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First Filipina Elected Councillor of Stevenage, Hertfordshire UK

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Text & Photos by Myla Arceno

United Kingdom

Roots & Wings congratulates frequent guest writer NHS Physiotherapist Myla Arceno, MCSP for becoming the first elected Filipino Councillor of the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) of the United Kingdom. In this interview, we ask Myla: "what brought you into public service?"

I am grateful for this gift and opportunity to serve my community in Stevenage. I am fortunate in many ways. My upbringing in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental well equipped me with a steadfast faith, quality education, good values, training in public service at a young age and love for my ‘kasimanwa’ (countrymen) until now.

A photo of Councillor Myla Acreno and her family

Stevenage and its people are always special to me. I came in 2003 and have lived here since with my family. For me this is home: the community, colleagues in National Health Service, church, school, council, and diverse group are always there for me, for my family and friends. I am honoured to have been chosen by the Labour and Co-operative Party and be elected by the residents of Martins Wood as Councillor of Stevenage for the next 3 years. The Constituency Labour Party (CLP), the campaign team, election agent, fellow councillors and volunteers were all there for me.

The organisations and groups I am affiliated with, have been supportive throughout, not only in the campaign trail. Special thanks goes to the unity and support of the amazing Filipino British Community of Stevenage and friends, the Philippine Theatre UK (PTUK), European Network of Filipino Diaspora ( ENFID), One Philippines newsmagazine, United Kapiznon, Stevenage Filipino Dancers , Barrio Fiesta in Hertfordshire, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Stevenage World Forum, Barkada ni Maria rosary group and other various diverse groups in Stevenage.

As elected Councillor, I strive to serve my community well to the best of my abilities. I hope to represent the residents effectively, no matter what colour of politics they are. Public service has no bounds in colour and politics. We are all equal and fair. May I be guided with wisdom in every decision and task before me. Meanwhile I continue to work as physiotherapist in our NHS, hoping to bring my expertise to my community. I place all in God’s hands and give my best.



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