Failure Is Not The Reason to Give Up
Updated: Oct 25, 2020
Rossette P. — Filipina. El Nido, Philippines.
How many people do you meet that started their career as a factory worker only to become a resort manager — all before the age of 30?
I would guess not many. As remarkable as that is, Rossette P. has had her share of haters who bullied her at every stage of her unique career — questioning her skillset and mocking her modest upbringing. Luckily, she had more powerful allies, that saw what was clearly there — determination, focus and a strong work ethic.
Factory Worker to Super Typhoon
After I graduated high school, I did everything. I just wanted a job. It was a low experience. I was 17 years old. I was a cashier, factory worker, saleslady, receptionist, server in a restaurant.
I started in the lowest position, as a factory worker in the province of Laguna, Philippines, packing deodorants under the Unilever company. My duty was 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. — it was a 12-hour duty. This was the worst job I had because of the long hours. hen I was a saleslady at many different malls. I tried to do something different so I applied to be a cashier, part of the Ben Chan company. After that I became a housekeeper. I remember when I was working at the mall, even if there was a super typhoon and there was a flood, we still had to work — walking through the water. I’ve encountered everything!
It’s me, my mother and younger brother. We didn’t grow up rich, but we weren’t totally poor. It’s just simple living. My dad left us when I was three-years-old, while we were still living in the United Arab Emirates, then we moved back to the Philippines. I remember us being together as a family, when my mom was still pregnant with my brother. I reminisce on those photo albums because I don’t remember his face — I look like my father. My role in our family — because we don’t have my father — I’m the one that needs to help and provide support for them.
My brother graduated from college as a computer programmer and now works for an electrical company. I am a resort manager. My mother is very proud of us. She’s the one that helped us grow.
A Chance at College
I was trying to just get any job, so I became a housekeeper. I didn’t have money or any way to get another job. But then the family I was housekeeping for helped me attend college in Manila.
After about a year of working for them, they told me that I had a lot of potential because I was still young. So they thought I should go to school while working. I grabbed that opportunity. They offered to pay for me to attend a private school — it was very expensive. I studied there for a year and a half. Then they thought I should study in university. I entered into college and studied for my Bachelors of Science in Hospitality Management. It was one of the most popular colleges in the Philippines. I remember I just tried to think positive and do my best. It was very difficult because I was shy. My classmates and my professors were younger than me. I just went with the flow — never expected that I would go to college.
I stopped attending college four years ago and I’ve just been working and working. When I left college, they thought it was my loss because I surrendered it. They also told me that if I wanted to go back to college, they would help me. I do want to go back to them one day and thank them. Even though I didn’t finish college, I learned a lot in the two years that I studied. It was a big pleasure.
Family Over Self
I was in the middle of getting my bachelors when we started having family problems — I stopped going to school and looked for another job. There’s only three of us in the family. I wouldn’t’ say that I forgot myself, but I wanted my brother to finish his studies over me — and he did. That’s a blessing for me also.
I wanted to finish college but when there are family problems — I needed to quit my studies. I made the decision for him to stay in school. I decided to help him finish college before me. So I started to work again in several restaurants, and that was my last job before I moved to El Nido, Philippines to be a hotel manager. I’m PROUD to say that I financially help my family — my mother, brother, grandmother. I want to make them happy and give them want they want. That’s why I’m here and still strong, it’s for them.
To Love, Grow and Go
I got married a couple of years ago. That’s the time when I really started to feel miserable — I learned a lot from this experience. He was an architect and seven years older than me. We stayed together in their family home and within a few months, I knew I couldn’t’ stay with him. He had a lot of jealousy that I wasn’t aware of, especially with other men. I kept fighting for him to change.
We decided to move away from his family and that day it felt like my life was falling down. We could only live together for a few months. After that I had to go away. I left. I realized I needed to be strong. I needed to stand up by myself — to start again for family and not for that guy. I proved to myself that I can move forward and leave that miserable life. After that, I went back to restaurant work.
Maybe I wouldn’t have a career if I were still married. He didn’t motivate me. Every time we were together, it was negative. He wasn’t proud of me. So I think it’s better that I just do this by myself and not rely on others — or him. That’s what I think.
Your Insults, My Instruments
When I was working in Manila, some of my coworkers used to bully me because I was, “slow, like a turtle.” They also bullied me about my job position. My ex-husband’s family felt that since I was only an undergraduate that I was small — because he was an architect and I was just a server. Even some of my own cousins thought I was just in a lower position because I didn’t have a father that could help me get to college. They felt that if he were around, I would go to college and get a higher position. It all made me feel like a very small person.
All their bullying and their insults, I just made it an instrument to move forward — to achieve all my dreams and goals in life. My coworkers bullied me about my character because I’m shy. I wasn’t very confident in myself then, but I am now. I’ve learned a lot as a resort manager. I’m confident to talk to different personalities, different nationalities. I even use to be afraid to talk in English. I’ve learned who I am while in this role and living by myself in El Nido. I proved to myself that they were all wrong. I made it by myself.
An Unexpected Job
My mother and some neighbors had a family reunion and met my Uncle that owns the Seahorse and Mangrove Resort in El Nido. That’s when he contacted me to help him manage the resort. I didn’t know I could manage a place like this. I didn’t finish my undergraduate courses. I was so afraid to do this job. I wasn’t confident in my position — even the guests could see it. In the beginning I would cry and cry. Some of the guests would say that I wasn’t right for this position, but the owner of the resort said he trusted that I could do this. He taught me what I needed to do. I also trusted myself to do my best to serve and satisfy the guests. I also want to help the owner of the resort; it has a lot of potential.
I was used to living in Manila and Manila is loud and busy. In the first few months of me working in El Nido, I was so homesick. It’s very quiet. But I love it now! It’s peaceful. I realized myself here. All of what I have or will be is because of AMA RSM, because of my faith in Him.
Failure Is Not the Reason to Give Up
I failed a lot, but I’m still moving forward. I made my failure an instrument to help me do my best and reach my goals in life.
When I was younger, I was focused on making the life we didn’t have. I was too focused on getting a job — and I was really young. Sometimes I wasn’t even supposed to be working because of my age, but I was hired. I wish I focused more on what I wanted to achieve in life.
I love sketching and fashion. While I was in high school I was also in the marching band. I played clarinet. I still do some playing now when I go back home. There’s another creative side of me that I wish I explored more when I was younger.
I wanted to go to college for architecture or civil engineering. I didn’t want to get my bachelors in hospitality management. I want to study again, even if I’m old. I just want to study what I want, maybe architecture or engineering.
I want to explore other countries. I want to continue to be a manager at the resort. I want to do what I want!
— Rossette P.
Enjoyed Rossette's journey? Then let us know! Here are other inspiring moments.
Read: "The Resilient Adventurer" - This was a very interesting but kinda tough moment of my life. I left home (Nigeria) when I was 16 and went to Ghana to study. I did this without my father’s knowledge, who is a very instrumental person in my family.