Episode 104

Dannah Macalinga Pedrigal: Weathering the Storm (Super Typhoon Haiyan), The Great Conquest

On today's episode of the Becoming the Big Me podcast your host Djemilah Birnie has another special guest for the great conquest project, Dannah Macalinga Pedrigal.

Dannah is a freelance VA based in the Philippines. Before she  decided to work home based as a freelance VA, she worked in three big companies in the Philippines. When she graduated from college she was hired right away by a direct selling company and  stayed there for 4 years. From an Admin Clerk, she became an Operations System Specialist which is a supervisory position.

Then she was assigned to a different city which was far from away, you could only travel there by air and by sea. It was her first time being away from her family and being independent. When she got there she fell in love with the place and decided to switch to a new job for “greener pastures”. She applied to one of the biggest Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) companies in the Philippines that handled companies in the US from Telecommunication, Credit Cards, Banks, Gaming Consoles and Ecommerce. She was hired and got the job as Sales Representative of an ecommerce account then  was transferred and promoted to Technical Support Professional II of a known gaming console account. 

Everything was doing well and her life was sailing smoothly until November 8, 2013 came.

I encountered Dannah this year, 2021, in the midst of a global pandemic while she was pregnant with her now daughter. She began working for Becoming the Big Me and has been a massive blessing to my life. She helped me organize all of my assets for the Becoming the Big Me Podcast and was crucial in the back end side of the launch. If it wasn’t for Dannah I do not believe that I would have been able to get the Becoming the Big Me Podcast to rank in the top 100 in its category in the USA and multiple other countries during its launch and if it wasn’t for her continued support I am not sure I would have made it into the top 1.5% globally according to Listen Notes reporting. 

I feel very grateful to be able to share her story with you today.


To get out her new book visit bit.ly/greatconquest

To Connect More with Djemilah Visit www.djemilah.com

>>Learn more about the Becoming the Big Me: The Great Conquest book visit www.thegreatconquest.com 


Becoming the Big Me: The Great Conquest is a collection of empowering, motivating, and educational stories that will tug at your heart strings while empowering you to step into your own Big Me potential. From addiction, illness, lack of confidence, loss of loved ones, PTSD, and more the contributors of this book have walked through darkness and emerged victorious.

The Becoming the Big Me: The Great Conquest book has been brought to you by a collection of leaders paving the path of the future in their given fields. Within its pages you will find insight from Djemilah Birnie, Sharon Lechter, Nick Wingo, Dr. Frances Malone, Jenny Emerson, Russel Creed, Jennifer Aube, Valerie Fischer, Cory & JoJo Rankin, Peter Neilson, Kiki Rae, Tanya Milano Snell, Dannah Macalinga Pedrigal, and Kira Birnie.

This book was envisioned and brought together by Djemilah Birnie, the founder of Becoming the Big Me.

After overcoming many obstacles that could easily break a person, Djemilah has become passionate about helping others face their glass ceilings and break into the expansiveness of their potential.

Djemilah believes that we are all on a journey... There is never a point in which you have "Made It". Becoming the Big Me is about choosing to step into your greater potential each and every day. It is about learning and sometimes messing up but always getting back up.

This book has been compiled to showcase the journeys of overcoming. However, through this journey it becomes so much more. As each author told their story Djemilah noticed a common thread- something that made all of these amazing humans stand out even when faced with adversity.

Through the process of this book Djemilah discovered what she calls "the secret to overcoming obstacles and Becoming the Big Me." The greatest secret is the steps are simple and we have all heard them before.... the greatest secret is in the actual doing.

This book features; Djemilah Birnie the best selling author of Luna's Balloon: A Little Book About the Little Things, Sharon Lechter the author of Think and Grow Rich for Women, co author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, and an ambassador to the Napoleon Hill Foundation, Nick Wingo the founder behind building Grit, Dr. Frances Malone the founder of Malone Pediatrics and the Intuitive Parents Collective, Valerie Fischer the woman behind the trademark of Brain Science Selling, Peter Neilson the "Hybrid Guy", Jenny Emerson licensed therapist, Russell Creed the founder of Invictus Life, Tanya Milano-Snell who is on a mission to break generational trauma, Jennifer Aube best selling author of the book Naked Wealth, Kiki Rae the founder of Quantum Creatrix, Cory and JoJo Rankin founders of RFamilyStrong, Dannah Macolinga-Pedrigal VA and mother, and Kira Birnie the daughter of Djemilah Birnie and kid behind A Kid's Perspective.

