From RN to UN-A A +A
Sunday, October 20, 2013
INTERNATIONAL diplomacy was probably not in the wildest imaginations of a boy who wished to become a lawyer or a journalist someday. Eventually, those childhood dreams were lost to the healthcare bandwagon.
Eric V. Brocoy earned the degree from Cebu Doctor’s University and progressed to four years of volunteerism with extra involvement in civic organizations, until a realization happened as a signal to go out to the world and inspire.
Fast forward to today. Brocoy, who hails from Palompon, Leyte, Philippines, is taking a bite of the Big Apple. Why? Because it is the place to be, needless to say, to the young and the hopeful professional that he has become.
At 25, Brocoy qualified as youth ambassador representing the Philippines and advocating global health equity for this year’s Youth Assembly (YA) at the United Nations (UN) in New York.
It is not an accident that the registered nurse deviated from t his original profession.
“A nurse should not be limited to a hospital setup. Unknown to some, our areas [of concern] vary from small rural communities and even to world health,” he said.
Three years ago, Brocoy met Esperanza Garcia in one of her stops in Leyte to campaign for her climate change advocacy across the board.
The Cebuana global youth leader, who was also co-founder of the International Youth Council created at the 2007 UN-YA, became instrumental in Brocoy’s application and acceptance to the Atlas Corps. Fellowship. It is an international network of non-profit groups based in Washington, D.C.
“Being a young Filipino ambassador is the greatest thing that has happened in my professional life. An ambassador is simply a diplomatic agent who promotes peace and goodwill. Anyone can be an ambassador,” Brocoy shared.
“They say if you make it in New York, you’ll make it anywhere. I came here with just my bag and my dreams, and I love every moment of it,” he continued.
Any unforgettable encounters besides the whole UN experience? Upon entry to the UN Headquarters’ security check, he was approached by an officer, who quipped: “Manny Pacquiao is here.”
Brocoy hoped for a generation of au courant and educated Filipino youth as active participants in nation building.
“Opportunities are scarce but don’t give up on your dreams as much as you don’t give up on our country. Develop grit. Above all, put God first and everything else follows,” Brocoy challenged.
For his hometown, Brocoy calls for a united community, notwithstanding political affiliations; while for the Philippines, a country that is no longer confined to the pigeonhole of societal divisions but rather to a national family, a vibrant independent nation.
Brocoy’s outlook primarily stemmed from the first and only Filipino president of the UN Security Council, Carlos P. Romulo.
“To work for the youth is to work for today. To work for today is to work for tomorrow. And to work for tomorrow is to work for peace,” Romulo once said.
“With the luminary’s influence (and if given the chance), I’d prefer an assignment for the grassroots level where real work happens. People are always excited to lead but only a few are good followers. It must be imperative for leaders to have the necessary experience and qualifications,” Brocoy said.
After New York, Brocoy will vie for a scholarship at the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland to take up Epidemiology or Public Health. Perhaps the next Carlos P. Romulo is in the making. Let’s wish him luck!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2013.