Gertrude Sienes – Journalist and Customer Service Rep

Hi, I am Gertrude Sienes and please allow me to share a secret with you:

It was 7pm one Monday in July and all our bags were packed. My 11-year-old daughter and I were ready to go… ready to leave behind the negative vibes and forge ahead to start afresh. That was the mission! Any mother and child who experienced unfair judgment from a husband and his relatives due to a clash of ideals would merit the eagerness we felt about embarking on a new chapter in life. The adrenaline rush was real for us – and we were nervous about the ordeal ahead. But at the same time through the agony we felt – thrill and excitement prevailed. There was one final awful night’s sleep before we managed to secure our escape to freedom. Her dad didn’t catch us – following a brief and heart-thumping chase… we are now free and very, very lucky!

I do have a high regard for myself – and anything that hurts my ego (especially when the source is someone who used to be part of my ‘system’) is a let-go for me. So, there I was, dusting off the negativity in my psyche. And here I am now, free and ready to work with you!

I am a journalist by profession.

For two decades I was a war reporter in Mindanao, the Southern part of this oh, so colourful country – my country – the Philippines. Mabuhay (Long live) my homeland! I was one of those journos who ran for their life during the height of the Abu Sayyaf madness… the non-Christian thugs who started as a pious stronghold for their religion; preached gospels of their own doctrine but couldn’t practice what they preached. They ended up performing acts of banditry: kidnappings, extortion and other brutalities against humanity. Today, they have either vanished into thin air, perished naturally or melted into the landscape with nowhere to run from the long arms of the law. Fortunately, the safety and security dramas are over and done with. I was working both as a broadcaster of a prestigious radio network and a print journalist for both local and international broadsheets and magazines.

Little did my parents know that during my heyday as a journalist, I was on the verge of being kidnapped. Shivers would have run up their spine if they had been in the know – and I’m sure it would have created havoc on their psychological system en route to paranoia!

I was raised in a happy home. Yes, I’m glad to say mine was a very happy childhood. A family of school teachers took care of me until my strong personality was carved out right before their eyes. I was a consistent honor student from elementary school right through my secondary years. Four scholarships graced my entry to college at my beloved Alma Mater, Silliman University – a prestigious institution of learning. Silliman Uni is located east of this country. In high school I was a band majorette and an academic scholar. I finished school free of charge and of minimal efforts on the part of my loving parents.

After gaining a degree in Journalism, I started investigating the professional wilderness here and abroad. I worked within my comfort zones as a media personality. And I can say with honest simplicity: I love my craft. Much of my professional existence was through the Business Process Outsourcing Industry as well – which is massive in this country – as a Customer Service Representative. I have learned a lot about business, marketing, advertising and successful approaches behind these ventures.

I love to dance zumba and do aerobics, as I am slightly overweight. Let me sing a hundred songs on home karaoke each night during my rest days and it’s still not enough! I love farm life, sea waves, and nature. And Jazz music is life to me.

I could say my story has a happy ending… but the word ‘ending’ is not appropriate – as there is so much more happiness and adventure yet in store for me!

For a copy of Gertrudes’s resume please click here.