I wasn't really that surprised to see that there were improvements in the city since the last time I was assigned there in early 2005.
But a couple of things haven't changed:
1. It's still hot. The air is dry, which is the way it should be given that it's near the ocean.
2. Security is still the first and foremost issue in everyone's mind. My new branch even installed those full body metal detectors that you see in airports. I just don't know if that's effective in deterring would-be bombers to slip in plastic explosives that cannot be detected by those machines. Oh I forgot, they have bomb sniffing dogs. So my account is pretty much covered in terms of security.
After attending the successful event, we decided to take the 3-hour drive to Davao and fly back to Manila in the morning instead of spending the night in Gen San. Both my boss and I have a few unpleasant memories of being in the city (with yours truly experiencing two actual bomb explosions).
The long drive to Davao excited me. It has been four years since I last drove the roads alone. I remember the mountains and the empty roads.
I drove from Gen San to Davao about twice a week for sales/area meetings. It gave me the opportunity to think about things in my life. Back then it was whether pursuing this particular career was worth it over bomb threats, working alongside an unsavory workmate with "slimy" hands, and not being with people/certain person you love back home (where one was suffering leukemic symptoms then).
It was in these same roads when a decision was formed to give up that lucrative post (sans a back-up job) and come home and be where I know I would be happier and have peace of mind.
Anyway, so as I said, the long drive excited me. I wanted to compare how things have changed since the last time I was here.
The picture above was taken four years ago, passing by roads that were prone to landslides. The short video below (although a bit boring but I like the song) shows the new and improved roads (will improve my editing skills further!)
Of course we didn't pass up the opportunity to buy Mer's special kakanin (Rice cakes) and pure tablea (cocoa tablets) while passing by Digos City. Sorry for the blurred photos. My mobile phone camera sucks!
The road trip to Davao didn't leave me much for musing since I have 2 other travelling companions. But all in all it was great to look back where I used to work.
Deciding to leave and go back home proved to be a good decision in enriching my personal life and my career. Without having to be assigned in Gen San (or Mindanao for that matter) in the first place, I wouldn't be able to use it as leverage in my succeeding positions. It actually gave me a lot of benefits more than I care to admit it to be. Not a lot of female sales person who grew up in a metropolis (Manila) like me can say that I have been covering Pikit, Cotabato and being surrounded by military men. Well, most of my sales counterparts anyway and the recent sales batch that companies deploy. To go up in sales here in the Philippines you have to be thrown where you least wanted to be.
My Lakbayan grade is C+!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.
I earned what moderate sales skills I have via the school of hard knocks. A baptism of fire if you can call it that. That's why I often cite this point in my career. Because it makes the tough times a little bit easier since it was harder back then (will not go into the dirty details). Now in the future, an overseas assignment is next on my list (where I can bring my family of course). Now that's a new challenge and more dirty details to grind on!
In my next trip which is in Dumaguete and Cebu, I will no longer forget to bring my digital camera so I can take proper photos.