TUBA, Benguet – An employee of Philex Mining Corp. has won the Miss National Fire Olympics 2017, rising above seven other candidates in the muse competition—industrial category—organized by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) during its third annual celebration of fire prevention as well as campaign to raise social awareness on fire safety.
Jenalyn Rodas, a 26-year-old mechanical engineer at the Mill Division of the company’s Padcal mine in this province, got the judges’ nod after two nights of stiff competition held in Quezon City on March 23 – 24 that also saw contestants compete in a number of firefighting events under the industrial, barangay, and BFP (firefighters) categories.
“Yes, I agree … because, first of all, you need outstanding values to be a firefighter, like courage, strength, determination, and commitment,” she said on the stage Friday night, March 24, responding to a question of whether she agrees that firefighting is a noble job. “In firefighting, you’ll have the honor to save not only properties like buildings and infrastructure, but, most importantly, you will save lives.”
A 15-man team out of the Philex Mining delegation composed of 22 personnel, meanwhile, competed in three events—“Rescue and Transfer Relay,” “Combination of Busted Hose and Up-the-Ladder,” “Fire Extinguishment”—during the two-day 3rd National Fire Olympics that culminated to the announcement of winners after the second night of the muse competition at the Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC).
Celes Tawao, department fire safety supervisor at the Safety, Health, and Loss Control Group of Philex Mining’s Padcal operations, said the company had been chosen to represent the whole Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) after becoming the champion in a provincial competition on firefighting held earlier in the Benguet town of Itogon.
The Public Information Services (PIS) office of BFP-CAR said Philex Mining placed ninth in the overall ranking on the three events in the industrial category.
The winners are the following: 1) Caraga, a region in the northeastern part of Mindanao composed of five provinces, namely, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur; 2) OceanaGold Philippines, Inc., which operates the Didipio mine in Nueva Vizcaya, in Luzon’s Cagayan Valley region; and 3) Region III, which is composed of seven provinces in central Luzon—Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.
Rodas, who was awarded a trophy, a plaque, and P15,000 in cash, said her triumph was a victory for the whole Philex Mining delegation, which had worked so hard in the competitions, as well as for the entire company and the CAR. “We are all winners, as the others had done their best just as I did my best,” she said in an interview after the Fire Olympics.
She also said she will relish her winning for a long time, describing the muse competition as tough, as it was a battle of poise, confidence, elegance, and wit. She won’t rest on her laurels, though, as she is now considering going to graduate school, to help her advance in her career.
Thursday night, March 23, saw the beauty-pageant contestants showcase their sports and casual outfits at the BFP National Headquarters, on Agham Road, after the morning parade in QMC along Elliptical Road that formally opened this year’s Fire Olympics, and before the three shortlisted candidates went on to another night of competition for the Q-&-A portion and cocktail dress.
On Feb. 20 – 26, the BFP opened and conducted its Facebook campaign and voting for the candidates in the muse competition, following the formal announcement of their names and candidacies on the social media on Feb. 6 – 12.
A graduate of the Saint Louis University, in Baguio City, Rodas has been working as an R&D, or research and development, engineer at Padcal mine for a year now, following her one-year stint at Philex Mining’s Poro Point installation, in La Union, as a safety and environment supervisor.