To learn more about the book you can visit, www.thegreatconquest.com


Hi! I am your host Djemilah Birnie the founder of Becoming the Big Me. I have been building businesses online since the age of 17. I am passionate about discovering the "secrets" of our world and what is the true difference maker. Why is it that some succeed and others do not? What is it that allows people to get back up and keep going even in the midst of hardships? What truly is the power of purpose? These are the questions that rattle my mind.

I love to write and have published some books, some of them have even hit some charts 😲 You can check them out here: http://bit.ly/djemilahbooks

Ready to start playing BIG and step into your Big Me potential by harnessing the power of your mind? Then make sure you join the free Rewire challenge to get all the tools you need! https://www.djemilah.com/rewirechallenge

Do you want to fall asleep faster, rest deeper, and release the stress of the day? Then it's time for you to experience your best nights rest with the Dreamland Meditation Pack! Over 200 minutes of bedtime meditations to quiet your mind, connect your mind to your body, and bring you to your sleepy time bliss.https://www.djemilah.com/dreammeditation

Don't forget to check out the little lady's podcast "A Kid's Perspective" where she answers your questions on all of life's most pressing issues, in her eyes, a kid! ‎https://akidsperspective.us/

In addition to my online offerings I am extremely passionate about giving back to the local community while cultivating community growth. I am the organizer and host of the Wimberley Women's Circle https://wimberleywomen.com/ , where we gather monthly to learn and heal from different community leaders.

I am also the visionary behind Wimberley Moonlight Farms, a small family owned farm and nursery located in Wimberley, Texas. This is a journey that will take many years as we continue to develop, follow along at https://wimberleymoonlightfarms.com/

My partner and I have also put together a local directory for our town in the Texas Hill Country in which I have been having so much joy going to all of the local hot spots to photograph! Learn more at https://www.wimberley.info/

Let's Connect! #allthelinks ⬇

Website: www.djemilah.com

Blog : www.becomingthebigme.com

Podcast : www.bigmepodcast.com

Books : http://bit.ly/djemilahbooks

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/djemilah/

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/becomingthebigme/

New Book: Becoming the Big Me: The Great Conquest Book: | A Collection of Empowering Stories | By Djemilah Birnie, Sharon Lechter, and Contributing Authors https://www.thegreatconquest.com/


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gan city during the storm and:

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We waited for our schedule to depart in the waiting area. There was a big TV and it was tuned into the news. Everything in the news was about the disaster that happened in our city. There were people crying in the waiting area, and they were talking about their families back home. I didn't want to worry and get emotional. So I told my housemate and boyfriend that everything is going to be all right. The aftermath, the start of the long journey. When we arrived in Ormoc city lay it after three hours of traveling. The first thing we saw was the aftermath of the super typhoon. The city was full of debris all around, the whole place was wrecked. Even the beautiful hotels. It was such a horrible scene. And I started to get nervous, but I did not let it sink in for me to keep moving. We thought that it's it'll be easy going home. But no, it was just the beginning of our long journey. From Ormoc. City, we still had to travel for two more hours to tell about in city, my hometown. My feet were shaking while I was stepping out of the fast craft. Everything I was seeing is still surreal. I am in disbelief But deep in my heart. I know everything that happens always has a good and valid reason. From the time I stepped out in that fast craft. I knew that I would be seeing much worse in the coming days. The first struggle that we had upon arrival in Ormoc City was the transportation going to tell her tell tak lob and because at the time, we were told that cars cannot pass through on the highway going to our city. There is a lot of debris, the place was a total wreck and it's not passable by cars. The only way is to ride a motorcycle going to a town which is one hour from our mark. And from there, you can also ride another motorcycle. We're already exhausted to and fro in the streets of Ormoc. Justifying transportation that will take us to Tacloban we thought that no motorcycle was already a good idea to ride home. Then we asked for the price. I was shocked because it costs 3500 pesos per person. It was too much and the drivers were taking advantage of the passengers because there were no other options for us at that time. We refuse to ride in the motorcycle and just waited for vehicles who will travel going to tell a man even if it is a private vehicle, my co passengers in the sea fast craft. from Cebu we're talking about hiring a private van that will take us to Tacloban or even just near Taliban when we asked if we could join them. So we'll be able to fill up the van. Then we asked if we could join them so we'll be able to fill up the van. Fortunately, we found a private van that will take us to a near town in a to a town near Taliban, to our struggle will only be the ride going to Tacloban from that town, which is a one hour drive by car. We have an option to walk but the problem is there was no electricity so it will be hard and dangerous walking that far. There were no hotels and houses because it was also destroyed by the supertyphoon. When we arrived in that town, we asked the driver if he could drive and take us to Tacloban he hesitated because his baby was already crying. He was with his wife and baby that at the time, his baby was already hungry and there was no milk available anywhere because all the stores and establishments were destroyed. Also. They wanted to go home already. So they can let the baby but we pleaded and told him we will give them an extra charge if they will take us to takla ban. Thank God the driver. And her wife said yes because they understand the feeling of our anguish. Some of my co passengers were already crying and pleading. And that made them say yes, when we were moving and traveling to talk about even in the darkness. Our eyes were fixed outside the window. In the streets. We saw a lot of people standing and checking their houses that were destroyed from the storm. Mostly the houses were totally damaged. In that moment, the feeling of Fear and uneasiness just grew inside me. I was praying and hoping that our families were all safe. We weren't thinking of our houses and possessions anymore. We were more praying for the lives of our loved ones. When we were one town away from our city, we noticed that there was a lot of traffic. And people had grocery bags and plastic with lots of items in it. The grocery bags were from the big mall near our house. And so I thought that it was from a midnight sale because it was already 10. In the evening, I thought that the people bought all the goods from the mall. But when we got out of the van and passed by the mall, it was destroyed by the storm that was closed and that time and it's impossible to open the mall right away. The crowd that we saw from the inside of the mall,

