If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.
Atty. Mary Marjorie Poblete Martin-Chan has been asked by the people and for the last six years, has never stopped doing what she knows best; public service but public service.
Back in 2016 when she decided to splurge into it, she was like the soft, cool and refreshing rain in an otherwise parched and sun-baked political landscape in Tuguegarao.
Maybe it’s her youthfulness and devil-may-care attitude that immediately endeared her to the people. Or maybe her perceived innocence borne out of her physical attributes that made her the youngest elected Councilor of the city, at 28, that election year.
From a modest family, Marj rose from her carefree days as a child to become one of the most admired women of her generation not only in Cagayan but within her own sphere of influence.
Don’t be beguiled by her fragile frame because inside that fragility is a woman, who at an early age in her chosen career, has reached maturity.
Why, it was said that she started exploring her potentials as a very playful girl. Back then, she already knew who she wanted to be; a public servant par excellence.
Tucked with an Arts and Letters and Juris Doctor degrees at UST and Ateneo De Manila University, respectively, she turned that young girl into a lawyer at 25. Her chosen career immediately blazed the trail ahead or she was always ahead of her own. In 2012, she became a paralegal for the IMF Law office and a junior associate at the Paredes Garcia and Golez Law office in 2013 and worked as instructor at La Salle College in Antipolo and at the University of Cagayan Valley-College of Law in the succeeding years.
These she did on top of her being a partner of the PBM law office in 2014, and a deputy director general for legal affairs of the Liberal Party of the Philippines from 2014 to 2015.
She knew that as a woman, there is no other tool for her development than her being empowered. She did.
Soon, this daughter of an esteemed Forester was almost everywhere holding positions left and right and joining various organizations in the country as if there was no tomorrow.
Atty. Marj was on top of herself and there’s no stopping this former local beauty pageant contestant from earning the moniker “Media’s Choice” due to her intelligent, wit and sensibilities as a young woman.
In fact, if one is to mention all her accomplishments from her public life alone, it would mean long hours of reading, a hyperbolical statement. She was consistent in her delivery of services as Councilor of Tuguegarao City from the time she earned the mandate of the people.
She shone the brightest when she penned various ordinances for the protection and welfare of almost all sectors in the city. Her clients are the poor, the oppressed, and the underserved. Or haven’t you heard the saying, “those who have less in life should have more in law”?
Yes, you name it and she has passed it. Some of these local laws are now considered landmarks in legislation that it will take another elected official to somehow equal them in terms of numbers.
Her local legislations on the plight of the marginalized members of the LGBTQ+, women, children and even the totality of the environment have impressed even the fieriest critics of local legislation.
A veteran of national and international conventions and conferences, she initiated the Youth Entrepreneurs Advocacy project, which provides indigent youth with livelihood opportunities to help them defray their school expenses, and the Tuguegarao City Youth Start Up project 2020 which aims to introduce entrepreneurial mindsets to the youth and also to provide them with business training and mentorship.
She leads the Young Moms Empowerment program which aims to provide indigent teenage mothers with psychological, emotional and livelihood assistance with the end goal of stopping the cycle of teenage pregnancy.
Atty. Marj also staged the Solo Parents Congress, Solo Parents Legal Mission, Solo Parents Registration, the establishment of the 'Tienda na Yena' which showcases products of Solo Parents and the conduct of the search for the 10 'Yena' Inspiring Breastfeeding Stories.
This young legislator, for all she cares, is the kind of woman who doesn’t need other people to validate her. She is strong enough to walk away from what isn’t best for her but is patient enough to wait for the blessings she deserved.
For Councilor Atty. Marjorie Chan, she never goes with the flow; she is the flow. (ALM/OTB/PIA Region 2)