The King of Career Shifts

July 04, 2024

I used to pride myself on being a chameleon because I was able to shift careers in the tech industry—not once but four times over the course of 16 years. 

But let me introduce to you someone who has everyone beat. 

This is my dad Jerry. Papa, I call him.

He started his career as an entrepreneur, selling peanuts in a provincial market in his hometown because his own father died when he was still young. Since he had five other younger siblings, he had to be “the man” in the family to support everyone at such a young age.

He then conscripted in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and became a soldier on active duty.

Years went by and he decided to take the rigorous exams to join the Intelligence Agency of the AFP, which he passed with flying colours despite the low admittance rate. I didn’t know much about the details of his job while he was on classified missions, but in one of those, he returned home with his leg cut that had to be reattached with a metal inside his leg.  

Work and his injury took a toll so he went for an early retirement. Did he stop working? No. He decided to run for office at the municipality called Kalayaan, where he was last deployed in our home province. Papa won his seat as a Councilor for one term and then eventually ran and won the Vice Mayor seat.

We call it Kalayaan. Most of the world knows this group of islands as the disputed Spratly Islands.

After he was done with politics, he wanted to do another life-long dream: to graduate higher education—one that he wasn’t able to do when he had to prioritise raising his siblings and eventually to provide for me and Mama.

He finished that dream with flying colours, too, as a cum laude graduate in the Bachelor of Arts in Theology.

Then he naturally became a pastor of a church, led a youth moral reform movement, and became our barangay’s chaplain. While this was happening, he also got an education in physical therapy from a bigger city and started a practice teaching and providing therapy services.  

Papa's entire life was spent doing public service. To him, providing spiritual help is not enough, he also wanted to make people feel physically better. 

On top of all of that, he was a devoted husband and was the best father his unica hija can have.

We grow up thinking our dads are our heroes. In my case, he truly was. 

He was a dreamer who achieved his dreams. His no-holds barred mindset are what made me think life is not serious nor fixed, and that we can be whatever or whoever we want to become. 

Papa is one-half of how I was able to take chances in life. His trust and confidence in me as I left our humble island province Palawan is why I keep fighting to achieve my own dreams. 

Here is the King of Career Shifts, making sure I stay hungry and filled with ambition. 

He will always be loved and his legacy will span generations.

Photo: It's the photo of the halo that appeared during his funeral 

You Might Also Like