My life changed every five years or so like clockwork. I was a Media Representative selling television show spots and newspaper advertising space for 5 years.
Then, I was a public transport operator. It started when I bought a beat up 45-seater mini-bus with no franchise. That’s called colorum, a slang for illegal public land transport in the Philippines. I went to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). I got my bus a franchise to run legally. It plied the Cavite City to Baclaran route. Eventually, I got tired of owning a vehicle I couldn’t drive. It was too big for little bitty me.
I sold the bus and bought a pre-owned 1990 Nissan Sentra and got it a franchise to run as a taxi cab. Two years later, car brands gave an offer I couldn’t refuse, ₱50K downpayment for a brand new unit. I sold the Nissan Sentra for ₱150K and put a down on one Toyota Corolla, one Mitsubishi Lancer and one Nissan Sentra Series 3. I got all three new cars a franchise to run as taxi cabs. I paid the car loans with the income. That business was a great ride but then personal computers became more affordable.
After 5 years, I sold the taxi units and bought a Macintosh because my multimedia designer son, Chris told me the MAC was idiot friendly. I taught myself the office applications. The MAC had an encyclopedia installed in it. I was living next to a university so I thought of putting my MAC to work by doing term papers for ₱200 fully printed ready for submission. A year later I realized I’ve gotten good enough for an administrative job.
|Ayala Avenue, Makati City|
After 2 short stints in small companies as Administrative Assistant, I was ready for an Ayala Avenue office. There I went from Administrative Assistant to Administrative Manager in two years. I loved it there. I stayed for 8 years until an opportunity to come to America dropped on my lap.
|Loretto, KY, From: wikimedia.org|
I flew to a small county called Loretto, Kentucky, population 623, all white. I was probably the first Asian they ever saw. A friend said I was brave. My second job in Kentucky was Executive Assistant to the Retail Executive of a bank in the city of Louisville. That job lasted for 4 years.
|My name was changed to Lori when I became a US citizen|
All the above mentioned experiences are not rocket science but when I heard my father say “my daughter can do anything she puts her mind to,” I felt like I won a Pulitzer.
Someone said I must be a genius. Another said I’m just restless and reckless. I thought I was psycho, until I found this term: Autodidact Polymath, a self-taught person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. “An autodidact may or may not have formal education,” (Wikipedia) They are mostly dropouts like me.
I have never in my life pretended to have a diploma, which is easily faked. I’m not a genius, just an Autodidactic Polymath and my father is proud of me.
Vilma Santos is another perfect example of an Autodidactic Polymath. She was a movie actress who excelled in public service. She was mayor of Lipa City for 3 consecutive terms and the first female governor of Batangas also for three consecutive terms. She is now a Congresswoman.