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that they did not buy the goods items they're carrying with them. They were looting that was already happening inside of the mall. People from all walks of life were gathered inside the mall to get items that they will need, especially for the food and clothing because there was no store open at that time. And it may take months for someone to open up their business. Considering the damage that the storm brought to our city. They don't have any choice but to loot for their survival. I really didn't imagine that such a thing would happen to my home city. That moment, I was already feeling nervous while we were walking to our house. The place where I spent all my life was like a ghost town that night. It was in total darkness. People were in the streets and still shocked from the fast turn of events. They're picking up every piece that they have left after the storm. My boyfriend now husband walked me home before checking on his family. When we were approaching our house, I saw that the big tree was already on top of our roof. It fell down on top of our house and I was kind of a little bit panicky, but I was very positive that they were all fine. So while I was approaching our house, I called my parents by screaming their names because it was so dark. Even though we had flashlights with us. My father heard me while he was there and looking after our house and picking up the stuff that became can be saved. I felt so relieved when I heard Papa's voice, even through the darkness. And finally, when I saw him using my phone's flashlight, I immediately asked where the others were at that time. He told me what happened while he was leading us to our neighbor's house where they took refuge during the storm. The survivors story. According to them, the typhoon was very fast and destructive. While they were inside our house. At that moment of the storm, they held each other under our dining table. Because it was really strong that they knew our house would be racked. Suddenly, they heard a very loud noise on top of their heads. And then they saw the whole roof detached from the house including the ceiling, and they're all scared because there's a lot of debris flying from everywhere. They might get hurt because there was no protection. There was no protection above their heads anymore. They decided to go out and transfer to a much safer place. We have two kids, three years old and nine years old in the family and it was hard to transfer while the storm was still ongoing. They put helmets on my three year old niece and everyone had jackets on before going out to transfer. They risked their safety at that very moment because they're not sure if there will be someone who will let them in. deep in their hearts. They knew that God was always with them and guiding them to a safer place. When they knocked at our neighbor's house, our neighbor, our new neighbor did not hesitate to let them inside. The storm was still very strong. And even though in even the new house of our neighbor was destroyed, but fortunately, it was not totally wrapped. They stayed in the living room and they waited for the storm to calm down. We have three old people and two young kids in the family and they struggled transferring because all of them were wet and the old ones were chilling from the cold. While they were transferring to our neighbor's house, my mother bumped her foot on one of the fallen trees outside and she didn't mind it. When they're finally settling inside our neighbor's house. My mom is feeling a little unwell because of her small wound from the bump. She had a fever and she was chilling but because she is a fighter, she wasn't bothered at all. She was just relaxed and resting the whole day with just a little bit of water as her first aid. But looking at the wound, she needed an anti tetanus shot, and it was still impossible to go to a hospital at that moment. Hospitals were also closed and have been damaged as well. My mother has to endure the pain. This story of survival from my family is only a small part from all of the people of Tacloban. There are stories that were much worse, especially for those who were living on the sea side. We were truly blessed in this situation. I'm speaking for everyone who were victims of the super typhoon in this book. For those who didn't make it through the storm, we remember and miss them.

