Jennifer Gonzales known as Malacañang her “residence” for 22 years.
As a senior media relations officer beneath the Workplace of the Press Secretary, Gonzales nearly lived within the palace as she was on name 24/7.
From 1984 to 2005, Gonzales labored for 5 presidents: Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., Corazon Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“I do not know the way I survived the check of time, particularly in the course of the transition from Marcos to President Corazon C. Aquino (PCCA),” Gonzales mentioned.
“I can’t bear in mind having a very good relaxation in the course of the presidency of PCCA as MARO (Media Accreditation and Relations Officer) as a result of quite a few commitments and actions (press conferences, provincial missions, state and official visits overseas), to to not point out 5 coup makes an attempt.
“One of the vital attention-grabbing presidents I served was Fidel V. Ramos or PFVR. Tabako (one other pet identify for President Ramos) was a workaholic, extremely disciplined with a wonderful army thoughts like Clausewitz and Solar Tzu, and with sound financial acumen. spirit, plus the ‘Kaya natin ‘to!’ slogan with a thumbs up. He’s a person of his phrase. He managed to mix safety and economic system as his high priorities.”
Defeating PFVR was “unforgettable,” Gonzales recalled.
‘No information was spoon-fed apart from the standard informative press releases and cables from the Philippine Information Company. Media males had been resourceful in gathering information. They may even learn paperwork the wrong way up.
“Worldwide reporting gave me a brand new perspective on the worldwide area, however native reporting honed my ingenuity and correct fast motion, whether or not on safety features, diplomacy and the individuals who helped sharpen my decision-making expertise and discernment.
“One other attention-grabbing president was Gloria M. Arroyo (PGMA). If PFVR is an excellent workaholic, PGMA is a lady of substance. She centered on the economic system.
“Working beneath 5 Philippine presidents has been the best present from heaven in my total profession. Few individuals have had such an exquisite expertise and alternative.”
From Malacañang, Gonzales transferred to the Fee on Filipinos Abroad (CFO), the place she unknowingly acquired a style of her future life as a migrant employee.
“At first, it was too troublesome to depart the palace, which was my consolation zone for 22 years. However once I began working on the Fee on Filipinos Abroad, I noticed there was life after Malacañang.
“The latter made me perceive completely different personalities and decision-making. It gave me a brand new perspective on life by embracing humanity by means of kindness and humility.”
The 2 most difficult work I skilled was once we created the Job Drive Towards Human Trafficking, chaired by the CFO.
In 2009, Gonzales determined to pack her luggage and be a part of the diaspora.
She signed up as HR and Relationship Supervisor on the United Worldwide Non-public College (UIPS) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“It was with a heavy coronary heart that I needed to depart my family members and embrace a brand new atmosphere that included a distinct tradition, faith and authorities system.”
A serious breakthrough got here when Gonzales acquired permission from the varsity administration to grow to be an adjunct school on the Canadian College of Dubai (CUD).
“Throughout my time instructing at CUD, some college students had been stunned to see a Filipino instructor at a college dominated by Western school members,” Gonzales says. “That they had no alternative. I used to be the one school instructing Battle Administration for HR-related programs.
“However I managed to make my mark on CUD. I gained the belief of my college students and made them understand my worth and the course they enrolled in.”
Gonzales spent a complete of six years as a school member on the Canadian College of Dubai.
She additionally taught at NCBA (Nationwide Faculty of Enterprise Administration) and the College of Manila.
“Instructing was my past love,” Gonzales beamed.
“It was my grandfather who inspired me to review BS (Bachelor of Science) in Overseas Service. He wished me to journey the world and never be confined to a classroom. I grew up with disciplinarian grandparents. With out hesitation, I ready one other path.
“Nevertheless, in 1998-1999, I used to be awarded the celebrated Chevening program in the UK. A ray of hope entered my thoughts as I knew this could pave the best way for an academic alternative.”
Gonzales was in Dubai firstly of the horrible pandemic.
“I assisted some OFWs (abroad Filipino staff) who had been caught of their respective flats/buildings as a result of authorities’s heavy enforcement of WHO (World Well being Group) guidelines on lockdown,” she recalled.
“Meals and drugs provides had been troublesome to ship, and that was too disheartening to see. Mobility was a problem, similar to within the David and Goliath situation. A few of our kabayans had been locked up of their buildings there.
“I needed to take care of the Philippine Consulate Common and the Philippine Abroad Labor Workplace in Dubai for help with meals and drugs. That they had prolonged their assist by means of an alternate of notes from the related authorities places of work in Dubai.
