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Four years ago, in 2012, while I was preparing for office, my “lolo” suddenly called my attention. I’ve heard over the radio the voice of Region 10 OIC Regional Director Franklin P. Gumapon, who was the manager of Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Information Center (ZNPIC) at that time, calling all those who are interested to apply for Information Officer I position. I hurriedly went to the SangguniangPanlungsod of Dipologwhere I was working and begun writing my application letter and resume. Days after, I went to the ZNPIC office, met Sir Gumapon and submitted my papers.

An answered prayer

I was second year law student at that time, I can still remember the scene when I was facing the entire Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-9 selection team, for an interview as I was vying for the position of Information Officer I.

It’s not just a feeling of luck but I felt honored to be chosen by the panelists as the one qualified for the said job. I’m really grateful to PIA and to the people whom I worked with for almost four years.It has been enriching and rewarding experience to be working in PIA.

Indeed, it was an answered prayer and God has directed my path to work and grow in PIA.

Building profession while creating friendship

The professional growth and learning opportunities that have come my way are invaluable, including the memories we all shared were priceless, wherein I am forever grateful to Almighty God for allowing me to be part of the PIA family and for making PIA as part of my life.

 

Undeniably, one of the best things that God has given me, is when I officially became part of this office.

I really felt the genuine love from my colleagues and the sincere concern for each and everyone. Definitely, it’s my second family who will always be in my heart wherever I go and wherever this life’s journey may take me.

Because of PIA

Honestly, I could not have reached this far and accomplished all my undertakings without the help and support of PIA.

PIA has contributed a lot and in many ways in helping me to finish my law degree. I could not have done this without the financial help of the agency and the motivation, support and inspiration from all the people I’m working with.

In 2015, before my graduation, I was ecstatic upon hearing the good news from the regional office that my application for the six-month study leave with pay was granted. I wanted to cry in happiness upon hearing the news because God is really good to His people who earnestly pray to Him.

My review for the 2015 Bar Examinations would really be hard for me without the full support of the office.

Live your dreams

Poverty and being busy in work are not reasons for you to give up your dreams in life. But these will be your motivation to aspire for more and to do your best with God’s grace to accomplish your heart’s desires.

This is not to brag but to inspire individuals especially the young ones out there who think it’s impossible for them to finish their degrees and to achieve their goals in life. I’m a full-time student and a full-time employee of PIA. Just to share, I’ve experienced reading my law books while riding a bus from Zamboanga City to Dipolog City from midnight till dawn because I’ll be having an exam in the morning. I’ve experienced several times reading my law books and review materials while covering an event. I could not say no when it’s already about my work because it’s God’s gift to me and I have to treasure it.

I graduated Cum Laude with the degree of Bachelor of Laws on March 19, 2015 at Andres Bonifacio College. Who says studying can’t be balanced while working?

I’ll tell you, God sees our sacrifices. He will fulfill His promises to us in His own perfect time.

I really cried when God has finally answered my prayer. It was the sweetest moment to savor on my 26thbirthday. It was exactly on May 3, 2016, God answered my prayer and given me the gift I was praying for. My name was included in the list of 2015 Successful Bar Examinees as released by the Supreme Court en banc. On June 16, I took my oath as a lawyer, then on June 17, I became a full-fledged lawyer after I signed the Roll of Attorneys.

Hard choice to make

Yet it’s sad to say we have to make decisions that would require our sacrifice to improve ourselves, to help our families and other people who need our service and assistance most, leaving me with no choice but to forego and relinquish my permanent position in PIA as information officer.

It’s really hard for me to make this choice. I’ve enjoyed a lot working in PIA. I’ve been to many places and met several people, wherein some of them I’ve established genuine friendship. I laughed a lot with people I’m working with. I realized that there’s so many things to be thankful despite the hardships we faced while traversing the different paths of life’s journey.

I can say right now, that my life really changed in 360 degrees, because of PIA. I learned so many things, especially the skills in writing news and feature stories, although it’s not that perfect. I learned how to socialize and mingle with different kinds of people. Most especially, I learned that working in the government, you have to devote your whole self in public service. No holidays and no weekends when the exigency of public service requires. You have to make yourself available anytime when it’s already about your work.

It’s really a must, for every employee, to seek God’s guidance everytime and in every undertaking one will take in order to survive and to accomplish one’s task.

As I go out from the mantle of this office, I am happy knowing that there will be somebody who will have the opportunity, like I had before, to grow professionally in this office and would do public service by heart.

I could not express my unfathomable appreciation and profound recognition to the agency that molded me into what I am today.

Certainly, PIA is God’s gift to me and I want other young individuals not just to experience but to grow professionally together with other talented, brilliant and hardworking members of PIA family. (Mary May A. Abellon)