That was all I could think about during the Enhanced Community Quarantine. I never really understood what was going to happen next because nobody really knew what we were dealing with.
How deadly is it? How many lives are going to be taken by the CoViD-19 ? What’s happening with our government?
The world’s going to change yet here I am unable to do something about it.
I scrolled through social media which has nothing else but bad news.
I had to do something.
I asked myself again, “Kim, what’s next?”
I’ve always been the type to live for a cause. I was never particularly good in academics when I was in high school. When I told people I want to become a lawyer, people laughed and asked me why. My answer then and now has always been the same: I just want to change the world.
It sounds truly idealistic but the reality is that the world isn’t in a good place and we all crave for something good to happen.
Come college and the start of my longboarding career.
Again, I wanted to live for a cause. I raced all over the Philippines with the advocacy of promoting women in a male-dominated sport.
I wanted people to see that women can do what men can do.
It was empowering me, the women I raced with and little girls who watched me as I took on race after race.
By this time, my focus was entirely on women being heard.
I learned to respect the hills I skated on and this included planting trees, ocean cleanups, and understanding the life of the local farmers and fishermen we got to talk to every week.
Two months after I graduated from college, I immediately worked for one of the best multinational pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines. This allowed me to understand the struggle of our country’s healthcare system.
I met with healthcare professionals and saw patients five times a week.
It pains me every single time a doctor tells me, “Your company’s medicine is the best out there but my patients simply CANNOT afford it” because this is a difficult thing to hear almost every single day.
By this time, I was already in my legal studies and I knew I had to focus my energy on law school. It was painful for me to let go but I knew the sacrifice would be worth it.
I asked myself again, “Kim, what’s next?”
So I did what I’ve always wanted to do. I enrolled as a full-time law student while working as a digital marketer. It was never easy but I realized that I got to do a lot more of the things I was passionate about because I chose what made me happy.
Everything else like it was all God’s plan.
I continued to study the law, volunteered with Negros Love and became a committee in TEDxVillamonte. When the ECQ started, I felt like I was trapped in this sinkhole of nothingness… But I was a millennial. I grew up with the internet, and from then on, I continued to learn.
I immersed myself in learning about sustainable farming, marine conservation and studied the loopholes of the government. I joined online communities like the Bacolod Barter Community, which helped me understand consumerism and sustainability. I also supported my friends and the Bacolodnons who posted their homemade goodies from the Bacolod Quarantine Eats.
It made me realize that the digital age is truly a wonder. I listened to podcasts and read as many e-books as I could. I had to create a world in my room where everything was within reach. I took action as soon as the ECQ was over because I had no time to waste.
As soon as the IATF gave the go signal for non-contact sports, I went and got my PADI Open Water Certification. I also met with farmers from Sipalay and started to scout for the needed materials so I can start my own greenhouse, hydroponics and intercropping farming in Murcia.
I wanted to understand how sustainability and business can go together. My ultimate goal is to introduce better healthcare benefits for our local farmers. I have a lot to learn and a lot to do but there’s no better time to get started than NOW.
Recently, I also started my passion project called “Computers Para Sa Kabataan Sang Barangay 2”.
In the midst of economic crisis and COVID-19, the government has decided it is best to transition into e-learning.
While that may be good for those who can afford it, the burden lies to those who cannot. I’ve started this advocacy because I know how poor it is.
When I was younger, my father would bring me there to spend time in my uncle’s factory, Nene J Seafood Corp, so I spent a lot of my childhood there and had the chance to understand poverty from a young age.
“Social class division is a trivial thing to children. All we ever cared about was playing and having fun. But even at that age, the reality of poverty disturbed something in me.”
Now that I’m all grown up, I can’t help but feel sad because those friends I used to play with, found no hope and involved themselves with drugs and crimes.
However, I know this full well, God is good and it’s never too late.
I want to give hope to the children who do well in school and wish to continue their education with e-learning.
I no longer have cabin fever but I still continue to ask myself “Kim, what’s next?” because there’s just so much we can do in this unpredictable world of ours.
If we want to change the world, we have to start with ourselves.