“There have been few changes at my office. The college was closed for nearly six months. In the course of the hybrid system, our college applied strict procedures together with the Dubai Well being Authority’s well being insurance policies.”
Fortuitously, the varsity Gonzales labored with in Dubai allowed her to get trip depart twice a yr.
“Throughout these breaks, I had the privilege of touring to Qatar to discover enterprise alternatives within the subject of training,” she mentioned. “I made certain to journey in the course of the summer time and winter seasons to spend extra high quality time with my household and run our household enterprise.”
Gonzales retired from OFW on the age of 60 as a result of she wished to spend her remaining time together with her household.
All through her profession, Gonzales has had many function fashions who grew to become her sources of inspiration.
Knight in shining armor
“One among my favorites was my former boss on the Fee on Filipinos Abroad, Dr. Dante A. Ang. He taught me invaluable classes about treating individuals with compassion, integrity and sincerity. His teachings are deeply rooted in my coronary heart.
“He is sort of a knight in shining armor, all the time able to defend and defend you from the snares of enemies. For him, all the things might be obtained so long as you will have willpower, data and endurance.”
One other influential determine in Gonzales’ life is Mme. Badria Ali in Dubai. “Throughout my lowest moments, she supplied me with an abundance of affection and care. She was like a feminine Charlemagne in her time.
“Lastly, my Dean of the Canadian College in Dubai, Dr. Rommel P. Sergio, has proven exemplary dedication to serving Filipinos within the UAE. The initiatives we developed and applied collectively will all the time have a particular place in my coronary heart to take.
“Dr. Sergio has even written books on company social accountability (CSR) particularly for Filipino staff overseas, and I had the privilege of working with him on these initiatives.”
Gonzales’ mom, who’s an admirable 88 years outdated, nonetheless fulfills her disciplinary function of their household. “She will not be afraid to present us a swift whack with a stick if we go in opposition to the values she has taught us,” she mentioned.
Gonzales has now been fortunately married for 37 years. She describes her husband as a “tolerant and understanding accomplice.” She feels extremely fortunate to have him in her life.
“I typically discover myself wishing that in my subsequent life he can be my husband once more,” she mentioned.
‘Ever since I grew to become an grownup, I’ve all the time dreamed of beginning a household. Nevertheless, caring for them proved tougher than protecting palace occasions or conferences with African migration coverage delegations throughout my time in authorities.
“It was a herculean activity to please my household with three hearty meals a day, managing their belongings of their respective cabinets. I bear in mind when my daughter was 4 years outdated, I purchased her a pair of sneakers, however she mumbled to me in a transparent voice that I did not know her shoe dimension.”
At present, Gonzales is proudly a full-time mom, grandmother and spouse. “I additionally handle our household enterprise,” she says.
“Though I felt responsible concerning the misplaced time spent with out them, particularly throughout particular events similar to birthdays and graduations, I’m decided to make daily a day for household bonding.
“Each second might be high quality time. I by no means plan household actions; I create them. Whether or not it is an impromptu lunch or dinner date, cooking a particular meal, enjoying with my granddaughter or sporting stylish garments, and utilizing the language Amongst Millennials and Gen Zers, I all the time try to have interaction and excite the imaginations of my household and kin.”
What’s your greatest worry?
Unresolved maritime points between China and the Philippines, and local weather change.
What makes you indignant?
Offensive and sophisticated ego.
What motivates you to work laborious?
My household, former bosses and buddies.
What makes you chortle probably the most?
The minutiae of my grandchild and my three cats.
What would you do if you happen to gained the lotto?
Set up a basis that may serve the underprivileged and underprivileged kids of OFWs for his or her training, psychological well being points and livelihood programme.
For those who might share a meal with anybody, residing or lifeless, who would it not be?
My professor on the College of Birmingham within the UK (Prof. Tony Thorndike) for his argumentative and humorous feedback on worldwide politics.
What is the final guide you learn? Or the place do you see your self in 10 years?
“Case Administration” by Dr. Rommel P. Sergio.
Which celeb would you want to satisfy for a cup of espresso?
Winston Churchill and Sheikh Hamdan of Dubai.
What’s probably the most daring factor you’ve got ever completed?
I coordinated and dealt with all media protection (native/worldwide), particularly in the course of the presidency of Fidel V. Ramos.
What is the one factor you may by no means do once more?
To journey on the gunner facet of the army helicopter throughout media protection within the Visayas and Mindanao.