BGen. Venus Abbacan Magwelang-Bajarin, a native of Pinukpuk and Pugong, Pasil, is the first woman General of Kalinga province. She has become the Philippines’ 26th Chief Nurse since November of this year.
She was born on November 26, 1966, in Pinukpuk, Kalinga, the second of ten children born to Carmen and Manuel Magwelang.
Pinukpuk had witnessed the young general walk across trails and dusty roads to finish her primary education at Limos Elementary School.
She graduated from Bulanao’s St. William’s Academy in 1984 and became a Graduate Nurse at Tuguegarao’s St. Paul’s University in 1988.
She went into nursing because she wanted to serve and make a living at the same time, and she dreamed of working abroad, albeit her journey took a detour in the military, she told the Daily Tribune.
She was commissioned in the AFP in 1990 and assigned to the AFP Nurse Corps in 1991.
Military nursing, according to BGen. Bajarin is “Amazing, hard, and extremely different from being a staff nurse.” The General acknowledged being a “Kalinga girl” as one of the primary reasons she did not face serious physical challenges during her training. She described YKalingas as naturally strong-willed and driven individuals who had been exposed to adversity and indigenous life.
Her position as Chief Nurse at Camp Evangelist Station Hospital during the Marawi Siege in 2017 was one of the events that shaped her into the exceptional leader she is today. While Marawi was under siege, Bajarin and the medical service support forces were fighting at a different level.
They were fighting for the lives of the injured soldiers. As more victims arrived, they needed to rehabilitate not only their wounds but also their minds from the traumatic ordeal. Her leadership and decision-making talents were put to the test throughout that incident. “Despite the massive influx of battle casualties, limited medical supplies, and very few care experts, she kept the line and successfully led the 4ID Nursing Service to provide superb nursing care,” stated coworker Major Trishan Batag.
Her enthusiasm for humanity can be seen in her tracks on every trail she walks. She truly did create something from nothing. She has evolved from a young girl living a simple life to a formidable woman, role model, and inspiration.
BGen. Magwelang-Bajarin is The Chief Nurse of the AFP, a public servant, a daughter, a mother, and a true Ikalinga Lagunawa.
By Rio Dongcayan Bassong