A strong bond between a daughter and her father has shown to produce positive results. It is so powerful that it is directly linked to positive self-esteem.Such is Paulyn Linterna’s relationship with her father.

With an easy-going personality, Pau, as family and friends call her, always aspires to bring good vibes to people around her. Her mantra was to inspire, motivate and influence people.

“This attitude is mainly due to the dynamics with my dad with whom I’m very close to. I share the same traits as him – firm, decisive – black is black, a yes is a yes and a no is a no,” she says.

Her dad’s influence was far reaching in Pau’s life – he motivated her to study well. This has translated into the young Isabeleña being a straight A student in elementary and high school.
Being a chief mate of a local commercial vessel in Isabela City, Basilan, her dad would always talk about his adventures aboard and would share life lessons with her – preparing her for the future.

It was during her 3rd year in high school that she never saw her father again.

One day, her dad complained of chest pain and placed it upon himself to go for a checkup at a local hospital. But he never went home that day. He suffered a massive heart attack that rendered him lifeless.

TURN FOR THE WORST

And lifeless was how Paulyn would describe the years following her father’s death.

With the loss still lingering about, Paulyn lost all motivation in being top of her class. In college, she drifted from one school and degree to another, never finishing what she started.

In her freshman year, she took up Accountancy in Universidad de Zamboanga. It was her father’s dream for her to become a CPA-Lawyer. However, a month into the course and she felt bored. She ceased going to classes and stayed out of school.

After two years, she thought she’d be ready to embark on another academic journey, so she signed up for BS Education Major in Special Education (SPED) in a local school in her hometown.
“I really enjoyed the sign language classes. But all that enjoyment didn’t last more than a year…” she confessed.

A year later, it was back to the drawing board for Paulyn.

“It kept happening to me. I’d feel excited then I’d feel demotivated again and quit. I admit everything went downhill from the time I lost my dad,” she said.
Buried in immense grief, she hardly talked.

Her mother, tired and astonished by her indecisiveness, offered her one last chance to finish a college degree. An ultimatum that came with a consequence of being on her own should she decide to botch it again.

“She enrolled me in Claret College of Isabela and pleaded with me to take BS Secondary Education. I agreed on the condition that I get to choose what I major in – and I chose the one which I didn’t know a lot about – mathematics,” she said with a grin.

THE SILVER LINING

“When I was being interviewed for school admission, Ms. Imelda Tubog, CSI’s guidance counselor took note of my abilities and asked me if I’d be interested to join the College Peer Facilitators.,”

CPF is composed of students who assist the school’s guidance counselor in conducting career guidance seminars to all college students.

Nonchalantly, she said yes to CPF, thinking she had nothing better to do with her spare time.

Little did she know, her life was about to change.

“I was given a lot of tasks in the CPF. I started doing emcee scripts for seminars and sometimes I’d be put on the spot to emcee. I’d choreograph production numbers and then as I gained more experience, I started being a resource speaker on life skills.

In my four years of college, I had attended at least 4 job entry seminars with the inclusion of Career Guidance Advocacy Program activities and labor market information.

Even before stepping into my graduate year, I have acquired important knowledge from the basics like what to wear and what to answer during job interviews to the more complex LMI. The biggest takeaway from the experience would be the information which I applied in selecting the path I decided to take after graduating in college,” she recounted.

CAREER GUIDANCE AS INSTRUMENT FOR CHANGE

CGAP or the Career Guidance Advocacy Program is one of the flagship programs being implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as employment facilitation intermediation services for the youth to provide them relevant information that could guide them in making informed career choices.

It aims to immerse parents and students in the realities of the labor market, and convince the Career Guidance Counselors and Career Advocates to use career guidance as an effective tool in addressing job-skill mismatch.

According to DOLE 9 Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, in Region 9 alone, a total of 3,848 career guidance advocacy activities have been conducted reaching a total of 8,242 students.
Meanwhile, as part of its mandate, the agency has also coached a total of 81,999 job applicants in terms of employment.

Buenafe said that employment coaching is provided to graduating college or voc-tech students to ensure that they possess the right knowledge, attitude and values that will facilitate their employment and help them achieve a fruitful career in the future.

LAUNCHING A CAREER

DOLE’s CGAP apparently helped Paulyn in landing a job right after graduation.

In early May 2021, she began her career with the Labor Department.

“I worked as an intern under the Government Internship Program – Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program as an encoder. I was assigned at the DOLE Isabela City Field Office,” she shares.

Enjoying the work in ICFO, she soon after applied as TUPAD Coordinator in 2022 setting forth an out of the ordinary experience as she was re-assigned to the Regional Office in Zamboanga City.
“Mainly I was tasked to be part of technical working groups for various projects which includes packaging of entries for PESO Bayanihan Awards.

I also provided assistance in the strategic plans for ISO Audits, drafting correspondences to guests during programs and quarterly meetings,” Paulyn said of her achievements as intern.
DOLE ICFO Chief Ma. Elena T. Alabata commended Pau for her competence.

“She has very good communication skills, may it be oral or written. She has contributed a lot to the field office with her good work attitude and direction.”

LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE

Her experience with the CPF, CGAP and as an intern made her realize the importance of implementing labor laws. Intending to build a career in DOLE, she decided to pursue further studies.

“It dawned on me that it’s time to bring reality to the second half of my father’s dream – which is to become a lawyer,” she said with conviction.

The childhood dream of pleasing her father now turned into a personal passion to find a platform that would effectively cater to the needs of the community, even if it meant struggling through life in law school.

Now at 30 years old, Pau is a freshie taking up a law in Western Mindanao State University – the first step towards her dream, all the while facing life’s challenges.

“The process of overcoming hurdles in life is rooted from our ability to adjust, adapt and be resilient. My inspiration now comes from the passion for glorifying God and serving the community, family and friends and people who support me,” Paulyn says with a smile. END/By Karen Claire Q. Grafia With reports from Lenin Cid B. Benitez, TUPAD Coordinator, ORD

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