What does it take to overcome extreme poverty? Chalre CEO Rebecca Bustamante considers education and perseverance as her stepping stones out of an impoverished life. Her childhood in Pangasinan can only be described as challenging: the 7th of 11 children, Rebecca had to work from an early age to help support her siblings. She lived with different families and helped with household chores in exchange for tuition money. When Rebecca was in her teens, her mother died of cancer. This prompted the young Rebecca to go to Singapore as a domestic helper. Determined to finish her education, Rebecca took up accountancy at the Open University of the Singapore Institute of Management. Not only did she earn a college degree, Rebecca also sent money home to her family and saved up to 20% of her earnings.

After several years in Singapore, Rebecca migrated to Canada. There, she worked as a nanny and held various other jobs while pursuing her graduate studies at the Ryeson University. Rebecca was able to save enough capital to start her own business: a recruitment agency that helps her fellow Filipinos get jobs overseas. She also met her husband abroad, and they are now the proud parents of two teenagers. Rebecca hopes that her experience would inspire other Filipinos, especially women, to not just dream of rising from poverty but to aspire for leadership positions in industry. Listen to this interview and find out Rebecca’s vision for her homeland.

Mike Grogan and Rebecca Bustamante of Chalre

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The importance of accepting your identity and purpose.
  • How Rebecca was able to succeed abroad.
  • Why Rebecca came back to the Philippines.
  • The best way to respond to criticism, especially from loved ones.
  • How to handle loneliness as an OFW.
  • How the Philippines can become a first world country.

Quotable Quotes:

Here are some words of wisdom shared by Rebecca in this interview.

  • “No man is an island.” John Donne
  • I’m proud to be a domestic helper because it was a stepping stone to go the next level in my life.
  • My definition of success is making a difference. How you can inspire people? How can you help?
  • I don’t believe in money or material things, but we need them to survive.
  • It’s okay when people laughed at me. I had a vision. I had goals.
  • Never put down others. Instead help them and lift them up.
  • It’s important to manage your mind and not let your mind manage you.
  • We are now in the spring season. We are bursting with opportunities (here in the Philippines).
  • In 2030, the Philippines will be a First World country.

Join the Conversation:

Do you believe that the Philippines can be a first world country by 2030? If yes, what do we need to do to make that happen? Share your answers!

Take inspired action!
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