For­mer pay­ong-pay­ong driver’s route to suc­cess

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Business -

FILIPINO suc­cess stories of­ten de­pict peo­ple go­ing to far off places in pur­suit of a bet­ter life, nav­i­gat­ing through un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory, and en­dur­ing home­sick­ness to en­sure a more com­fort­able life back home.

Then there are some stories about peo­ple who do not have to look far for suc­cess, those who are able to bloom where they are planted.

Such is the story of An­thony Ortega, a home­grown team mem­ber of AboitizPower sub­sidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI),

who be­came the com­pany’s em­ployee num­ber one when he was hired in 2011.

A res­i­dent of Barangay Bin­u­gao, TSI’s host com­mu­nity, An­thony started out as a com­pany driver and held the po­si­tion for six years be­fore be­com­ing an Aux­il­iary Op­er­a­tor for coal han­dling in the Op­er­a­tions Team.

Seven years ago, An­thony wore sev­eral hats to help make ends meet. In the af­ter­noon, he would run er­rands for a lo­cal karen­de­ria. From evening un­til day­break, he would ferry pas­sen­gers in his pay­ong-pay­ong on the streets. Some­times, he would even side­line as a disc jockey dur­ing barangay fes­tiv­i­ties.

“Be­fore join­ing AboitizPower, wala ta­laga akong sta­ble na tra­baho. Kahit anong gi­na­gawa ko basta le­gal para magkakita lang ng pera. Sa isang gabi ng pa­ma­masada, sig­uro I earn mga P400. Pero kuku­nan pa ‘yon ng kon­sumo. Pa­padala pa ng sus­tento sa anak. So ha­los wala nang matira para sa akin,” An­thony said.

When An­thony heard talks of a coal-fired power plant to be built in his com­mu­nity back in 2011, he was one of the ad­vo­cates who strongly sup­ported the pro­ject. This was how he met Willy Rodolfo of AboitizPower and learned that they were look­ing for a com­pany driver.

De­spite not hav­ing any idea what he was get­ting into or any ex­pec­ta­tions that he will be cho­sen out of all the ap­pli­cants, he still ap­plied for the po­si­tion. He was hired on May 16, 2011.

“I did not have any idea when I first started, I had the mind­set of some­one who had been un­em­ployed for most of his life. I even went to work with holes in my shoes on the first day,” he said.

An­thony be­lieves that his time with com­pany has made a huge im­pact on his val­ues.

“My at­ti­tude and be­hav­ior slowly changed dur­ing the time I was with sir Willy and [his boss], miss Ria. I learned how to align my­self with the com­pany val­ues. I was also able to buy new shoes,” An­thony said as he rem­i­nisced his be­gin­nings.

His time as a com­pany driver also al­lowed An­thony to talk to dif­fer­ent ex­ec­u­tives, which helped build his con­fi­dence.

“I’ve had pas­sen­gers who were top man­age­ment and ex­pats. Back then I used to shy away from them. I looked down on my­self. But later on I re­al­ized that I was a per­son too, so why should I look down on my­self? I still carry with me that con­fi­dence that I found to this day,” An­thony ad­mit­ted.

(CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO)

GROW FROM WITHIN. An­thony Ortega has been with AboitizPower sub­sidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI) for seven years. He was a pay­ong­pay­ong driver be­fore join­ing TSI as com­pany driver and even­tu­ally be­com­ing an aux­il­iary op­er­a­tor.

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