Ruby Caysip – Supervisor / Team Leader
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
For half of my life, I’ve based my life on those words by Mrs. Roosevelt.
I am the eldest among 4 siblings. Actually, my mother gave birth to 6 children but my 1-year-old brother died when I was 4 and my 2-month old sister died a year later. At such a very young age, I had already encountered the grim reality of death in my own family.
My father was a personal driver of a businessman, but his salary was barely enough to feed his family for a day. My mother took jobs at a garments factory from time to time to help support the family.
When I was about 6 years old, my mother got a regular job at a toy factory, so my siblings and I lived with our maternal grandparents in a rural town outside Manila.
Life there was not easy. It was a remote mining town and there was no electricity and we got our water supply from the river beside my grandparents’ house.
By nightfall when the only light source came from an oil lamp, I usually looked out the window of the nipa hut that we are living in and tears would flow from my eyes because I longed for my Mama.
One time when my younger brother and I went out to gather some firewood, we had to cross a hanging bridge made entirely of Abaca fibre ropes. Halfway along the bridge, I slipped and almost plunged into the river 20 feet below. My hands were able to grab some loose rope and I hung there until my brother was able to pull me back up to safety. I think I developed my fear of heights from that childhood experience.
After finishing my third grade of elementary school, the financial situation of my family grew worse as the businessman my father was working for went bankrupt. My father was suddenly out of a job and I had to quit school… almost…
Fortunately, I received an educational sponsorship from the Norwegian Missionary Alliance. I was blessed to have a Norwegian couple who supported my elementary and high school studies.
When I was 14 years old, I decided to spend my summer vacation working in a garments factory to help my parents. I then secured a job at the Community Health Centre through the government program, SPES (Special Program of Employment for Students) when I turned 16. I worked during the summer not because my parents forced me, but because I saw the need to help them.
After graduating from high school, we had no money to finance my college studies. My father was the one to break the news that he could not afford to send me to college because he has 3 other children to send to school. But I said I really wanted to study – even enrolling in a 2-year computer course was fine with me.
I explained to my parents that at least after 2 years of trade school I could find a job and eventually help my brother who would be going to college 2 years then.
I literally financed my 2-year computer course by working part-time work at the garments factory during weekends and having full-time jobs over the summer.
My parents were strict disciplinarians, and my siblings and I were not allowed to have a romantic relationship while we were still at school. We had to choose between education or love. And if we chose the latter it would mean we were going to stop studying.
A week after my graduation I quickly found a job with a printing company, and I’ve been working with that company for over 18 years.
With 18 years of experience at my current job, I would say that I was equipped with the knowledge and skills that I will be needing to do the work required of me to be an effective and efficient Virtual Assistant.
I got married in 2007, and my married life is bliss. I am lucky to have a wonderful and very supportive husband. The only challenge that I am facing right now is that I am suffering from endometriosis which is causing me some difficulty in conceiving.
Nevertheless, I don’t consider it the end of the world. I see this as an opportunity to count my blessings and move forward. It will not stop me from doing the things that I really love.
My life’s dream is to be able to work and have the opportunity to spend quality time with my family, serving my community, and studying to gain more skills to better serve my clients.
“Character is higher than intellect.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
For a copy of Ruby’s resume please click here.