From being a Cigarette Vendor up to being a Power Plant Manager
How to become successful
My grandfather passed away when my father was eight years old. Their life changed from riches to rags because my grandmother was not able to manage their family business. She was addicted to alcohol and gambling.
When he was nine years old, my father started to sell plastic bags and salt in the local public market, he also sold ice cream until he finished his studies in high school (secondary).
Despite getting the highest score in his class on the NCEE (National College Entrance Examination- an exam needed to evaluate the student before graduating on secondary school), and receiving a special award for having the highest score in all the Philippines (he scored 99%, only mistake was a blank, he intentionally left a blank answer to a question because he believed the right answer was not provided in the selection). He graduated at the age of twenty without honor because his teacher failed him on the subject of good moral character. He was a nice guy, but had conflicts with the faculty because he was involved with the student riots.
My father and my mother get married after finishing high school. They needed to get married because I was about to see the world. My mother was pregnant and my father decided to marry her.
My father borrowed money from his neighbor and he started selling cigarretes. He would wake up at 3 am, walk for about 6 kilometers, if lucky someone might offer him a ride. When he reached the city, he would start running and riding on the buess shouting "Cigarrete, who like a cigarrete" he was doing that from the early morning to 10 in the evening.
He was able to save money by following his simple rules.
I set my daily profit goal, if I did not reach that, I will not go home.
After more than three years of selling cigarretes in the city of Alabang in the Philippines, he manage to save money to buy a bus, that was in 1986. At that point in time, he was thinking he would buy a bus or pursue his studies in college.
Business or College Degree
If you were my father what would you choose?
I chose to study and invest in myself for the security of my family.
Studying in the Evening
Selling Cigarrete in the Morning
He thought, buying a bus is good, but he was afraid that one day operating a bus mightl not be profitable and work as expected. He decide against buying a bus and he started thinking about studying in College.
He really wanted to became a lawyer, but he knew that if he pursued law, he would have to study for eight years followed by an additional year for review and then the bar exam. He thought that, maybe before finishing a law degree his family will have already starved to death. He then choose to study Mechanical Engineering because it is a five year course, plus one year review and exam. Three years less than becoming a lawyer.
From the first year to fourth year, everything goes smoothly. When he reached his fifth year, selling cigarretes in the city started to go slowly. He had almost spent everything he had saved. We had to eat anything we could get and plants from the backyard. I had two small sisters and a baby brother at that time.
With the help of God, my father finished his studies in school. He topnotched the board (license) examination. He finished his studies at thirty years of age. Currently he is a Senior Manager (Chief Specialist) in the Philippines. He is a Professional Mechanical Engineer, Cum Laude in Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and he is planning to pursue his doctorate degree in Germany.
He lives in the Philippines with my mother, two sisters and a brother. He loves to eat in a Filipino restaurant.