Have you heard of Retinitis pigmentosa?
It is a group of rare genetic disorder that involves breakdown and loss of cells in the retina, a light sensitive tissue that lies at the back of the eye. Common symptoms includes difficulty of seeing at night and loss of peripheral(side) vision.
Aside from being a rare condition, it is not so obvious on the person suffering from it. They look pretty normal and can function well during the day. If you encounter someone who may be experiencing the symptoms, please be patient and don’t judge them.
Imagine going home from work struggling to get off the bus because it is already dark.
Imagine bumping into someone by accident, then stares at you with anger and with words of profanity because they actually thought you are stupid or absent-minded.
We don’t usually come across PWDs like them, but as for Jessica it has been a norm.
During her childhood years, she was envious of other kids because they were allowed to play even at night. She never experienced what it’s like to go overnight camping because of her condition.
As a working professional, she also shared her struggles related to her illness. There comes a time when she met across a blind masseuse getting off a bus. She then helped the masseuse get to her destination. After a little chat with the blind woman, she realized that her illness is not as bad as she thought. This realization pushed her to work harder and did not allow her condition to limit her from pursuing her dreams.
Do you want to hear the rest of Jessica’s story? Especially on her journey to freelancing?
Paano Makapag Work Online Kahit PWD? Watch the replay here with your PWD friends to find out!
At the age of 8, Jessica Calundan was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. A difficulty seeing at night and loss of peripheral vision. It was traced that her disability was hereditary and inborn. She left her hometown, Iloilo, to venture in Manila as she was determined to prove that her disability was not a hindrance to achieve her dreams. She is now a full-time virtual assistant catering to electrical services that is based in New Orleans and supports less fortunate in collaboration with UNICEF ,as one of her dreams. She is now earning twice her salary from the corporation where she came from.
Find out how Jessica’s determination to achieve goals inspired others and discover the strategy she used, best practices, and work attitude.
- Nalaman ko itong disability ko mga grade two at inborn siya. Sabi ng doctor na hereditary. Sabi niya hindi ka makakatapos ng pag-aaral at mabubulag ka na. Sabi ko , tao ka rin naman, nagkakamali ka, ipu-prove ko na kaya ko.
- Talagang hindi ako nagpadala sa depression. Mabuti na lang talaga andiyan si Sir Jason na naga-update, nagse-send ng email. Napakalaking tulong talaga ng FLIP. Saka minsan pagka may hindi ako alam sa trabaho, nagpo-post ako sa wall.
- Sabi nga nila kung may forever daw sa love, dapat sa pag-aaral meron din.
- May pinasagutan sa akin sa google drive, wala pala akong nilagay na pangalan. Sabi ng boss ko, ikaw ba yung sumagot, ikaw ba yung kakasend lang ng message? Sabi ko di ko matandaan pero sabi ko may question dun na tanda ko “hanggang saan yung kaya mong trabaho . Pag sa ating Pilipino pag tinanong ka nun parang negative na. Yung sinagot ko lang dun, basta honest lang ako, lahat ng trabaho kaya ko basta wala lang akong maapakang tao.”
- Kung gusto may paraan, kung ayaw maraming dahilan.
- Yung feeling mo ibinigay mo na ang lahat (referring to corporate) pero kahit anong ibigay mo wala pa ring bigay sayo. Kulang na kulang.
- Dahil sa freelancing, marami na rin akong natutulungan na less fortunate. Dati talaga sabi ko hindi ko talaga maintindihan kung bakit ako naging ganito pero ngayon parang alam ko na kung bakit ako nagkaron ng ganitong sakit sa mata.
- Naisip ko na mas maswerte parin pala ako na kahit ganito ang nangyare sakin, hinuhusgahan ako ng mga nasa paligid na parang bulag kasi di ko sila nakikita, yung ganun. Kahit ganito ako atleast yung trabaho nandun lang din sa bahay.
- Mahilig din akong magcomment sa page, minsan may nagpa private message sakin, pano daw ba mag-apply. Sinasagot ko kasi gusto ko rin ishare yung blessing ko. Yung na-bless ako kasi andiyan kayu, ang FLIP, at si Sir Jason. Yung kung ano man yung tinuro niyo samin, gusto ko i-forward din yun sa iba. Sinasagot ko PM nila kahit busy ako kasi naranasan ko rin yun dati. Yung nag tatanong ka, peru walang sumasagot saýo . Parang clueless ka kaya nung nadiscover ko yung FB page, sabi ko maganda pala dito. Inaral ko siya. Natuto talaga ako sa lahat ng aspect sa freelancing.
Journey to Freelancing
- A graduate of management accounting and worked in a travel agency that was closed after a year.
- She then worked in a health care company and had a hard time doing overtime during tax season.
- In 2013, she decided to resign and build a family.
- The idea of freelancing was introduced by a friend in 2012 using the platform Odesk (Upwork today) but didn’t pursue so she decided to have a business in making delicacies but she felt the urge in going back to an office setting.
- In 2016, they decided to settle in Imus Cavite near the agency where her husband reports. She decided to look for an online job on facebook. She came across with the group work-from-home pinoy (former FLIP group name). She read the newsletters from Sir Jason Dulay and learned from the free modules offered. When she received a gift (monetary), she enrolled wordpress but didn’t find the module interesting so she purchased another called quickbooks when another gift was received.
- She also experienced rejection and got her first job after 102 applications in 2 months in an electrical service based in New Orleans as full-time VA. Her initiative to help the business of her client made her decide to enroll the complete course in VA Bootcamp. Now, she’s learning e-commerce under dropshipping.
- She overcame her depression on getting clients by reading the motivational emails from Sir Jason Dulay. Her 2 months of waiting made her realize that she was fortunate compared to others that took 6 months or more.
- Whenever she seeks advice regarding the job, she posts her questions in FLIP wall which she found very helpful.
How to get started in freelancing?
Check the FreeVAcourse.com to get the free guide on how to start freelancing as a virtual assistant.
Nung time ba na nagstart ka, di ba sabi mo nahirapan ka din maghanap ng clients.. madali lang ba para sa ‘yong gumawa ng cover letter.. yung pagsend ng mga proposals kasi di ba hindi ka nag-enrol ng ano agad-agad. Anong naging diskarte mo nun?
“Yung inamin ko talaga na wala akong experience online pero sabi ko may experience ten years sa corporate world. Sabi ko, alam mo naman na maninibago ako pero kaya ko naman kasi nga risk taker ako”. Ang swerte ko lang din kasi yung interview niya is through email. At saka swerte ko lang dun is first time din daw nila magkaron ng virtual assistant kaya nangangapa pa din sila.
Anong mga tips ang pwede mong iwan sa mga nags-start pa lang? Sa mga may disability din na katulad mo? Sa mga iniisip na hindi para sakanila ‘tong freelancing?
Yung freelancing kasi marami din siyang benefits. Kaya sa lahat ng mga newbies at sa mga PWDs like me, huwag lang kayo mag give up tapos mag aral lang ng mga ways kung pano ka makaron ng client, yung cover letter, yun.. Sundin niyo lang yun.. Yung sinasabi (courses).. Hindi talaga kayo dun maliligaw.
Sa freelancing kasi, dito ka rin maka boost yung confidence mo.. sakin kasi dati talagang mahiyain ako eh ngayon, one time naging career speaker na ko sa school ng anak ko.. Sa mga senior high at continue talaga praying kasi nothing impossible talaga sa prayer.
Tapos pag nag apply, before ng interview, upon application… pray. Tapos pag may client na kayo.. Yun.. Be a blessing also sa mga iba tapos huwag kalimutan magpasalamat.