TO survive, to support our family, to achieve our dreams, and to bring our family closer. We all have our own reasons why we work hard and do it every day.
Bethany Grace Mamugay went through a long process to fulfill her goals of a better life and continually enjoy the fruits of success.
From being a “puyat” worker to a business owner and a freelancer close to her family, Beth, as she is called by her colleagues, stretches out from her comfort zone and does what seems to be unusual ways to achieve what she prioritizes in life.
Beth started her career as a call center agent for four years. She described that work experience as “very stressful at laging puyat (and always sleep-deprived)”. She then decided to resign.
“I resigned and got married and was blessed with a baby boy, but fate was unfortunate. [Due to] lack of finances so [my] hubby decided to work again in Manila,” Beth said.
Her family-oriented standing drove her to find ways to bring her husband Angelo back to Davao. She does not want the father of their child to be apart from their family - she wants to have a complete family - making memories together.
“I don't want to raise my child without his father just like him. Hubby also grew up without his father beside him,” she said.
As she was scrolling through social media, she saw a Facebook-sponsored ad of Surge Marketing, which was formerly Filipino Virtual Assistance by FVA Business Consultancy. The ad depicted training on how one can improve their freelancing skills.
She was deeply interested in improving her skills, but most importantly, to help finance their family and be with her husband. Thinking, with her now taking care of her son, how will she start earning through freelancing?
The morning when she saw the Facebook ad, she borrowed P2,000 to enroll in the offered courses.
“Okay, Lord guide me, I have nothing right now," she told herself when she was about to enroll.
When she took the classes, she had no personal computer or laptop. But eager to bring her family together, took the classes using “pisonet.” A pisonet is a coin-operated computer wherein you insert a P1 coin to use the computer and internet.
Every day, she paid P10 to allow her to use the computer for one hour to attend classes and make assignments.
While attending the courses, she would also help her son with his assignments and school projects as well.
A month later, she got a call from her first client.
“I got a part-time flex client four hours a day from Monday to Friday. I have been a product lister and researcher at the VA for two years,” she said.
When she received her first salary, she bought a ticket for her husband to return to Davao.
She continued to work for her client as a virtual assistant but when the pandemic struck in 2020, she was let go by the client.
“But after the pandemic hit us, we didn't get back to production. Sad but that's the reality of freelancing. Clients come and go, [there are really clients that you work for] long-term and short terms,” she added.
This did not stop Beth. She was determined to continue to support her family and eventually found another well-paying freelance job online that could sustain them.
What she earned, was also invested in a small business that she and her husband own.
“Luckily after working for months, I slowly built my empire. I now have a laptop and an internet connection at home with an air conditioning [unit],” she said.
With all of her experiences, she comes and will come through, work should not be enough to sustain needs. Beth urges everyone to save money and have a backup plan as always, to treat their life as an empire.
“Build your empire like a business, invest while it's hot,” Beth said. ICE