Here you go, as published in Juan in EU (magazine about 100 Inspiring Stories of Filipinos in Europe):
“Passion is everything,” –a gift from ABS-CBN Chairman, Gabby Lopez, arrived with his personal dedication written on it. This brings me back few good childhood memories… Back then, I dreamt of traveling the world. Mesmerized by TV programs showing different places and cultures around the globe, I used to look at the world map for hours as if spellbound. I dreamt of making my family proud. Coming from a broken family, I wanted to fill in the gaps by being the best daughter and ate I could ever be. I dreamt of being able to serve others in my own little ways. I dreamt of meeting the right man whom I can share the fulfillment of these dreams.
I dreamt fervidly… prayed fervently and believed fiercely. I had a lot of things to be grateful of throughout the years of my life. My parents always believed in good education and I passionately valued this gift that they’ve worked hard for. When I was entering college, a top university offered me a scholarship – a gift which opened more doors of opportunities. Normal days back then involved internship at the United Nations Development Programme, strutting at the catwalk or posing for some fashion ads but responsibly keeping my name on the dean’s list. I’ve shared the passion that drives me to excel to the other young people in my area and it was a privilege to volunteer in the community youth programs. I started travelling places around the Philippines and into the nearby countries.
I moved to Singapore for the first six months after university but my heart for the voluntary youth work brought me back to the Philippines. I cheerfully contributed what I can, sharing that passion in and out of the city until I received another gift – opportunity to pursue my post graduate studies in another top university… in London. Though it was sad to leave everything behind, I gratefully moved to the UK (where I spend six colourful years of my life). It was not easy being away from family but I’ve been blessed with plentiful of things that made me thankful in every way. Opportunities after opportunities came – I started travelling UK, Europe, Asia, America and some parts of Africa for leisure and later on, for business. During my post graduate studies, I voluntarily joined as one of the youth ambassadors for our university working with public schools – encouraging underprivileged young people to pursue their dreams. I’ve also met people in the fashion industry and got involved in few projects. I cherished the friendship gained all through the years. Moreover, I’m able to support the education of my siblings and always keep that close connection with my family despite the distance. And through one of my travels, I met my better half.
Presently, I am devotedly working for a company that is faithful and committed of being in the service of the Filipino worldwide, happily living in the South of France with my husband, Mark, and blissfully fulfilling all of our dreams together.
Dreams build our passion. Passion leads to fulfilment. And indeed, PASSION IS EVERYTHING.
Have this magazine shipped directly to your home. Please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also Get your free copies at TFC – Milan office at Duomo/Piazza Diaz or at Megaworld Rome office (Teatro dell Opera/Republica). Copies in France to be announced soon. You may also visit OFWorld’s FB page at http://www.facebook.com/OverseasFilipinoWorld.
P.S. Thank you to Ethnoex for this project; Ronald Suelo, my favourite photographer in South of France, my ever fab HMUA, JM Ronquillo; and of course, my supportive husband (Follow Mark @mbaronbaron in Instagram)