Derik Reyan Ligon always knew that working in the government service is what he wants, but he did not know that it would take him years of preparation, redirections, and challenges – first one during his college days.
“Noong 4th year ako nag-stop ako kasi noong time na iyon nagkaroon ako ng problema,” said Derik, who studied AB Psychology in De La Salle Araneta University for almost 4 years. Unfortunately, like everybody else, Derik did not expect that he will be experiencing a problem that will force him to stop in his senior year.
Because of the need to prioritize his child, Derik had to resort to other alternatives to cover up their financial expenses, one of which is working in the food industry.
Derik Reyan Ligon first experienced employment under Pizza Hut at SM North Annex.
“Nag-work ako sa Pizza Hut for 7 months as a service crew,” he said.
Thinking that education is important, Derik then went back to schooling.
“Pinili ko makapagtapos kasi mahirap na ngayon ang buhay, parang hindi mo alam kung saan ka lulugar kapag wala kang natapos,” he shared.
However, due to his academic absence and the emergence of the new curriculum, he was no longer allowed by DLSAU to return.
This forced him to start all over again, this time in Arellano University where he ensured that he would finally complete his degree in Psychology by focusing solely on his academics. After 2 years of studying being an irregular student, finally he graduated in the year 2019.
For Derik, manifesting positivity transcends all the hardships, challenges, and hindrances that came to his life. From that mindset, he became persevered in everything that he is doing.
Prior to his graduation, Derik did his On-the-Job-Training in the Human Resource Unit of the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region. Little did he know that the supposed 3-month stay would lead to an extended venture.
During his internship days, Derik would only do non-technical tasks, such as photocopying documents and other admin works.
“2019 OJT ako noon, after that nag-GIP [Government Internship Program] ako rito sa IMSD [Internal Management Services Division], after that tuloy-tuloy nalipat ako ng GIP pa rin sa MALSU nang mga 8 months,” he said.
Because of his desire to help people, especially those in labor-related cases, he did not mind the long wait for his promotion.
However, his life did not immediately improve during these years. In fact, when asked of the biggest challenge that he faced, he shared that it happened when his girlfriend lost a family member.
After the incident, his girlfriend also developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is where Derik’s undergraduate degree became even more handy.
Applying what he learned when dealing with complainants, he remained calm, collected, and patient to help his girlfriend.
Thanks to these characteristics, partnered with his determination and eagerness to learn his responsibilities, Derek was promoted to Labor and Employment Officer III – Foreign National Labor Inspector.
After getting used to the technicalities of his job, Derik soon became all around in terms of his responsibilities. Sometimes, he would draft the writ of execution, other times, he would assist the concerns of complainants.
From what started in simply photocopying documents, then accommodating complaints, to now shouldering even the drafting of technical letters and documents among other clerical tasks, Derik earned his promotion.
Derik, who is usually called a “Kangaroo” by his officemates because he often jumps from one task to another, also says he is all around when it comes to tasks.
“Nakita ko kay Derik he does not complain nor refuse in any given tasks. Lagi niyang ginagawa at sumusunod naman siya sa instructions and advices namin and mapagkakatiwalaang tao naman si Derik,” said his’ superior, Atty. Cesar Petate.
Derik now works at DOLE-NCR Regional Office, at the Mediation-Arbitration and Legal Service Unit (MALSU).
“Malaki ang pinagbago ni Derik considering na before may pagkamahiyain ‘yan, very shy siya and now marunong na siya makihalubilo sa mga ka-officemate niya. I can say na isa na siyang team player unlike before kasi he is fond of working in solitary, kumbaga mas gusto niya na mag-isa lang siya sa isang sulok pero ngayon nakikipag-mingle na siya sa mga ka-officemate niya. Maganda at magaling na rin siya ngayon mag-draft ng mga writ of executions and documents na binibigay namin sa kanya,” Petate added.
Looking back, Derik is all thanks to himself for not giving up. Despite all the hardships he went through, he chose to persevere for his son and his dream.
“Pagbutihin niyo lang sa work niyo. Palagi niyo tandaan ‘yung mga sinasabi ng mas nakatataas sa atin para ‘yung improvement natin tuloy-tuloy lang,” he said.
END / Esteban Chua Jr. and Mark Louie Conde