I had an interesting conversation with our family’s all-around handyman.
We talked for more than an hour as he was busy doing our car’s maintenance checkup.
He was born on 1943 from a less fortunate family. His mother was a mananahi, having a hard time making ends meet, which made going to highschool impossible.
He decided to become a houseboy in exchange for night highschool. Believe it or not, he started from being just a lowly houseboy at age 12 to becoming a highly-paid refrigeration expert in Coca Cola at 19.
After reading about mastering a rare skill, he stopped being a houseboy and applied as an office boy. Here he learned technical skills while tagging along with other technicians, his confidence increasing everyday. Told me his first salary as an office boy was only 50 centavos. 20 centavos goes to his fare. 10 goes to his lunch. Then the remaining for expenses and savings.
One day while climbing onto the frontseat of a jeepney, he sat beside his uncle who was an accountant for Coca Cola. Luck was on his side when the refrigeration technician position was available. That’s how he got into Coke.
After resigning from Coke, he engaged into buy and sell. You won’t believe that he’s had 40+ cars up to now. This was because he also mastered automotive repair after being an office boy. He saw cash in a seemingly delapidated car. He also had good haggling skills. His secret? Buy the car at a very low price, repair it, use it then sell it twice the price he once paid for it.
He’s also involved in real estate and had his first deal back when he was still a teenager. Now, they have fully-booked lodging houses in Mandaue and a 40M House deal to sign off this week and a family lot ready to be bought at 1000 pesos per square meter.
Being an all-around repairman was what he did in his free time. This gives him the chance to scour his work route for potential real estate and used cars. Talk about multi-tasking.
On another note, we also talked about capitalism and communism in perspective. That there should be synthesis, a combination of both ideologies to build a better world. The root cause of all that is happening in the world right now is not money or cultural differences but human nature, the failure to distinguish need from want, media blabbering about consumerism and oh! never-ending greed and megalomania.
We also discussed about my catharsis, my renaissance and enlightenment, of talking to strangers. That it’s not just what you know, but who you know, that could help you achieve your goals. I also asked him for advice on my continuing personal conflict of being a future philanthropist versus experiencing everything the world has to offer. He told me, why not do both?
He also shared some quotes on success, “The kite can’t soar without an opposing wind.” To put simply, in order to achieve greatness, you need people that will defy and question your path aka HATERS and TRAITORS.
Another quote was about friendship, “Only adversity can measure friendship.” When you are at your lowest point, treasure those people who are there with you, supporting you in order for you to get back up on your feet. These people are rare nowadays.
Wow, didn’t expect this type of intellectual conversation from a repairman did you? Me neither. But I enjoyed every second of it.
He told me that he’ll get me a book about thought provoking quotes by Christmas with which I told him that everything can now be downloaded nowadays but I will still accept it though. Anyway, I’m looking forward to talking to him the next time something breaks down in the house. Or if it takes too long, I’ll just destroy things. Smash!