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The aftermath story continues. I arrived on November 9 at 10pm. I remember when I saw them, I let out a sigh of relief and thank God again for sparing my family from harm. They're all safe through our house. Though our house was all but a mess and was totally damaged from the storm. I noticed that amongst my family members, my mom was the only one who's not feeling well. So we have to give her some sort of medication. While we look for ways on how she can be treated in the hospital. We spend our night in our neighbor's house and my boyfriend went home to check on his family. Early in the morning, my family decided to make a temporary roof on one side of our house. So we can vacate and go back to our house. We feel it's the right thing to do. And we don't want to cause so much trouble or inconvenience to our neighbor. My brother in law put a makeshift roof on our small terraced area and put the bed there so we can all stay and sleep there. While we are still slowly picking up the pieces of ourselves. And moving on that moment, we didn't know that the catastrophe was already broadcast all around the world. And many news centers and channels were here to witness and covered the aftermath. Some even came here before the typhoon so they can experience it firsthand. Some of the biggest news companies who were here were CNN, NBC News, Fox News, and many others from different countries. We didn't know that it was really a huge thing. But when we were able to roam around the city to see what needs to be done and what would be our next step. We found out that it was really horrible. I cannot imagine and even give a word to describe what I'm seeing at that moment. If you go and search for it on the internet, you will see a lot of articles that were written about the destruction of supertyphoon Hyun Hyun on November 8 2013. If you are side note, if you are going to Google that it is spelled H A iyan. Continuing on. Dead bodies were everywhere. You can see babies, mothers and fathers corpses in the streets. Because of the high number of deaths in the city. The corpses were left unattended in all areas. The local government was also lacking manpower because even the officials are mayor and the people working the local government offices were badly affected by the typhoon. They also have a lot of things to fix for themselves. And so the rescue and revival operations were late and slow.

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Even the body bags for the casualties were lacking. That moment, our mayor didn't need to tell the world about the things that we need anymore, because the scene and the situation was speaking for itself. Millions of help worldwide were coming from food, clothing, medical attention and shelter. We are overwhelmed by all the help even the US Army's Korean Japanese Canadian and many other countries came together to extend their help to us. There were a lot of NGOs who stayed in our city and nearby towns to address the needs of the people. They stayed here for many months and others stayed here for many years. It was heartwarming. And until now it's still hard to believe that it really happened not once upon a time our city was seen around the world because of a strong typhoon going back to reality. After a few days of staying in Tacloban I decided to go back to Cebu and get back to work so I can help and provide for the new needs of my family. Even the journey going back to Cebu felt like forever. There are more hours of walking waiting for a ride, waiting in line to buy a ticket. First we went to the airport and hope that we could ride an airplane going to Cebu. But the airport was also destroyed because it was just near the sea. The establishments and houses near the sea were all totally damaged because there was a storm surge during the typhoon. It is the rising of the waters from the sea to the land, and it was 15 to 20 feet high that even the big houses and cars were damaged. After the storm, you can see a lot of cars above the big houses or above the gates of an office or house. In short, it was really scary and we can see it in movies. But believe me, it happened. It's a tsunami like scenario that we can only see in movies. When we were in the airport and saw that it was also damaged by the storm. There were a lot of people waiting for a ride going to Manila or Cebu. That time we were C 130s from the US and also from their words C 130s. From the US and also from our own military. It's still like the movies and action movie with armies all around and jets and C 130s on the runway of the airport. There are prior priorities who can ride the C 130s first and it was a free ride their priorities for senior citizens, PWD, PWD, his children, and also Americans who were already living there. We stayed there for a long day, and there was no good news about how we can ride for free or even with fare. We were willing to pay for the ticket fare if it was only available. But there was no airplanes on the runway, only military planes and helicopters. They're carrying relief, good first aid stuff and other important things that the people need. It's just sad that the first responders, we're foreigners, and not our own government. But thankfully, but thankfully, help was pouring. It doesn't matter where the help was from all that matters was to survive. That same day, we still waited for hours in the airport until it was dark, because we were hoping that we will be able to secure a slot in the C 130 that carries people to mandolin or Seville until there was no hope that we would be able to ride a plane, the airport was still full of people waiting and were one of them. Then after a while the Army announced that they're that there is a free ride going to Cebu in the in the port area, which is located in the downtown area. It was a military ship and it can carry about 5000 people. We were told to line up for those who like to ride. And so we did line up. After a few hours of waiting for the next instruction, we were instructed to ride in a six in a six by military truck going to the port again. Again, it was my first time to ride in a military truck and I feel like I'm going to war. Then we arrived in the port area in front of the military ship and went inside to secure our spot and wait for the departure going to Cebu.

