Misibis Bay Review Part 1: The Resort and the room | Legazpi, Albay

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For our late anniversary celebration, my husband and I decided to go to my grandfather’s hometown in Legazpi Albay. We were so happy that Misibis Bay had a promo! We’ve wanted to visit Misibis Bay but we wanted to wait … Continue reading

Jojo Negapatan, the “No-excuses-man”

In our branch meeting one Saturday, I was inspired to hear the story and testimony of Mr. Jojo Negapatan, a branch manager of Pru Life UK. His story brought me to tears and it was so inspiring to see God’s goodness in his life!

His story began when he sailed to Manila more than 15 years ago. He came from the province and he barely knew how to speak Tagalog. He was able to find a job as a pahinante carrying carts of soft drinks from a truck as it was delivered to sari-sari stores. This job allowed him to learn how to drive and soon he became a truck driver.

From a truck driver he became a jeepney driver, then a taxi driver and soon after, a family driver. Being a family driver, he drove his female employer to a Pru Life UK training and to avoid him “loitering” the premises, he was asked by a trainer to sit in.

It was his first time to hear about insurance and this caught his interest. Sitting at the back of the room, he thought to himself that if only he could sit at the front, he could understand more.

After the training, he boldly asked his employer if he could join in the training. She said no.

He could have given up and have given excuses that it wasn’t for him, but he did not. Not for this man.

Later on he left his job as a family driver and he proceeded to the office again and asked if he could undergo the training.

The trainer allowed him to attend and he was requested to be in business attire. Since he didn’t have any knowledge on this he asked around and decided to wear Barong Tagalog. He commuted from Bulacan to Makati (the office of Pru Life UK before) and he kept wondering why people were staring at him. Upon reaching the office, he was told that he should have worn the Barong Tagalog with an undershirt. No wonder people kept looking at him. :p

So of course it didn’t end there. He still had to pass the licensing exam. Since the licensing exam was in English, he had a hard time comprehending it. The first try… he failed. The second, he failed again.

He could have given up and have given excuses that it wasn’t for him, but he did not. Not for this man.

I think of the many times there were challenges in my life and I was ready to throw in the towel in this business! I also remember the times when a person I knew failed the exam and didn’t want to take it for fear of failing again. And then I heard this story.

It took him 4 tries until he passed the exam! Finally! Praise God. It was also the happiest day of his life.

But the challenges didn’t stop. Being an agent, he had to have a sale. But he knew only less than 5 people in Manila and they were his co-workers before who are still pahinantes. How could he close a sale with them? Everyday he tried his luck visiting offices in Makati hoping they would grant him an appointment… He only had a few pesos and during lunch time he would stop by carinderias around Makati and ask for some soup and rice. In exchange, he would help clean up since he didn’t have enough money to pay for his lunch.

Everyday he would do that routine and try calling people and everyday he would be rejected also noting that the receivers of his phone calls didn’t understand his accent. Some colleagues would jeer at him saying he couldn’t close a sale that way but in his mind he just wanted to practice conversing in English.

He could have given up and have given excuses that it wasn’t for him, but he did not. Not for this man.

He faced rejections here and there, with some prospective clients even cursing him, and colleagues jeering at him. Until one day, by God’s grace, his persistency came to fruition. A lady on the other end of the line asked him to drop by her office so he could present to her. His first ever appointment!

In her office, he felt intimidated with the way she spoke in English and asked if he could present in Tagalog. The kind lady was really kind and said yes. After the presentation, she asked, “How much?” and she signed a check.

A closed deal! His very first! He was even trembling as he received his first check.

Mr. Jojo was in cloud nine as he rode the elevator downstairs, exited the building, and went up to the Pru Life UK office to submit his first ever case! It was a joyous moment for him after going through a tough time, making ends meet and to top it all off, several months of humiliation and rejection!

Sometimes I feel that when we are very close to the edge, God rescues us just in time. Just when we are ready to give up, God pulls us through.

Flash forward many years later… The man who stood in front of us is a successful Branch Manager of Pru Life UK, helping Filipinos become financially free, helping his agents achieve their dreams, now even helping foundations which would give people like him before an opportunity to strive to be like him now, and motivating us that truly with God, nothing is impossible.

I believe that Mr. Jojo Negapatan’s persistency was a crucial factor in his success but God was his enabler for him to be where he is. God’s goodness and grace in his life sustained him in his life. Though he faced many tests and challenges, he is where he is because God had a plan for him and for each of us. I know that God is not done with him yet like He is not done with us. That our lives and testimony may be used for His glory. Right now Mr. Jojo testifies that at this point in his life he just wants to bless other people with the many blessings God has given him. Truly his test became his testimony, his mess a message and he is continuously inspiring people to give no excuses in doing our best.

We only pray that God may continue to bless the work of his hands and ours and that we may be where God wants us to be.

Once upon a time there was a man who barely knew his way in the big city, but God is the creator of this city and even the whole world.

I realized that true there may be days that he could not have eaten, but God sends people along the way to spare him a meal. He may have been discouraged like many of us, but God comes in time to rescue us and inspire us. He takes care of our needs and leads us where He wants us to be. He lets us grow where He plants us, that we may taste and see how He is good and know that He is God, how His love and mercy carries us through the tests. Great is His faithfulness!

God bless Mr. Jojo Negapatan and his testimony! May he remain faithful and bless more people!

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