I was born in the Philippines to a middle class family. Growing up, I had nobody to call mom and dad. My mother left to join my grandparents (her parents) and the rest of her siblings, and relatives to the States when I was only over a year old. My father was never really around. My grandparents (dad’s side) took care of me until I was fourteen. I’ve come to know my grandmother as my “mom”. She was there for me, for everything and no matter what. As far back as my memories would allow me, I can only remember having to spend a few hours with my father, if and only whenever he was around. Every now and again, I would hear from my mother via letters, mostly. I’ve come to learn of what she looked like only in photographs. She would send me “packages”, mostly a box full of clothes, shoes, toys, and chocolates, intermittently, and sometimes money, or “dollars” as we called them. As I got older, I learned how to acknowledge and be responsible of my feelings. I learned how to appreciate what was around me and wished for nothing more and nothing less. There were times I went to school without anything to eat nor had lunch money and for the most part, walked five miles to and from school through six grades. My younger years taught me that LOVE is far more valuable and powerful than any form of luxury material. I knew deep inside, though my grandparents were not wealthy with riches, they had a wealth of LOVE and COMPASSION for me. These traits stuck with me until now.
Long story short, I was reunited with my mother when I turned fourteen. Needless to say, our relationship was estranged. We didn’t get along and we hardly connected. Suddenly, I felt INVISIBLE. Lost any sense of belonging. I felt alone, sad, and unwanted. After a few failed counseling, I turned my sense of loneliness towards my studies. Worked hard, studied hard and finished high school as an A-student. Determined to free myself from feeling unwanted I decided to move out and be independent, I was eighteen. Got a job, bought a used car and rented my own studio apartment. Suddenly, I’m an adult. Living on my own without my mother’s assistance was difficult, but it made me stronger inside. After three years had past and without seeing any effort of reaching out from my mother, I made the conscious decision to reach out instead. I officially “came out” to her and reconciled. She apologized about the past and I thankfully accepted. Never once I pointed finger and blamed her for any of what happened. I just convinced myself that everything happens for a reason. The struggles she and I encountered during our low point taught me the true importance of CONNECTIVITY and staying CONNECTED and the power of PATIENCE and HUMILITY.
As time past, my relationship with my mother grew richer and stronger, but there was still one thing missing. A career. Ever since I was a boy, I’ve always liked hair. Played with my cousin’s hair, my grandma’s and my hair. I was always picky about my haircut. Cosmetology has always been my career of choice, but time and financial burdens obstructed me from pursuing it sooner. Instead, I turned to my next career choice and pursued nursing. Working full-time and going to school part-time enabled me to complete all necessary requirements for the nursing program to one of the community colleges in Phoenix, AZ. Deep inside I was dying because I knew it wasn’t my first love. I questioned myself, “If you were to die today, would you be satisfied?” The answer was an easy NO. My voice hasn’t been heard, I have not inspired anyone and I have not made a difference in peoples lives. This feeling of dissatisfaction gave me the courage to take a risk and enrolled at Penrose Academy. My first week of school, I found myself. My first week on the clinic floor, I found my voice; I made connections with my guests. You see, our industry today is changing drastically. We are losing the connection we used to have with our guests. Most services and their ethics are now manipulated by low-priced and heavily discounted deals found on Groupon, LivingSocial, etc. It’s cheap, fast and convenient. Whatever happens to the total experience? To feeling special and well taken care of? Its been deteriorated and at times, non-existent. Personally, I no longer receive handshakes from my guests, instead, I’m always provided with a hug, a smile, a twinkle in their eyes, and a most appreciated “thank you”. I know this is due to the consistent high level of customer service I provide to each one of them. My job as a hairstylist is to make my guests feel extra special.
I would love to be chosen for the Spread The Love 2013 because I possess many of the characteristics of a great Matrix Ambassador. I desire to be a part of something bigger than myself. Invest your trust and belief in me and let me be your vehicle of spreading love, inspiration and compassion to others. Allow me to connect with people of all walks of lives and be your storyteller. I’m not so much focused on being successful; I’m focused on making a difference and being significant in people’s lives. Together, let’s make the invisibles feel visible. I want to be the best ambassador not only for myself, my school, Matrix family and our industry, but most importantly, for everyone I will be meeting along the way.