(Metro Manila, Philippines) Having an itinerary for our journey may motivate us to envision the goal we have built into it. However, going with the flow and utilizing the opportunities that life offers can allow us to encounter and learn unexpected things to our eventual advantage.
Jan-ree Cabatingan, a 38-year-old Information Technology graduate who was once a Government Internship Program (GIP) beneficiary at the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region Makati-Pasay Field Office (DOLE-NCR MPFO), came back to where she started.
She went not to apply as an intern but to participate in the onsite Technical and Advisory Visit (TAV) Orientation— a session to introduce micro-establishments about the enforcement of the Labor Standards and other labor laws— on May 31, 2023.
Jan-ree worked as a school admin at the Multi Competencies International Training Center (MCITC) in Manila before she became a GIP beneficiary.
She describes herself as hardworking, efficient, and jolly. Hence, these traits caught Ms. Arlene Comandante’s interest, which prompted her to refer Jan-ree to DOLE.
“No’ng nagtrabaho ako sa government agency, ‘di ko talaga siya expected na magiging trabaho ko. Nagkataon lang na nakilala ako ni Ms. Arlene. Niyaya niya ako dito [sa DOLE] at nagustuhan ko,” she said.
Jan-ree joyfully said that her experience at DOLE-NCR MPFO was like a rollercoaster.
“Iba-iba ‘yong magiging emosyon kasi minsan mahirap, masaya, minsan syempre ‘di mo maiwasang mapagalitan. Pero overall, maganda ang takbo ng career ko dito no’ng nagsimula ako mag-GIP kasi lahat ng tao nakasalamuha ko,” she said.
She added, “Naging tulay siya [sa] kung ano ako ngayon. Dati kasi takot akong makiusap sa tao. Dati, kung ‘di mo ako kakausapin, ‘di kita kakausapin. Pero ngayon, parang ‘yong personality ko nag-umpisa siya sa DOLE na magbago. Nakatulong talaga siya sa akin para ma-improve ko ‘yong sarili ko ngayong business owner na dahil ang dami kong natutunan bilang isang dating intern sa DOLE.”
She categorically expressed her sincere gratitude to the labor department for providing an avenue, like the GIP, that led the way to the path that conforms with the skills and abilities she discovered during her internship.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa DOLE, lalo na sa Makati-Pasay FO kasi tinanggap niyo ‘ko as GIP. Kasi kung wala kayo, hindi ko alam ‘yong magiging stepping stone ko upang makamit ko ‘yong kinalalagyan ko ngayon. Sa inyo ako nag-umpisa, kaya hindi ko makakalimutan ang lahat ng naitulong niyo sa buhay ko,” she proudly expressed.
Jan-ree will continue to discover and explore a lot of things throughout her life, especially now that she’s managing her own business. Thus, according to a former GIP beneficiary, her plans could not only be contained on an itinerary sheet.
“Hindi naman kasi talaga natatapos ang pagpapabuti natin sa mga kakayahan natin, ang career growth kasi natin kailangan tuloy-tuloy, hindi siya puwedeng matapos sa isang aspeto lang. Kailangan marami pa tayong pagdaanan pa para masabi natin na may progress ‘yong buhay natin,” she said.
Jan-ree knows that she still has a long way to go from her ultimate destination.
However, as she pushes forward, Jan-ree takes every opportunity to learn all the knowledge shared with her by people she encounters along the way as she continues to be a living testament to the saying, “The journey is greater than the destination.”
END / Monaliza D. Opelac and Francisco S. Orallo Jr.