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I thought that we would depart from PAC Liban that night. And so we slept in one corner of the ship because we were very exhausted just walking in waiting all day without food and just a few drinks until we slept. I woke up early in the morning and I thought that we're already in Cebu, I look around and see that we are in in that we are still intact. Liban and then I asked one of the army then why we haven't departed yet. And when is the departure schedule. He told me that it will take three days to go to Cebu and we will depart once we hit 5000 in the ship. When I saw the crowd inside the big ship. I thought we would be able to reach 5000 heads already that day. But I cannot wait any longer for three days when we can only reach subwoofer in four hours. So we got out of the ship. And then we walked home again. It was more than 10 kilometers going home so it's really far but that time walking was normal because everyone is walking there and there to get food to go to places visit their loved ones and seeing dead bodies and debris piled up from the storm was just normal. The city was still very messy and already stinky. There were no trees, houses and buildings were destroyed. It was ground zero. When we arrived home, we ate and drank for more energy before we tried to go back to Cebu again. We decided to try the terminal if there is a bus going to RMAc city, so that it'll be near Cebu. When we got to the terminal. It was also full of people hopeful who wanted to go to different places in the region, or even Manila just to escape the current situation. There were a few buses, cars and jeeps, but they're for different destinations. When a certain transportation arrives in the terminal, people run and grab their chance for a slot in that bus, or jeep. It was like in a zombie movie people running everywhere and holding on to that bus or Jeep so they can get out of that place. When I saw a mini bus approaching, and it was for Ormoc city, I immediately ran and shoved off the people beside me. So I could pass and my two travel companions, I had to be strong for both of them because at that time, they both are not feeling well. And we already have to be in Cebu to rest and take medications. Then Fortunately, I was able to seek here three seats for us. It's like my adrenaline rush took over. When I saw that bus. It was like running for our lives. I'll never forget that feeling of being so active to help the people around me. When finally after three hours of travel going to our mark. Normally it's two hours, I felt relieved and hopeful that we will be able to ride a CIF ac fastcraft going to Cebu that day. Just when I thought that we are the only people or somehow I think there are just a few of us who arrived going to Cebu. I was wrong because the lines are long. And it was not organized. And actually there were no lines because it was not organized. The C port terminal and the office were also destroyed from the typhoon and all of us wanted a ride to Cebu. If I can remember, we were about 1000 or more waiting for a ride, then we have to make a plan so we can buy a ticket since there are no lines and everyone is already screaming and arguing here in there. So we did get the tickets and we'll have to wait for the next day because it's the next departure schedule that is available. We spent two more days in total just to secure a slot for a ride going to Cebu. Because we were our be We obviously wanted to escape the situation, and everyone wanted to be in a safe place.

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There are also people who need medical treatment because of the wounds that they've gotten during the storm. Some really need serious treatment. And the only solution they have is to go to Cebu or Manila because the hospitals here were also destroyed. That time the people in Tacloban were also asked to vacate if they can because they will spray disinfecting or something from the sky through a helicopter because of the strong smell from the corpses around the city. Since they were collected behind time, the corpses were stinking and bloated. So the air that we're breathing was not safe anymore, especially for people with health conditions, children and the elderly. Finally, in Cebu when I arrived in Cebu, my body was exhausted from that journey, and I felt feverish. Instead of going to work. I rested for another day and took a bath, which I haven't done for days while I was in Tacloban. After a few days, my family went to Cebu also and stayed with me in the apartment where I'm living. They're scared of what's happening in the surrounding areas because there are thieves everywhere and some bad people who take advantage of the situation. They also went through the same struggle like me when they traveled to Cebu. It was also hard because my mom was already having a problem with her womb. It got worse and maybe infected. Since she is a diabetic her wound will really worsen and that was the reason why she was having trouble walking. They traveled with two kids, my mom, my sister and my brother in law. My dad or adopted brother and Uncle just stayed here and telco bound to look after our house. They also went there to bring my mom to the hospital for treatment. In medications, I fetch them at the port area terminal. And when they saw me approaching, they felt so relieved that finally, they were able to be able to sleep and rest properly.

