Ren Pasco Proves that Service and Compassion Starts at Home - Lifestyle Asia

A socio-civic worker, a business owner, and a CrossFit trainer, Ren Pasco inherited her parents’ love of service and compassion for humanity. With that as a guiding star, she aims to build a longer table of opportunities as she takes on another leadership role

Volunteering and giving time to support socio-civic programs with the whole family is a way to teach children empathy and compassion—be it as small as helping the neighbors weed the garden or joining a clean drive at a park, or as big as feeding the hungry and lobbying the interests of the unheard. Ren Pasco is privileged enough to have experienced this with her parents. She grew up understanding the value of helping others, and it is for this reason she continues to make a difference in the lives of other people. 

Born and raised in a family of socio-civic workers in Manila, the young Renee Caraig Pasco watched her parents put other people’s lives before their own. Her mother, as a rotary club member, would spearhead dental missions, job fairs, and sports clinics. Her father, on the other hand, served as a distinguished army officer for twenty-seven years.

Continuing the Legacy

Wanting to follow suit, Ren dreamt of becoming a doctor one day to be of help to the sick. She even recalled in an interview, “I applied for the medical science block or ‘yung section, so that I’ll be prepared na once I enter college,” when asked to choose a career track back then. This desire, however, took a turn for the better. The whole family had to leave the town where Ren and her sisters spent much of their childhood, and move to a foreign residence for a year.

During her relatively brief stay in Australia, she witnessed how efficient the education and healthcare systems there were, not to mention that “their workers, ‘yung kanilang mga drivers—bus drivers, train drivers—garbage collectors… Parang they have a chance at [a] really good life and future.” So when the family went back to the country, Ren thought to herself, “Bakit hindi puwede sa Pilipinas?” (“Why can’t Philippines have the same privileges?”)

Chasing After a Bigger Dream

As Ren likes to put it, God works in mysterious ways. She then left her medical school plans behind for a noble pursuit and took up Political Science in college instead. She wanted to “know more about how [the] government works, and ‘yung mga power struggles” and eventually represent the marginalized in Congress in hopes of extending help on a much wider scale. 

She began working toward this newly-realized dream by spending her birthdays with children at daycare centers, reading them books, and playing with them. “Just like in other countries, they have book drives. They donate books,” so Ren would ask her friends for old children’s books that they are willing to give away.

Every now and then, as she continues to pursue her great ambition, Ren reminds herself that she is not superior to other people but rather on the same social level as them. She aims to be that kabarkada or close friend whom one would not hesitate to call for help and tell their problems to. As the pandemic remains a threat to livelihood, Ren focuses her agenda to helping Filipino workers—whether they are employed, underemployed, or unemployed.

Leading by Example

Very much into the active lifestyle, Ren also dares to create change by being a gym owner and a licensed CrossFit trainer. She applies her knowledge and skills in gymnastics, weightlifting, and kids training to help trainees cultivate discipline, maintain consistency, and get better. Rather than simply talking about it, Ren makes sure she is always on top of everything. “I want to be there all the time, so I’ll be the one to see, hear, and experience their stories,” she explained.

Ren fosters a growth mindset and builds meaningful relationships with them as she challenges them to do away with their usual exercise routines. Just last March, she featured female members in time for women’s month. She highlighted their challenges, their learning experiences, and the importance of creating a vision for themselves. With such a supportive leadership style, Ren is able to keep the athletes purposefully working toward their fitness goals.

Ren Pasco hopes to further realize her purpose and calling as she leads the Barkadahan Party-list. For more information, visit Barkadahan Party-list on Facebook.

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