From Booze to Brew: For JR Oliva

It was one of the saddest days of my life. Sitting together with my family at a local Chinese dimsum restaurant, I ranted and complained at how being unemployed was hard to live by. I remember almost crying in public just so that I could let go of the pain I felt. But then, a family friend (also one of the leaders from my church) came in the restaurant together with his family and they sat with us as we exchanged hellos and kamustas. We talked until we reached a point where our topic was what I was going to do next in my life. He gladly said that he wanted to help me. I gave him a copy of my resume and prayed that hopefully one day someone will call me.

To cut the story short, an HR representative from the Red Cherry and Silver Tips texted me for an interview as a barista for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I was very happy since it was inline with my previous job as a Bartender.

I talked to Kuya JR about it and he was so happy for me. He challenged me to do my best not only for him or for my family but also for myself who would go through not only a physical or emotional change, but also through a complete life changing experience.

I never expected him together with his family to appear at that moment I was with my family in that restaurant. I also didn’t expect to be part of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I also didn’t expect to go through a life changing moment. But now, I’ve learned that God will give you light when you are walking through a very long, dark road. And for me that light was Kuya JR.

Kuya JR taught me to be a role model and to never give up in life. He also taught me to be the better person in the room and to never forget God when in times of need.

I dedicate my Coffee Bean day story to my friend, mentor, and teacher Kuya JR Oliva for he has helped me see a better picture of life. And I also want to thank my family my dad Norman, my mom Madelyn and my siblings Jemelyn and Jehmel and my girlfriend Hannah for also being the best family a guy like me could ever ask for. Also my fellow Team Members in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Streetscape – Sir Jim, Ms. Mara, Sir Fred and Ms. Tin also Meroii, Shang and Harlen Joy for being with me in my journey in Coffee Bean. They have been with me in the worst of times and also with me in the best of times.

To everyone, friends, family, fellow Coffee Bean team, Happy Coffee Bean Day! Thank you.

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