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After a few days, we had my mother checked in to a public hospital and the doctor gave us a prescription for antibiotics, even if I told the doctor that my mom is a diabetic, and I know that her wound will not heal because her blood sugar level needs to be controlled first, before giving her an antibiotic or other drugs from our wound. I'm not in the medical field though I'm not in the medical field. I somehow understand the condition and treatment of a diabetic patient because my mom and my dad are both diabetic. I wasn't convinced with a doctor's prescription, but because she is a doctor and she knows more than me, we bought all the medication she needed. It's especially the antibiotic. It was very expensive. But nonetheless, I bought it because it was for my mom. Then we noticed after a week that her wound was not healing. Instead, it was getting worse. I decided to bring her to the nearest private hospital in Mundo for a second opinion. And there we found out that the wound was already deep, and it almost hit her bones. What we are scared us of is if it already touches her bones, she will have to be amputated. Thank God it did not go through to her bones but just so near. The doctor advised us to let mom be admitted in the hospital for proper medication and treatment. She was confined in the hospital for a week. And my office mates helped me with some of the expenses while my mom was in the hospital. There were a lot of helping hands during that time and we were able to survive a month after we spent our Christmas and New Year in Cebu and my dad also went to Cebu to be with us. My uncle and our adopted brother were the only ones left and Taliban to look after our whole our house, but they spent the holidays with some of our relatives nearby. It was a different Christmas because we spent it outside talcum bond and it felt a little lonely. Though our family was complete in Cebu the next month. My sister and her family went back to Taleban because classes will soon start. Those schools were destroyed during the storm, they have to start the classes to catch up with their sessions. Slowly, everyone was moving on and starting to rebuild their lives. Even if we have lost all our precious possessions, some of our friends and loved ones. And some of our friends and loved ones because of the storm. font family is all that matters. And we can still buy the things that the storm destroyed. A month after my sister went off to go back home. I filed for a leave of absence so I could spend some time with my mom and my dad at home. So I can send my mom and my dad home. Mom is already recovering from her wound that was brought about by the storm. He got infected because she is diabetic. And thank God she is safe and out of danger. I accompany my parents going home and I stayed at home for days to check the situation. I also thank God that we already have a roof at home because our church gave donations for every member to help us rebuild our homes. They also gave us relief goods and other important stuff that we needed. I will never forget the generosity of different individuals at that time. Help was sent from different parts of the world. Many countries came together to help our region and it will be written in the history of Tacloban City and nearby towns who were badly hit by the towel by the typhoon. It was the toughest moments of our lives and to praise God we are we were able to overcome those trials. It is hard to be away from your family during difficult times and when you're reading this Be thankful for your family hug and say I love you to them because you will never know when you're going to be here on this earth till when you are going to be here on the star. I learned And a lot from supertyphoon. And it will be forever etched in my heart, a journey home. A few months later

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I received a call from my close friend and former work me from my first job. She is convincing, and offers me a job in a new company that will be operational by mid of 2014. She called me on the first week of August 2014. And I was still hesitating. But at the same time, I was thinking of going home and applying for work here because I want to be with my family ever since the storm happened. That call was just right on time. But I just parked the thought of it. Then came the first week of August, I went home to be with my family for my dad's birthday. While I was at home, my friend called me again and told me the big boss of this company is in the talcum on that day. And they're conducting interviews for the applicants. She told me to give it a try and that she already told the bosses that she was recommending me for a trainer position. hesitant as I was I decided to attend and borrowed a dress from my sister so I could go to the interview, I hurried and went to the venue. And I was the only person waiting to be interviewed. In short, I was very late. My interview lasted for just a few minutes. And I was not expecting to pass and be hired. Normally, I stayed in the company for four years. And I learned a lot from that job. And at the same time, I got to travel to different places. Places I have never been to before. It was both work and play. I enjoyed my work as a trainer and I wanted to venture into teaching. So I enrolled to get units for a teaching course. Since I graduated from a business course, I still needed to I still need to enroll and get a few more units. So I can pursue taking the teachers license examination. Then in 2018, I got the units completed and enrolled to take the review for the board examination. I was working while studying from 2017 to 2018. It wasn't easy, but if you really want to pursue your dreams, you will overcome every obstacle and you will finish what you have started. I resigned in August 2018 took up the licensure examination for teachers on September 30, and got the result that I passed the exam in December. Just when I was about to pursue teaching, I got a call from my aunt, the call. My aunt told me that she wanted me to go to the US to live and work there. If there is a visa available and applicable for me, she wanted me to apply. So she wanted me to do research. After a few days of researching, we talked again and I told her that the only available visa for me is a visitor's visa. So we looked for other ways for me to get there easier, and the only easy access was to get a student visa to Canada, since Canada is just near the US. We opted to apply for a student visa for Canada. We have a lot of plans when I get there. And we were very excited to start the process. I attended the seminar for the agencies who handle visa applications in Cebu. For me having an agency to process your papers is really expensive. And I don't want to waste that big amount of money, especially if it isn't mine. I told my aunt about all the details from the agency and the costs and then she's just said yes, and she transferred the money. Right away. I went back to the office of the agency and signed all of the needed documents to start processing my papers for the visa application. It took me more than a month to gather all of my permanent papers to submit. In less than a month I was enrolled in one of the international schools in Vancouver, Canada. I was enrolled as a tourism student and I was excited to start schooling. Then after I got enrolled, I sent my application to the agency so they could start to process the visa. We just waited for the result. And after two weeks the result was out and unfortunately,

