After graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from college, I flew to Manila to live alone.
With no single soul that I am well acquainted with (except for my sister who’s in a different but nearby city), I embraced the challenge and the risks of starting to live alone. And considering my inexperience in using the Tagalog language, coupled with my decision of not watching TV for years, conversational Tagalog had been a challenge to master.
A lot of people were bewildered by my decision to move here. From my family, church, and friends in my hometown in Iligan City, to the people here in Manila, they all questioned me.
Some of them said that my decision was unnecessary, since there’s the obvious choice of Cebu and Davao for career opportunities.
Some were stunned and commented that its a pakikipagsapalaran.
Some were astounded to the fact that I am currently living alone.
Some were just plain curious, I think.
I agree to them to an extent, but I have my reasons, reasons that I believe are compelling enough to me to the point that it overshadows all the fear and risks that were lying in wait.
I. Seeking Personal Growth
I consider my boyhood years to be overprivileged: I am the youngest child and the only boy in my family. Thus, I failed to grasp the importance of independent life skills such as negotiation skills, social skills, sense-of-direction, etc . I learned to always be dependent of someone for some of my needs.
Why should I learn to do these things when I have someone who can and will do it for me?
But, I wanted to break through out of my comfort zone.
I desired growth.
I hungered. For independence and experience.
I thirsted for my maturity.
Thus, as an overprivileged boy, I wanted to learn life skills and gain experiences that I believe I could not learn if just stayed in my home city.
I wanted to be stronger as a person.
To be more mentally strong and resilient.
To be more decisive.
To gain experience and be more wise.
So to make this happen, I had to force such new and unfamiliar environment to myself, an environment that will push stubborn me to learn them faster.
II. Environment and Opportunities
I had been studying the life of outliers: Elon Musk, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, Andrew Carnegie, etc. And one thing that I found as a common pattern among them, aside from their genius and their incredible character, was that they were positioned in the right place at the right time.
Elon Musk flew away from South Africa to Canada.
Benjamin Franklin travelled away from his home when he was about to turn 20 years old.
Andrew Carnegie moved to a different city for work.
Steve Jobs was fortunate to live in a city that breeds technology.
Arnold Schwarzenegger moved away from hometown for training purposes.
Even Jose Rizal ran away to study and learn.
In other words, environment is an important factor. Some were fortunate to be naturally positioned in good places, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The less fortunate ones, having realized their positions, made the decision to force their way out to a better place, such as what Elon Musk, Benjamin Franklin, and Jose Rizal did.
I am no one special compared to the above mentioned outliers, but I have decided to learn from the life experiences of people.
So, aside from my desire to quench my personal curiosities about my country, I moved to Manila because of the significant difference of opportunities it has and will probably have in the future.
III. A Stubborn Vision
This last reason may be strange, but its a stubborn one. I consider this to be more of a spiritual reason than a practical one.
I personally believe in destiny: that each person has a calling.
Lets just say that I believe I have a calling that I should fulfill. I can’t articulate it well beyond that.
So, do I recommend my fellow “Mindanao-oans” to move here straight out of graduation, to live alone?
For me, me being just months in since I moved here, I am assured that my goals are being satisfied. And having learned some new things about myself and of the sovereignty of God (which I think I could not learn had I not ventured here), I already feel like I have gained significant growth in a short amount of time.
I won’t recommend my decision to everyone, as it depends totally on you and on the calling that you think that you have.
But I do recommend the experience for those people who want this type of growth.