#RoadTripperMonday – a weekly feature of our very own Road Tripper.
Say hello to October as we say hello to this Road Tripper! Today, we will feature Loreen Buenavista. Loreen is an accountant by profession but who always finds time to do outreach programs and help community projects considering she works with some of the big companies in the Philippines. After joining us in one of our Road Trips, she has become one of our biggest fans who offered to help manage one of our groups in Facebook. There is so much love from this person that we are super thankful for.
To know more about Loreen, read more about her here —
1. What do you do for a living?
I am in management and consultancy, and I work with one of the Big 4 Firms (EY). I do account, engagement, and people management, including business development; I help in the transition and change management for finance transformation projects (i.e., new process and new tools implementation).
What I love about my work besides being able to contribute to helping companies do better and grow in business, is that I also have the opportunity to mentor people. I manage a team of ~30 millennials and I get to coach them not only about their daily challenges at work, but also I help them realize their goals in their career and life in general.
2. What is one of your guilty pleasures?
I only had the courage to travel continuously, spontaneously and relentlessly, just recently. I must say, it was through Experience Philippines that I have discovered my impulsive tendencies to grab my backpack and go where my heart (and Kaladkarin friends) bring me. I have been on road trips almost every weekend, 3 months in a row now. I cannot imagine myself being stuck in the city over a weekend anymore, I feel I might get claustrophobic if I do! I suppose that is my guilty pleasure, being able to be carefree and let go of responsibilities on the weekend and answer to my impulses to travel.
My friends would ask me if I don’t ever get tired whenever I travel on weekends, and still get to work on the weekdays. My answer, is yes – but all I need is a restful sleep and I will be recovered in no time. The pain, the exhaustion is all worth it whenever I get to experience the life outside of the city. I must say, the beach recharges my soul, and I must also admit I am made to chase after that craving, every weekend.
3. What is the title of the movie of your life?
Finding Home. I think it will be a story about a woman who knew home was the comforts of her books and her thoughts, in the safety of her apartment. And then she receives an anonymous invite to go on a random road trip (ExPH style), and she sets out on a journey to discover that she barely knew herself, and that the trip made her experience things she has never done before.
She became courageous, adventurous, and spontaneous. Then the movie ends where she realizes home is where she wants to be, and where she wants to be is wherever she chooses to be.
4. If you could go back in time what would you tell your 16 year old self?
I’m not a fan of the “what if’s moment” and travelling back in time to change people and events, because I do believe we are placed and chosen to experience life the way that it is now. Because the universe has a purpose to teach us, help us grow, and make us push our boundaries to change ourselves to become the better (or worst).
But if I may have to answer this question, I would like to tell my 16-year old self: you know nothing. You understand nothing. You don’t know yourself as much as the way you think you know yourself. I’d like for you to know that you can become far the better person (than you think of) by getting rid of excuses, and just act on your thoughts, express your emotions, and chase after the things that you truly want – because you can. I’d like for you to find the courage to say yes to new experiences, and never second guess yourself and your potentials. Never allow yourself to be limited by the definitions of other people about you. You are so much more.
And all of these things that I have said, I will also want to continue to remind myself, in the present, every single day.
5. If you can be teleported anywhere around the world, where would it be and why?
I don’t know. I don’t really have a travel destination abroad in mind right now. What resonates with my thoughts and my emotions right now, is that I want to be anywhere I would be able to make an impact. Anywhere else in the world will do, or here in the country. I want to be in the place where I am needed the most. Perhaps, whatever my skills or my able body can contribute as an act of service – perhaps in the war-torn areas, or the poverty-stricken areas or in the remotest part of the countryside, where a person like me is needed. But the question is, what can I contribute? That is a question that I would sometimes ask myself if I do intend to drop everything and pursue volunteerism. What, at my own capacity, can I contribute that eventually will be able to make a huge impact, to the community, to the society? This part, I feel as an internal calling but I keep on being reminded – what have I been doing now, at my current capacity that is already making an impact? I may have the answer, but that goes out for another story, not here.
Long story short, I will be anywhere else in the world, where I am needed the most. And by “I am needed the most”, it is I, Loreen, the person that I am now, with my talent, my skills, my personality, is needed the most.
6. Which celebrity would you go on a “one-night-only-date” with?
I am sorry to say, but I cannot find an answer right now. I am not the type to idolize celebrities. Crush, yes, but not even a crush is inspiring enough to spend a one-night-only-date (I’d like more dates because, you know, I’d like something to develop, perhaps romance or friendship after a 1st date). LOL.
7. You, unfortunately have been condemned to die, but fortunately, you get to have any meal in the world before you go. What is your menu?
I can have any meal in the world that could satisfy my hunger, but not too much to the point it becomes gluttony. The food is irrelevant, but I would like to be able to remember my last meal as being shared with the people I care the most. It is not the food that makes a meal memorable, but the people whom you share it with that makes the meal exceptional.
8. If you could trade places with anyone right now, for a week, who would it be and why?
I would prefer not to think about living another person’s life, whoever he/she is, no matter how rich, influential or powerful he/she is, because I am very much comfortable to being who I am right now. But if I may change the question this way, allow me to answer: If you can spend a week with anyone, who would it be and why?
I’d like to be able to spend a week with a visionary, someone who is making a difference in the world by making it become a better place. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or even Simon Sinek. I just want to see how they spend their days, who are the people they talk to, what are the types of conversation they have, what inspires them and what motivates them to become who they are, each day.
9. What is the best present you ever received?
I could not think of a non-material gift that I find as remarkable. Blame it on short term-memory or perhaps I am just not too sentimental. If there is one gift that I can remember, it was my graduation gift from my dad, a DSLR camera, which allowed me to learn and discover my talent in photography.
10. If you could meet a famous or not so famous person, who would that be and why?
Same answer in #8. I just want to see how these visionaries are, get a first-hand experience as to how they converse, what are their thoughts and their motivations. I’d like to get a piece of their brilliance through meeting them. I’d like to have that opportunity to learn from them.
11. How old should a person start traveling?
I don’t think there is an age requirement. Children need to start travelling as young as they are able to, and their parents are capable to bring them anywhere else in the country or in the world that may be. Start them young, so that they get to see the world through a set of eyes that is very much still open to new experiences and learning.
12. What is your best experience in traveling/living in the Philippines?
Traveling: it is during the most uncomfortable part of the journey where I would keep on asking why I allowed myself to put up through a journey (i.e. being stranded for 3-4hours in a small boat, or getting through an ordeal of travelling for 20 hours on a bus and roro). But when I look back, and when I arrive at the destination, I could say that all the discomfort is worth it. I have experienced all these while travelling with ExPH and also with my fellow Kaladkarins on our own KRTs, and I tell you that I would likely go get my bags and travel with you guys again.
13. In one sentence, how would you like people to remember you?
I would like to be remembered as a person who made a positive impact in someone’s life, to be the one who helped them realize their potential, as the person who trusted in their capabilities, and as the mentor who was with them through their difficulties and achievements in life.0