LONDON, England – The first transgender Filipino elected as barangay captain in Tayabas, Quezon has built a new life in the United Kingdom.
Ruvic Rea is the softie beauty queen who became the toughie barangay captain of Barangay Angeles-IV in 2001.
Ruvic Rea was once a barangay captain of this barangay
Known in her barangay as 'kapitana', Ruvic is living a new life in the UK after marrying her British boyfriend.
Transgender Ruvic Rea is now married to a Brit
Many years have passed but the humiliation and discrimination she experienced when she entered politics are like wounds that didn't heal.
"Ang mga tao nagtatanong sila anong magagawa mo e bading ka naman? Pero nung nangangampanya ako sabi ko bigyan nyo ako ng isang buwan para linisin ang barangay natin," she said.
The former kapitana is now dubbed as UK's Pinoy Rock Diva, being looked up and adored by her Pinoy fans.
She also has a very supportive partner.
"I'm just proud of his achievements being the first transgender politician in the Philippines and coming to the UK starting a new life, not knowing anybody, making a success in a foreign country," said Ruvic's partner, David.
It was easy for Ruvic to pack her bags and leave the Philippines. She had every reason to do just that.
She was constantly harassed by her political opponents and she survived an attempted rape.
"Ang pagiging leader ay hindi sa gender. Ito ay ang iyong dedikasyon, pang-unawa at pagtulong sa kapawa," said Ruvic.
But now, she feels vindicated knowing that someone--a newly elected barangay captain in Bulacan-- has followed her path.
Ruvic Rea in London
In the UK, the Pinoy transgender community is also getting recognized for the it's active involvement in various transgender beauty pageants.
Like Ruvic, many Pinoy transgender are carving a name in their new home.