties have been a roller-coaster ride of unforgettable experiences for Loven. From being a local Junior Chamber International (JCI) chapter president to being scouted in Manila as a talent to actually land small roles in big TV shows and movies, to leaving show businesses, to finally having her own business, Loven went through a lot. But always, always she finds herself back to her passion — being a women advocate and community building.
“Even during my growing years, I could tell it was truly a passion. I remember when I was still in high school, whenever we had our community outreach programs, you can find me leading the team from planning down to execution of activities,” Loven fondly remembers.
Her love to serve was only strengthened when she joined the local chapter of JCI in Surigao City, where she is originally from. There she worked with the organization, loving the camaraderie and team spirit when forming outreach programs for underprivileged people, especially women and children.
Eventually, Loven was elected as president of their local chapter. She accepted the challenge humbly and with an open heart. In her two-year term, she focused on women empowerment — a string of seminars, symposiums and other activities geared on benefiting the women sector of Surigao City.
For a better place
JCI only strengthened Loven’s passion for charitable works. And to her utter bewilderment, her small projects in making her community a better place has been recognized in national and international award giving bodies.
In 2013, she was given the Gawad Amerika Awardee for Most Outstanding Young Public Servant. Gawad Amerika is a civic organization with the objective of recognizing exceptional works of ordinary Filipinos in their chosen fields. Loven couldn’t believe it. The small stone she casted on the river created a ripple effect and positively affected her community.
About two years ago, Loven relocated to Cebu and opened her own trading company where they supply food products in different supermarkets. She still also helps out in their family business back in her hometown where she works hand in hand with her father. But despite her busy schedule, Loven always makes time for community building.
Loven is now an active member of Quota International of Cebu South, a non-profit organization that aims to empower women, children, the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired in local communities in Cebu.
Recently, one of the most unforgettable outreach programs she and her fellow Quotarians organized was in Barangay Umapad. “We gave books to the children and adopted their elementary school for a one year feeding program. It was such an unforgettable experience because you can see the dreams, smiles and hopes of those children despite how hard life dealt with them,” she said.
Small initiatives, big surprises
This year, Loven’s passion to serve has been recognized yet again by another award giving body. Loven was the recipient of the Dangal ng Bayan Proudly Pinoy Achiever Honoree for Women Empowerment Advocate. It always surprises her how her small initiatives lead her to such honors she could never have dreamed of. But of course, Loven isn’t complaining. It’s just another reason to help more people.
“It serves as an inspiration to do more. Helping out the underprivileged especially the women and children sector reminds me to be grateful with all the things that is happening in my life, whether good or bad. It taught me to count my blessings from big things to the small ones. And it cultivated in me the value of sharing and having concern not just for myself but for other people,” Loven said.
Loven plans to take up her master’s degree in business management in London in the near future. But for now, she is juggling many things from managing her company to charity works. But to her, she’s living the life. Seeing the joy in the people she helps through her community projects just propels her forward and urges her to do more. To her, there’s always something more to do, something more to help and inspire the less fortunate. Unitl then, there’s no stopping her.
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Make-up Artist: Carlo Damolo
Hair Stylist: Jerwin Bastatas
Wardrobe and Accessories: Philip Rodriguez
Locale: Circa 1900