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it was refused. I felt sad but at the same time at the back of my mind. I was relieved because when we started probably Seen the visa application, I began having anxiety attacks. And I think it was because of the idea that I'll be away in a different country alone. Despite the fears I have inside, I still continued the processing for the second time. This time, I was already told to have my medical examination. So we thought that this time, my application would get approved. After gathering the needed additional documents, we waited for one to two weeks. But this time, we are confident that we will will be approved. Just when we were about to send the final document that the officer asked from us, we received an email from the embassy that once again, the application was refused us again, I was brokenhearted for the second time around because I know now that there is a good reason why it happened. I know that my aunt is twice as heartbroken as me because she wasted a big amount of money for nothing. I felt guilty. And I wish it just didn't happen. Thankfully, my aunt is such a good and understanding person and she wasn't upset at me, or blaming me for what had happened. I thought about going to Dubai with one of my cousin's there, so it will be easier for me to apply and get approved for the visa for Canada next time. This was men 2019. And my wedding was also set for August 2019. Just in case, my visa will be approved and I need to fly to Canada right away. The plan was to let my husband follow me after I'm done with my schooling in Canada. But because I wasn't granted a student visa, we had to withdraw the school payment. And we just decided to still push through with the wedding. I know that everything has its own time and season. Everything happens for a reason. As for me and my boyfriend, the wedding was already a little overdue, and we know that it was hardly the perfect time to marry since we've been dating for nine years and six months, we are ready to move on to the next phase of our relationship. That year as well me and my cousin started a business. My cousin bought the internet cafe from my friend and we just continued with the operations. Everything was doing well. Despite the challenges I have encountered since 2018 from the visa application. I thought it was already running smoothly. But our internet shop had its ups and downs from the turnover in June 2019. Though we had everything figured out Fix It was literally draining, it was not easy to handle a business. But because I am persistent, I was able to find ways to solve some issues that we have in our internet shop. Fast forward to march 2020. I have been hearing about the COVID-19 virus ever since the start of 2020. This is not the first time that the that the world experienced a new virus but it is the first time that it did not only spread in a certain country or a city instead it spread like wildfire around the world. When our country announced that we will be on lockdown in mid March, people started to panic by all the necessities during the lockdown. My family did not join the wave because somehow we still have all that we needed. It's not much but it'll help us get through. The lockdown was all new to us but we needed to get ready for what's ahead. When the lockdown started. All businesses also needed to close except for the essentials like grocery stores and restaurants for takeout only. Temporary closings of the business means that we don't have income for the duration of the lockdown and we don't have an idea when it'll be lifted. Since we have no income we think of ways on how to somehow earn while on lockdown. We open a food on the go business since many people can't go outside. Without any valid reason. The lockdown only allows one person per family to go out and you are only allowed to go out to buy food. You have to leave your ID in the checkpoints. Being on lockdown was really challenging, but we had to work hard to earn despite the pandemic. Thank God our small food online business helped us to earn and it was sufficient for our needs. Then June 2021 came and the lockdown was lifted.

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We were still in quarantine but that time the quarantine was lighter in some businesses were already allowed to open but with precautions and limit in people because of social distancing is a must. We immediately visited our internet shop so we can assess what to do next. Upon checking and taking in consideration of the situation, we decided to permanently close the business and sell the items that we have inside the shop. It was a hard decision. But it was the best decision at that time. Considering that we were renting the space and monthly we needed to pay for the rent while also paying for the labor costs of our two employees. The biggest problem that we had to consider is the income of the shop. So we could pay for all of the bills in the shop. And if we still have a profit, since the capacity was very limited because of the social distancing, and kids were not allowed to go out due to the restrictions of their age group, they needed to stay home. And because of that our income was badly affected. The kids are our regular customers and 95% of the income comes from students, which at the time was very impossible for us to generate an income. Because of that reason, in short, our shop was going nowhere at the time and no one knows when the restrictions is going to end, the businesses was already at the lowest point because even if we chose to open it, we would still be bankrupt due to a lot of other factors. Income and bills must always be considered and income was not certain that time given the situation we were in. If there's no income, we will also not be able to pay everything. So it's better just permanently close. This was again a big challenge in my life. But I did not look at it negatively. I'm just thankful to God that I was created and raised to be a strong woman. Every time I stumble and fall, I always make sure that I stand up and come back stronger. Every time I'm faced with life's uncertainties. I know that he is by my side holding me and cheering for me that everything will be all right. We just have to be patient and know that He is in control of everything that is happening around us. Then this happened during the summer. While we were on lockdown, we decided to try convincing conceiving since it has been a year since we got married. And we are not getting younger anymore. It was the right time to try. Though financially, we were not prepared yet, because of so many things happening around us. I still believe that if things slash events are meant for you, it'll happen whether we like it or not. It's designed it is already designed for you. Months passed by so quickly. Then in August of 2020, I missed my period. And it's just usual because sometimes my period will miss out for a week or a month. I was not expecting from the very beginning that I would get pregnant that quick. I thought that I'll be having a hard time conceiving because I have a thyroid problem. Then came September. I'm now anticipating that I'll be having my period already. But until mid of that month, I still do not have it. I still drive my motorcycle when I have to to buy important things and do some errands. Then one day, my husband and I went to the downtown area to buy some stuff. I felt something in my lower abdomen. There's something wrong with my stomach because it was very painful and my hips were aching. Before we got home, I decided to buy a pregnancy test. So I can check if I'm really pregnant. I bought two pregnancy tests of different brands. That night, I use the two pregnancy tests already and after a few minutes of both came out with positive results. That moment, I wasn't sure how to react. I couldn't feel anything but I was happy deep inside. It's more of a worry and scared of what I will be expecting for the coming months. I'm more worried for the baby than for myself because of the pandemic. After a few minutes, I told my husband about the results and he was very happy and excited that finally we will now be having a small family. So many things happened during the last two years of my life and there were a lot of heartaches, disappointments and rejections.

