Adrian Paul Dumaquit who looks dapper in his polo sleeves, uttered in his casual but cheerful demeanor, “Life is like a game of chess.”

He loves chess among others. With 64 squares and 32 pieces, the game can begin.

“I have a penchant for problem solving and numbers as a kid.”

But what he did not realize sooner, is his own life and the game itself have many other things in common.

He scratches his head, obnoxious to the fact that the TUPAD orientation did not go smoothly according to his plan.

The 64 squares of a chessboard resonates a real life battle field.

“Oftentimes, I feel stuck not knowing what piece to move. I grew up having expected things to fall according to rules. I’m keen on preparations, so even before it happens, everything must have been figured out.”

But his experience as TUPAD implementer brandished just the exact opposite.

“I think that’s a challenge to us government employees. We are faced with modern complexities not to mention the unique situations our clients would sometimes call us for,” he shared.

The game of chess itself propels growth. Often, a player stumbles, or loses before he wins.

He recalled growing up from a poor family who had no means to send him to college.

“I applied for scholarship, and worked as a student assistant. I was only an average student but it was my dedication and perseverance which got me through college,” he humbly said.

“Yung kinakain ko lang before is tinapay.”

That was still a snack, though. But little did we know, he meant eating bread for meals.

But despite meager resources, he finished his degree with recognition as cum laude.

“That recognition, I thought, was out of my reach,” he shared.

He said his experience as TUPAD focal person was a game changer.

“I had a stage fright in college. I remember being asked to report, and I just stood in front of the whole class. I was not able to say a word.”

Long before he was assigned as TUPAD focal person, Dumaquit had been under the Government Internship Program (GIP) of the Department of Labor and Employment.

“Even in my GIP days, I was already assigned at the employment section. So the nature of work here is something that I’m already familiar with.”

In 2021 alone, he had served over 67,000 beneficiaries.

This year, he stands again before thousands of beneficiaries, putting his best with grace under pressure.

If life is a game of chess, there is no doubt, Dumaquit is a real life knight, indeed.

END / Clarisse Marquez