Good evening fellow toastmasters. Let me introduce my self. I am Edwin C. Ebreo, an HR Director in Athena E-Services Corporation, I am also a free-lance training consultant, a business man, a writer, at least I think I am...a father of three and a lover of beauty... I'd like to think that I am a sensitive person, resourceful, creative and risk taking. I am also loud, sometimes unruly, disorganized and makes a lot of stupid decisions.
What made me what I am and how I got here is the story I am going to share to you tonight.. First off, I was born to a poor couple in 1971. My mother who never set foot in a class room until I was ready for kinder garten was a sidewalk vendor. My father who barely finished first year in high school was a laborer earning below the minimum salary. We have a very good reason to have a miserable life, but you know what we didn't. In my childhood I never felt we were poor. That's because my parents did their best to show me how to lead a good life. They gave me reason to be confident of my self. My mom made me believe that I was smart and good looking. My father said how can you not be, your father is smart and good looking.... Parents! You know, I don't think I outgrew that belief.
Just like most of us here, I also acquired my values from my parents. My mother taught me discipline and hard work by requiring me to clean the house, wash my clothes and sell stuff like pandesal, news paper, vegetables in the market and a lot of others. My father taught me to be resourceful and innovative and he gave me a good example. When I was 10, he worked in Oman in the middle east as a cook for Filipino engineers. The remarkable thing is, he can only cook rice! He brought along 5 cook books and substituted missing ingredients with MSG. Hmmm, I now wonder if the engineers lived longer than he did. His experience showed me that if you want something bad enough, you'll find a way to have it...
My father shared with me a remarkable wisdom. He said successful people make their own rules. The books he said are references not instructions, always keep an open mind and an open eye for opportunities to improve on what people already know... How do you beat that!
When I was fourteen my father died, my mother was devastated, I lost a moral compass. I was adrift for a long time that led me to marrying at age 19, making me give up education and all the good fortune I had at school as an editor, theater actor and all around popular guy!
I worked as a store crew at 7-Eleven and felt miserable for a while until I decided that everything is a temporary setback and thought to my self that I can do something to get to the top of the pile. I worked hard to get the break of becoming a supervisor, then a trainer, then a training manager, then an HR Manager and very recently an HR Director, taking care of all the HR needs of a group of companies.
Fellow toastmasters, I believe that at my current age of 133. I've experienced enough loss to appreciate what I have, enough poverty to to realize the value of hard work, enough failure to be humble and enough success to believe in my abilities as a person. And through all these I have one lesson to share... No guts, no glory, oh and another thing... Always wear a smile and the world will wonder what you are up to.
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