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Turning lemons to lemonade

Yasmin Pascual-Dormido is a household name in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental having graced every family’s television set with her face while delivering news and current affairs through ABS-CBN’s programs. She was also provincial correspondent of DZMM Radyo Patrol and regularly delivered updates from Western Visayas over ANC, Teleradyo and other news platforms of the Kapamilya Network for over two decades.

After the shutdown of ABS-CBN, she ventured into media consultancy and vlogging while continuing her work in the academe.

She shall continue her passion in telling stories that inspire, motivate and remind their fellow humans that despite life’s challenges and even in the midst of a pandemic, life remains to be beautiful. And that there are still many reasons to keep going. Yasss! It will be all about beauty and positivity in life.

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“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

I bet all of us have heard or read this line many a dozen times. It’s a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. Lemons suggest sourness or difficulty in life and making lemonade is turning the sourness into something positive. This piece is about the stories of optimism and productivity of people I happened to talk to. 

Jeanette’s Diosa books on paperback also has Kindle editions*

Who decides to leave a full-time job she has been good at for 23 years? Multi-awarded book author and well-respected academician did, in order to start her “Diosa Ways” series and launch The Diosa Academy. Yes, Jeanette Patindol left the Academe where she was part of for 23 years so that she could focus on her passion project December 2019 a few months away from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Focusing on her writing career was something she was excited about but the pandemic was something she and nobody else expected. But she knew exactly how to turn her lemons into lemonade. She made a Diosa Ways website that is a platform for issues affecting women and their silent secret agonies. Jeanette kept herself busy writing and working on her website during the pandemic. She finished two books and was able to launch The Diosa Academy.

When asked how she turned her difficulties into opportunities for growth she quickly replied, “Where you put your attention to, is where you invest time in. And where you usually invest your money in. There are sacrifices because once you commit to investing in yourself, there are things not worthy of you that you have to give up. So, I don’t call it a sacrifice because a sacrifice is when you give up something of higher value or a lesser value. But if you give up something of a lesser value for a higher value, it is actually leveling up.”

Yasss! with author and Diosa Academy founder Jeanette Patindol in a campus journalism workshop organized by The Spectrum where the former used to be an adviser of the campus pub; right, entrepreneur and blogger Jojo Vito holding a pricey Anthurium Regale in a pink fiberglass pot he designed and made.*

The pandemic hit his more than 20-year-old fiberglass mask making business hardest, leaving his employees in a state of almost nothingness when the lockdowns started in 2020.  But the global health crisis’ impact on tourism did not dampen the spirit of entrepreneur Jojo Vito. He had to stop producing masks but thought of using fiberglass to make stylish plant jars as the demand for pots that time was very high. 

“When the lock down was declared, we had zero income. No more visitors in the gallery. We had to close shop. No activity for three months. We started gardening, planted vegetables. That was really depressing. I had to think of my employees and their families. Until one day my friends suggested I make jars because there was a shortage of pots due to very high demand that time. But without risk, we cannot gain anything. We have to bite the bullet.”

These stories of survival and victory over adversity are worth spreading especially in times when people need to be reminded of hope, compassion and genuine concern for others. In my next column I will be sharing more stories of this kind to remind us of that “silver lining” in every cloud.*

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