JO2 Belen: Always believe in the power of your dreams

Written by Ma. Luisa Bautista

What makes a woman powerful? When she always believes.

JO2 Katrina Belen, personnel from Manila City Jail Welfare Development Section and also a Guidance Counselor in Male Dormitory, is a perfect epitome of this. She is 32 years old, a happily married woman and a mother for her 6-year-old only daughter. She’s serving BJMP for 10 years. First, why BJMP? JO2 Katrina is a psychology graduate and wants to be a guidance counselor someday. She was encouraged by her father who was also in the field. The number one challenge as a woman that she was facing in her occupation was being assigned to male dormitory.  It is a big challenge for women like us to be in the society wherein we don’t know what’s in here. But, having a power to be capable in everything, JO2 Belen has no fear being in the position she has right now.  When it comes to her challenges in life outside of the job, it is somewhat challenging of being uniform personnel. Comparing to a doctor, you are 24/7 ready when duty calls you. Being a mother to her child, she needs to spend time to her daughter. But then, as uniform personnel, she is obliged to sacrifice those moments with her child. At the end of the day, the child was looking for a mother who will be there for her.  

Why is it important to recognize and explore women’s history? She compares the right of the women before and today. She added that it is important to recognize the role of the women in our society in the current time, because what women can’t do before, they can do it nowadays.

JO2 Belen is most satisfied in her life right now. She has settled with her job, family and everything that she has. She gets to have that sense of fulfillment by getting a good relationship with other people especially with her own family. The dynamics between the relationship with her husband and her daughter is the most exciting and fulfilling for her, seeing the good relationship among them three.

Being who she is right now, her mother becomes her role model. She has four siblings and her mother raised them independently by giving up her career over her family by raising them properly. What JO2 Belen’s mother did to them is also the same thing she’s doing for her child.

“Always believe in the power of your dreams,” she shared. Being a woman, she always brings those words with her. If you have a dream, you’ll grow with that dream of yours. That will be your direction to follow. Before, it was all just a dream. But now, she serves as a living proof that dreams work when you work hard.

To the aspiring BJMP officers, she says “Why not? It is an instrument where you can find your potentials.” BJMP will not only give you burden responsibilities but will also treat you as how you should be treated – human. There, you can be at your best version by unleashing your potentials. She advised women who want to work at the BJMP to never be afraid of trying new things that man can do. 
Strong – that’s what women are today, according to her. She challenged women to live up to this.