Our second installment of SATURDAY SUCCESS STORY features one of New York City’s very active and sought after professional in the field of healthcare staffing, business development and marketing. Her Bachelor’s degree in English Studies at the University of the Philippines-Diliman and Master’s degree in Language Teaching from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, surprisingly made her custom-fit for a marketing and business career in USA. Although relatively new in the healthcare industry – just 5 years as compared to her full 7 years as an educator in a state college in the Philippines – she has brought a start-up health staffing company to its highest revenue mark, expanded its menu of services and employee-base, designed and streamlined HR procedures, built effective cost-cutting measures and brought cultural sensitivity to account management. Her success lies in her ability to shift careers so swiftly and effectively. She quickly learned multidisciplinary fields on the job and boldly put these ideas to the test, in the most cut-throat city in America.
To this date, our SATURDAY SUCCESS STORY, if not working her day job, pursues her numerous passion in the City that offers all. Her interests are cultural studies, history, linguistics, literature, humanities, philosophy, practical and culinary arts that are all found and celebrated in New York City. Because of this, she has come to love NYC as much as she loves her home— the town of Camiling in the Philippines.
She actively leads and participates in numerous non-profit and religious events in and around New York City. She volunteers time in building and helping programs that benefit and cater to the underprivileged and minority Filipinos. Just recently, she launched a new website called, Ilocano York, where she combines her patriotism with her love for New York, culture and food. With this website, she aims to promote Ilocano heritage and cultural legacy in Filipino communities around the world.
Here is MS. MARICAR TANGONAN, a dreamer, a doer and an optimist migrant who continues to seize opportunities as they come.
Read and learn about why she is successful (even though she humbly says, she is not yet!) – and please don’t forget to share her story to people that you care about.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I am someone who will live with a bomb on my head as long as it takes me where I should be.
2. What brought you to where you are now?
It’s in my willingness to test new waters and put myself to the test that brought me all that I am enjoying or willingly suffering now. It all starts with acceptance and a realization of the now. Once I get that figured out I can pretty well map out what to do next until I reach my goal.
3. Did you have a mentor or a teacher or somebody in your family who has given you some words of wisdom? Can you tell us about this person and how he/she impacted you?
There are so many. A lot are obviously the people around me: young, old, stranger, close friends, my professors in the university. The books I voraciously read: the authors, the undying characters they created and both classical and modern thinkers that have shaped much of the intellectual landscape. I derive lessons from things that may seem inane to others but to me stand as metaphors for something bigger. On a daily basis I learn from my experiences. Every smile, laughter, tear, and pain teaches me a lesson or two about life. All these things I try to synthesize and make them applicable and relevant guides to every situation in life that I go through.
But if pressed for a name, the most recent is my Aunt, Odelia Tablit. She taught me New York life skills that helped in re-establishing myself in a different land. But I guess, when we speak about core qualities, it’s my Mom, (Benilda de Mata) Primero who has direct influence on who I am now. Also, I give much credit to my Pang Ben (Benjamin de Mata), my maternal grandfather who inspired me to become an educator early on in my career. This has been ingrained so much in my personality that even when I shifted industries I still carry traits and qualities of a teacher that I always find useful in my transactions.
4. When you were trying to achieve where you are right now, did you experience some disappointments and failures? What are they? Can you explain how you overcome these circumstances?
I am still in the process of building my life. The moment I think I have done it is the time I stop growing and achieving more. It is a continuous struggle towards a path of self-renewal and contentment.
The most difficult is being away from people I love while I build a new life in a foreign land. I was lonely and restless for some time, but realized I had to make the period of separation worth its while. I did turn my cards and looking back, I think I have done so much more in my five years abroad compared to my accomplishments when I was nestled in the comforts of family and home.
5. What would be your next goal?
To be able to pass this same verve to my sons and other people who are willing to lose in order to win. I would want to inspire people into converting their fears and failures into something beneficial. I know that is easier said than done, but someone has to keep on reminding people that it is possible.
6. Has anyone of your friends, relatives ever told you what qualities they admire about you? What are they?
My determination and courage.
7. Can you share to us your philosophy in life and how this affected your success.
I’m a fatalist-determinist, in a sense that although I know God has set me for something in this life, I have complete control over how I fare and survive all the struggles that come my way. I make use of every gift I was given and work hard in further improving it.
8. Do you have any advice to get better and be more successful in whatever you are doing?
Seize opportunities as they come. Enjoy whatever it is that you are doing in life, may it be your job or a given task. Find something in it that would make you smile.
9. Finally, what is your definition of success.
Success is about having the courage to go after what one thinks is best for herself. The number one criterion is a gradual and continual growth. It doesn’t matter how one measures up with others for as long she works towards her goals, then that’s success. Only after I realized this didI truly help the people I love and care for. It’s an inner victory that goes outward towards the benefit of other people.
Daily with you,
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