By: Toni Dominique Josue
A common cliché to our knowledge is that life has its ups and downs. There are times when it seems like the odds are in our favour or the gods are smiling down on us. While in contrast, other times, we feel as though the weight of the world is on our shoulders and that we have reached the pit of all pits. We never know when we will be in which position, and how long it will take before the tides take a positive turn.
Isagani Paglicauan, a MAPFRE Insular agent from the Lipa Branch, was not exempt from this. In fact, he went through one obstacle that did not only entail his perseverance to overcome; rather, his whole family took part in braving that exceptional hurdle. From that very low point in his life, he is now thankful that he is riding on one of the higher waves in the adventure that is Life.
Gani, the nickname fellow MAPFRE employees fondly know him by, is a mechanical engineer from Banaba, Batangas. His younger years were spent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he practiced his engineering degree as a superintendent at a large company in Jeddah. It was there that Gani faced that big dip in his life that was surpassed only with the united effort of his whole family.
While in Jeddah, Gani had a mild stroke. He had to leave his job and seek medical attention back in the Philippines. “Bumalik na ako sa Pilipinas na naka-wheelchair,” he reacounts. “Isang buwan ako sa Philippine General Hospital (PGH) para magpagaling. Tapos nagkasakit rin asawa ko at kinailangan na operahan. Halos lahat ng kinita ko sa abroad ay naubos rin sa pagpapagaling namin. Mabigat ang pinagdaanan namin ng asawa ko.” (I came back to the Philippines in a wheelchair. I stayed in PGH for one month in order to recover. Then my wife got sick too and needed an operation. Most of my savings from working abroad were spent paying for our hospital and medical expenses. My wife and I really went through a tough time.) This is Gani’s greatest challenge to date.
Gani and his wife sold some of their inheritance and items they had to spare to make ends meet and as soon as his eldest child graduated, she started working and assisted in daily provisional needs and in education needs for the other two siblings. The same went for Gani’s second child until finally, his youngest graduated from college. All this three children are now working young professionals. He proudly says his greatest milestone is overcoming this chapter in his life with his family by his side. Together, they strived hard and long to reach safe ground, without dwindling spirits. They knew that for as long as they kept positive and determined, what they were experiencing will come to pass.
There were two driving forces for Gani and his family. First, they never lost faith. “Hindi ka naman pababayaan ni God,” he affirms. This trust in the Lord kept allowed them to remain strong-willed. And second, he and his family focused on one goal, exerted all their effort in achieving this goal, and patiently awaited the result of their hard work: the rising wave that led to their resurface from the fall.
Gani tells us, “Dapat mag-focus lagi. Pati sa mga anak ko, sinasabi ko na mag-focus sa isang bagay na para sa ikabubuti mo.” (One must always focus on a single goal that will be to your benefit or improvement. I always tell this to my kids.) This practice, that has guided Gani through the rolling ups and downs of life, extends to each and every endeavour he undertakes. He annotates that this is the same principle that has helped him attaining his current client portfolio. He devoted his time and effort into building his insurance business.
Today Gani’s is busy with his many small business activities. He put up a “tindahan” (small store) in and small dormitory in his home, both of which he manages and supervises closely. And of course, he is a loyal MAPFRE agent of the Lipa branch with a healthy portfolio. He remains motivated and optimistic through his daily endeavours and he is grateful that he is still able to work despite the physical remnants of his mild stroke. “Nagagamit ko pa utak ko, nakakapagtrabaho pa ako and sa ganito at hawak ko oras ko”, he proudly states. (I am still able enough to make use of my capabilities, to work and to manage my time freely.) He may be on the more favourable part of the ride of Life but his principle remains and he still has targets to which he channels much of his efforts. The next target in fact, he says, is to further to expand his non-life insurance clientele and portfolio.
Whether one is sitting on the high side of Life, or is facing challenges on the low, Gani shows us that focus, perseverance and patience are the key ingredients in order to Bring It On, no matter what Life may throw at you.
“In life, may nangyayari talagang masama. Hindi laging good. Focus on a target, tapos be patient lang and pagsikapan yun.”