John Paul Larida – eCommerce Programmer
I’m John Paul. My nick-name is Jong-Jong – but only a select few know this. Most of them prefer to call me Paul or John, but none the less it still points to me. 🙂
I grew up experiencing the hard-knocks of life – like most of our fellow Filipinos. But with these hardships, I was able to determine the RISKS that are attached to every descision which in turn made me a better person, and allowed me to gain more knowledge both in life as well as my profession.
I am the 3rd son of our family; with 2 elder brothers and a younger sister. My Father was a former insurance adjuster, who later became a tricycle driver. My Mother was a librarian of a prestigeous school here in Davao City and life was easy breezy! (nhaaa…).
We were really poor, to be honest. We lived and grew up in a slum area that featured all of the chaos and excitement of life! But despite this we had a good educational background (one of my tools in life) as my mother worked at our school, and part of the priviledge of being an employee was to have their offspring study there for free.
To cut a long story short: all was well during this time. I was living my life as a normal student with all the ups and downs of life – and experiencing the ‘grades’ between the different worlds. To explain, I was receiving an education alongside priveledged kids while living humbly with my family and hanging around with my financially poor friends. Our family hovered between these two economic stations and all seemed well… but then drastic changes came in to our lives and my eyes were opened to reality!
It all started when I was in my 2nd year of high school. My mother resigned from her job to venture out into business on her own and RISK our family’s future with it. She taught us that sometimes you need to take RISK’s in life in order to progress. Unfortunately, she took another RISK by letting her friend borrow most of the money which was allocated for the business, believing that it would be repaid in double and benefit us even more! But sadly, this loan arrangement failed! Faith twisted the path to our better future and made it even worse! My Mother was almost jailed because a cheque she signed associated with the account had an insufficient balance. You see my mother had trusted that her friend had deposited the borrowed money back – but she did not.
At the same time my Father took a RISK and resigned from his position as an Insurance Adjuster with the idea that my mother’s new business would prosper, and opted to drive a tricycle. This form of work would allow him the flexibility to be available if my mother’s business demanded his presence at any time.
Then a few short years later, our home was demolished within the slum area we were living in, and we ended up living in a tent for more than 6 years during which time I finished my Bachelors Degree.
Ohh Man! Disaster! All of the moves taken up to that time had so much RISK involved, and were all made despite the uncertain outcomes! And as a young person I couldn’t see any moves to counter the RISKs taken! All of us were still studying and neither of my older brothers stood up to commit and help out with our current situation. Arrghh!
So here I was, the 3rd son at the age of 13… and I took the RISK, committed myself and stepped up! I knew I needed to help out. I took the RISK of possibly failing my studies to help my family. I knew I needed to find ways to earn money for us to be able to continue our studies, as well as put food on our family’s table. And my Mother and Father would look for other means to pay the debt that my mother had incurred with her venture.
From then on, I experienced lots of ligitimate work. I was a construction worker (helper of the builders) RISKing the possibility that someone at my school might know me (which happened to be true because I secured work on a house wherein the owner’s son was a friend of my elder brother. Ohh fate can be very hard to control!). I sometimes RISKed my 1st class schedule of 8:00am to drive our tricycle late at night to earn money so that I can go to school the following day. I also RISKed being jailed since I didn’t have a drivers license.
The downside? All these RISKy moves meant it took me 6 years to finish high school – moving around 4 different schools. I RISKed a scholarship because I knew I was not yet stable enough to take it just for the sake of earning money (monthly allowance) for my family… and in turn lost the scholarship grant in 2 years time.
But there was an upside to all of this as well! With all the experiences I gained not only education, but also work experience and how to be pro-active in life.
I took the RISK of taking the qualifying exam for another scholarship which I passed which in turn helped us financially. Then when we stretched our earnings we were more stable. My Mother RISKed everything to help me continue my studies so I could finish College and become a professional. And despite our financial status I was able to graduate with a Diploma in eCommerce Programming as well as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. I then landed a job with quite a reliable salary. When I graduated, and secured my job, I took the RISK of buying my own property despite the small salary that I had at first. In turn, I was able to own the property and built a house for my own family, built a duplex house at the back of my house for my Mother, eldest brother and youngest sister to live in. And the other side of the duplex housed my 2nd brother and his family (as our family was literally homeless at the time).
There are a few things I’ve taken extra note of in my life: for one to progress one must be prepared to take RISK, but take RISK carefully by assessing every possible option and outcome. And with all the RISKs that we took earlier on that failed, I know in hind-sight these were not thought out fully, that we didn’t fully commit ourselves, and that we didn’t have backup plans laid out. These lessons I’ve taken to heart and now adhere to without compromise. And with those lessons in mind, I will never stop being a Reliable, Intelligent, Skillfull, Kind-hearted (RISK) taker person.
I hope you’ll consider me a good addition to your team. 🙂
For a copy of John Paul’s resume please click here.