About Me

header ads

Remembering Mayor Cynthia Barker - The Filipina who became Mayor of an English Town


My deepest condolences go out to the family of my friend, Gene Alcantara on the passing of his sister, Cynthia Alcantara Barker. 

Cynthia Alcantara Barker, who was born and raised in San Pablo, Laguna, made history in June when she became the first ever Filipina to be elected as town mayor in England. The town she would be leading would be Hertsmere, Hertfordshire.

In 2015, under the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party, she was elected the town councilor for Borehamwood Brookmeadow ward and borough councilor for Potters Bar Furzefield ward—also the first Filipina to have achieved this honor. She is the second Philippine-born migrant to be elected into public office in England.  In 2019, Filipino nurse Danny Favor became the first Filipino mayor in England. He was the first .

Mayor Barker has been living in Hertsmere for almost 29 years, and with her new position, hoped to prioritize raising money for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Unfortunately, I saw the news on Gene Alcantara's wall that Mayor Cynthia had passed away today.

The third of five children, Mayor Barker graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Adamson University in Manila. Her eldest brother is now a retired civil engineer in California, my friend, Gene, the second sibling is an immigration adviser and journalist in London, and her younger siblings are a senior healthcare worker in London, and a senior nurse in California.

After college, Cynthia worked as a supervisor in a garments factory until 1983 when she moved to London to stay with her mother. She worked for the British Council, giving a helping hand to scholars, then worked as manager in different companies, and as an immigration law practitioner.

Knowing that education gave her an advantage in life, Cynthia Barker continued her studies at the University of Hertfordshire. Most recently, she attended a leadership development course at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University.

When she had saved enough money, she put up her own business that involved recruitment, healthcare training, and immigration law, to name a few.

As one who knows she has been lucky enough to live a comfortable life, thanks to her parents, Mayor Barker began to immerse herself in charities and volunteer work for her community later in life. It was through these selfless acts that the Conservative Party noticed and recruited her. The rest, as they say, is history.

I checked my FB Messenger to see the last time we met and that was December 12, 2017 here in Metor Manila at the Belmont Hotel.

Rest In Peace, Mayor Cynthia.