IRON LADY WITH A SOFT HEART
want to waste time like nonsense gossiping.”
Teodosia has experienced many hindrances in her 20 years of experience with her job but this has never stopped her. “I am the odd one out because I do not do what the rest are doing. I do not listen to ‘ toxic’ people. I do what I think is good for many of the constituents. I base my decision on my faith in my God.”
She tries not to focus on the negatives; instead she focuses on new ways to help the community.
As the matriarch in the tourism industry, she has increased hiring rate, improved environmental management and awareness. She made the government provide school supplies to struggling students. Her work increased the employment capacity of the local government unit and provided private persons to engage in business. Her department provided the venue for performances of musically talented students. The industry she was in, provided facilities that were also used by the community such as paved roads, Wi- Fi connection, and the building of a community centre among others.
Teodosia’s job requires her to be available 24/ 7. This means she has had to balance being a mother of two and a wife with her stressful job. Teodosia was very committed to her job but she then decided that being a mother was more important than anything. “I dictate my pace in the workplace, so I can be with my children physically, mentally and emotionally when I am at home. I see to it that I attend all the important events of my children’s school life.”
She has been blessed to have a very supportive family. “When I get home from work, it just seems like my stress goes away,” she said. You could see the joy and love in her eyes when she talked about her family.
For her, support from her family and success in the job goes hand- in- hand. Even with a demanding job she has managed to instil values in her children and is still romantic with her husband of 22 years even though he was 4435km away from her for almost six years.
The fruit of her labour came when Teodosia unexpectedly won an award from the President of the Philippines in 2010. This was the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award which is the highest award given to a government employee.
After 20 years of working for the government, she decided to retire early and move back to Australia.
She brought her two children with her in order to have better educational options. Even after retiring early, her previous staff constantly keep in contact with her to consult about their jobs and life in general.
Moving to Australia has drastically changed her life. She now feels as if she’s free from all the pressures. “Coming here in Australia is the biggest change in my life where nobody knows me,” she said. “I can do whatever pleases me. There is no peer pressure.” She is no longer the person she used to be. She now tries to grow spiritually. Without the power and the influence she used to have, she believes that she is happier now.
When asked if she regretted anything and if she could give a piece of advice to everyone, she said: “This is what I want to tell everybody — manage your stress, for I learned the hard way”. “I was diagnosed with an abnormality which, if we trace it in the genes, we don’t have it,” she said. “It all boils down to stress and anger.”
The number one wisdom she would always tell her children is to value health. “Make sacrifices in order to succeed but, never ever endanger your health.”
She has since then opened a new chapter in her life. Teodosia loves taking a stroll at parks during the weekend along with her husband. She is always the model of her husband’s love of photography. The stroll always culminates with a cup of coffee and a book to read. They enjoy each other’s company. She has left all the stress behind and is imparting advice to her previous employees based from all her experiences. “I now have the time to smell the scent of the flowers,” she said.