First Filipino Town Mayor in the UK, a Bicolano from Camarines Sur

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Danilo M. Favor. Contributed Photo
East Grinstead Town Mayor Danilo M. Favor (left) is installed into office on 11 May 2019. Photo by Jose ‘Peps’ Villanueva

LONDON, 16May2019 — After two successful terms as Town Councillor and one term as Deputy Mayor of East Grinstead, Sussex, England, Danilo M. Favor was recently reelected for his third term as Town Councillor and his first as Town Mayor of East Grinstead starting 13 May. He is the first Filipino to be elected as Town Mayor in the United Kingdom (UK).

“I enjoy reaching out, being with the community, listening to the views and opinions of others, attending to the needs of my constituents, giving them advice, directing them to the right path, and representing them to the best of my ability,” said Danny, as he is more popularly known by his constituents and the Filipino community in the UK. Danny hails from Camarines Sur, Bicol Region.

As Town Mayor, Danny will serve as the Chairman and Spokesperson of the Town Council, and will head various town organisations such as the Arts Festival, Town Twinning, Nautical Training Corps, and Disability Access, among others.

Danny will also be supporting three Mayoral Charities this year such as The Queen Victoria Hospital Charity, the East Grinstead Community First Responders, and the East Grinstead Street Pastors Youth Community Support Project, all of which are focused on making high-quality health care accessible to the people of East Grinstead.

It’s no surprise that Danny’s advocacies are closely linked with promoting health and well-being. Prior to his foray into British politics, Danny and his wife, Maribel—both registered nurses—initially worked for the Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation when they first arrived in the UK 19 years ago. Both are still working for the same hospital. By profession, Danny is an Opthalmic Nurse Clinical Specialist, and Independent Nurse Prescriber, an Education Lead Nurse, and a mentor and assessor. Maribel, on the other hand, is an Opthalmic Nurse Practitioner.

“Entering British politics was a God-given opportunity,” Danny looked back to the time when he first entertained the prospects of running for town councillor in 2011. “It was not in our plan and was beyond my wildest dreams and expectations. In 2011, one month before the election, I reluctantly signed the nomination to stand as Town Councillor Candidate after I was insistently encouraged by one of Conservative Councillors to join them since they really needed to fill in the gap. My wife, Maribel, had agreed and asked me to sign the paperwork saying that I don’t need to worry as the chance of winning for me was very slim anyway.”

The results caught Danny by surprise as he won by a landslide victory. He ran for re-election in 2015, won, and tried his luck again for the third time this year amidst BREXIT jitters that swept all over the country and affected the foothold of the Conservative Party, which Danny is a part of.

Danilo M. Favor. Contributed Photo

“I thank God Almighty that after a well-fought campaign, we made it again. I’ve been re-elected as Town Councillor of East Grinstead for the third term—another four years after my eight years of service,” he said. “We are probably one of the few full Conservative Town Councils in the UK.”

As an active leader of the Filipino community in the UK, Danny continues to encourage all Filipinos in the UK to contribute positively in British society.

“I always remember what our beloved Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo said in one of his speeches–that we OFWs must not be a drain but a gain to the country we are serving,” he said. “I always encourage our fellowmen to come out and be more pro-active in our community. There are lots of great opportunities out there that they can get involved with and enjoy with at the same time.”

“Danny is an inspiration to all Filipinos around the world,” said Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo. “We are not only proud but hopeful of the great things to come during his term as Town Mayor of East Grinstead. Danny has blazed the trail for other Filipinos in the UK to take on an active role in shaping the country they currently live and work in.” [BicolToday.com]

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