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But it never stopped me to continue life and to love this life. It's always true that there will always be a rainbow after the rain. It has been a long two years of my life since I decided to resign from my regular job and chose what I love to do. The answer to your problems may not always be the answer that you want it to happen but it always it is always the best and just what you need in God knows your needs and he always gives you the exact answer to every problem. My take away from all the storms I've encountered in my life for the past 35 years. We don't always get what we want. But God gives us exactly what we need. Storms in life this is like a bulleted list. Storms in life don't always give us negative connotations. Storms exists to wholeness, to strengthen us, to prepare us, to make us the best versions of ourselves. God is always there to guide you lead you and mold you just trust Him and trust the process. It is only by God's grace that I've been able to survive and get through all of the storms in life. James 112, Blessed is the man that endureth temptation for when he is tired, he shall receive the crown of life, when the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Next bullet point. We are only passers by here on earth and everything is temporary. So let's make sure to do what God wants you to do. Second Corinthians 418, While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen for the things which are seen, are temporal, but the things which are not seen, are eternal. Next bullet point. Indeed, we are not in control. I may not be in Canada right now, I may not be teaching right now, or I may not be as quote unquote successful as others right now. But for me, success is only a word you can define for yourself. I am successful because I have my family with me. I'm a successful mother to a healthy baby. And I'm very happy that God gave me the opportunity to be a mother because not every woman is given an opportunity to conceive. I am successful because I have a loving and faithful husband. I am thankful that he made me wait for the right man to marry. I am successful in every way and I'm proud and happy of what I have become. It may not be the definition, it may not be the success that others perceive it to be. But for me it is the my definition of success. I conquered obstacles that life threw at me because I have a big God that stayed with me through all the seasons in my life. I am becoming the big me because I rose from all the tests and trials and continue to keep going each day. Gratitude. I'm thankful for this opportunity to share with you my story, becoming the big me as an answer prayer for me. Ever since I was ever since I was a kid. I used to write poems, letters, diaries, journals, and even short stories. I never shared my work to others, not even to my family because I'm afraid that they will not like it or appreciate it. But when I told them about this book, they were happy and excited for me. I am a certified frustrated writer per se but I'm happy writing even without an audience. It's my way of releasing stress and sadness. A big thanks to this girl Jamila Bernie who made one of my dreams come true. I am one of the people behind her business and particularly her podcast. I'm happy to work for her and only wish and pray for her success because this girl is the most understanding and kind human being I've ever known. She trusted me cheered for me and helped me to get out of my own comfort zone. Writing this chapter was already surreal. Who would have thought that a simple girl from telcos and Tacloban City Philippines will be included in international book and to be in line with all the successful people in this book is just mind blowing. This book will surely make you love life and all it can offer. I will leave you with my life verse. Romans 1212 rejoicing in hope patient in tribulation continuing instant in prayer.

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Who the end? Wow. Whew, that is such a powerful, powerful story. Apologize it started getting a little emotional there at the end. Um, you guys Dana is so incredible. And I'm just so proud of her and I'm so proud of the growth that she has had with me and with the company with becoming the big me and I'm so proud of her for allowing me the opportunity to share her story in, in the book in the podcast and to the world. Like I'm, I feel so blessed to have Dana in my life. And I really hope that you guys enjoyed listening to her story. And I really hope that you enjoy reading her story as well in the latest book becoming the big me the great conquest

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thank you so much for tuning in to today's episode of The becoming the big money podcast. I know that you found value in hearing this story today. And I would love if you could show your support by going and grabbing a copy of our book. And you can do so by going to bit.li/great conquest. You can also go to www dot the great conquest.com For more information about each of the individuals involved in this process. Thanks again for tuning in.

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