Manila has seen its fair share of mayors throughout the years, and all of them have one characteristic: they’re all men. This 2022, however, the cycle is disrupted as the upcoming 23rd Manila Mayor is a woman named Honey Lacuna.
Lacuna, whose full name is Maria Sheilah Honrado Lacuna-Pangan, is also the first female vice mayor of the city after winning under former Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. She was reelected for the vice mayor post in 2019, but this time under incumbent Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.
She secured the top position in the city’s government against mayoral aspirants Alex Lopez, Cristina Lim-Raymundo, Amado Bagatsing, Onofre Abad, and Elmer Jamias.
With Lacuna’s election as Manila Mayor, not only did she make history as the first female mayor of the city, she also broke the belief that her surname is only good for the vice mayoralty post as her father, former Manila Vice Mayor Danilo “Danny” Lacuna, unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2007.
Her father’s involvement in politics also sparked a similar calling within Lacuna. From 2004 to 2013, Lacuna served as a Councilor for the 4th District of Manila. During her terms, Lacuna kept busy and authored several ordinances, including the designation of bicycle and motorcycle lanes in the main thoroughfares in Manila, the creation of the Manila AIDS Council, the implementation of mandatory drug testing in businesses across Manila, the requirement of the city’s hymn in all flag ceremonies of schools, offices and other institutional/official programs, and the opening of all official gatherings in Manila.
Lacuna also holds the distinction of being a physician. She earned a biology degree at the University of Santo Tomas, passed the Medicine Board in 1992, finished her residency training in dermatology at the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, and obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle University.
She worked as a resident physician in the dermatology department of Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center from 1992 to 1995 and later as a public health center physician under the Manila Health Department from 1995 to 2004. Lacuna always applies a hands-on approach to her patients, making them feel secure under her care.
Yet her experiences in the field of medicine don’t deter her from her goals as a politician. Rather, it complements her knowledge and exposure to politics.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lacuna used her medical expertise to intensify the medical response to the virus. She stood as the point person for the city government as it coordinated with hospital directors across Manila to develop efficient COVID-19 response plans and intensify vaccination efforts. As a result, Lacuna advocates better health programs for the city.
She’s also present in several relevant events for the city, always showing her dedication to public service.
Manileños hold Lacuna in high regard as she pursues a progressive future for Manila. In the next three years, she has the opportunity to achieve her goals for the city and prove that she’s worthy of the position she rightfully won.