I was a fresh graduate in 2014 but even then, I already knew that I wanted to serve in government. With an idealistic mindset, I entered my first job in DepEd. Needless to say, the first year was exhausting, frustrating and a bit disenchanting. My boss then was kind, but I felt like my skills were not utilized. I felt like I was another cog in the machine.
Finally, I gathered the courage to transfer offices. This time, under the “tough and scary” Undersecretary of the department. He was the head of the legal and legislative arm, and was also the officer in charge of anything related to children’s rights- my advocacy. I figured, since I’ll be entering law school in the future anyway, why not go to this office and grow as much as I can? People told me that he was a demanding boss and that his standards were so high, he drills his staff to meet them. Scared but sure, I applied to become his Executive Assistant. I was surprised that when he interviewed me, he was already able to pinpoint my strengths and told me that I will grow in his office. Fast forward to a year, a hundred field visits, two brigada eskwelas, thousands of DepEd teachers, students, officials, 3 book launches, 29 speeches, 14 presentations and countless stories later, I’ve seen so much, grown so much (both in skill and confidence) and learned so much. I saw places I never thought existed, met people I thought were beyond my reach, wrote stories and articles beyond my comprehension and I have… gone to law school! My boss and I can talk to each other during a 10 hour roadtrip to Ilocos for a regional ManComm, I can share my struggles with him, he shares his law books with me, I get love advice from him and his wife (haha) and I get mistaken as his daughter. I think I have not only gained a reliable mentor, but a pseudo father who wisely watches over me. Of course, nobody can beat my biological father, but he comes close!
It’s also worthy to note that the first lunch out we had was in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Estancia 🙂