It was about four years ago today when a very green young man walked in the four corners of one of the country’s leading auditing and accounting firms, Punongbayan and Araullo. I just passed the May 2012 CPA licensure examinations and was quite clueless about the bigger world outside my comfort zones.

At first, I was reluctant to work in Manila. I was too used to the comforts of my hometowns, Baguio and Bontoc. But with that arrogant drive of knowing that I have the proclivity to survive anywhere I go, I decided to take that leap of faith. It was rarely ever a joy ride, but if there is one thing I was sure of, by taking that leap of faith I’ve grown leaps and bounds, both as a professional and as a person.

Taking Chances

I first submitted my resume to P&A in May 2012, just a couple of days after passing the licensure examinations. However, I put this at the back of my mind and counted it off as lost cause as I didn’t get any call from them until July. At the peak of my desperation to land a job, I surprisingly got a call from them, asking me to take pre-employment examinations. By this time, I was willing to chase any opportunity that comes my way.

Being a P&Aer doesn’t necessarily mean I coop up myself with office work. I somehow have to find a way to unwind and no better way to do it than play badminton. Then rule PABO for two years. 🙂

I have to admit, I was still intimidated by Manila when I took the examinations and the succeeding interviews. It was just out of desperation that I pushed through with this, pinning all my hopes that I’d finally be able to sign that elusive job contract, which I did late in August. There’s always that certain elation of finally being able to sign an employment contract.

I was supposed to start on the second week of September but because of urgency, I was asked to report on the 3rd of September instead. On my first day on the job, I got in late. Unluckily, as I wasn’t used yet to Manila traffic. What a way indeed to create impressions on my first day. Fortunately, I spent the day accomplishing employment documentary requirements
and went home earlier than usual.

It was on the next day that I was finally introduced to my workmates in the now defunct P&A Grant Thornton Outsourcing, Inc. I was a bit nervous because I am treading uncharted territories. On the plus side, I have officially become part of the corporate world.

Honing My Craft

One of the determining factors in my decision to work in Makati is the opportunity to learn more dynamically. Being one of the top auditing and accounting firms in the country, I believe that P&A will fully equip me as a professional. And in my four-year stay with the firm, I wasn’t proving wrong about my assertion.

With my fellow UC alumni, and also my badminton doubles partner.

The competence that was extended to me by my seniors and managers made me learn a lot. I was like a sponge, absorbing everything that they’ve taught me. By handling a plethora of clients in four years, I was able to amass knowledge significant in my profession.

I have indeed grown leaps and bounds since the day I have stepped in the four corners of P&A. When I entered P&A, the only things I know are the theories. Four years onward, I was finally able to apply these theories in a variety of actual cases. In the process, I was able to gain more knowledge in different fields, including accounting, taxation and financial analysis.

Sailing through Rough Waters

Working in a public firm presents its own sets of challenges. Anyone who experienced working in public firms will attest to this. There is that parity in working in P&A which isn’t any different from working with other auditing and accounting firms. Working here for the past four years felt like gliding through a minefield, being very precocious so as not to step on anything that will impale ones’ self.

Although there were times that I enjoyed working, the dark clouds are never that far away. I had to battle through depression, stress, and ultimately, anxiety. On my dark days, I hated working that the moment I enter office premises, I already get depressed. In spite of these harrowing thoughts, I tried to remain positive and still act like a professional that I should be.

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The original lunch buddies’ on a reunion when I was on the verge of bidding goodbye to my first employers.

It was difficult having to drag myself through the day but I constantly remind myself that I still have to complete my tasks. It is important to accomplish my tasks in spite of my disappointments and frustrations. Though my vision is covered by dark clouds, I tried, with difficulty, to see the positive in everything I was doing. In four years, I’ve proven to myself that I can survive, undaunted by the numerous challenges ahead of me.

Building Relationships

Probably the best thing in working in P&A Grant Thornton is meeting new faces. Getting to meet a lot of people from different walks of life also introduced me to a multitude of cultures and values. From these people I met on my P&A journey, I’ve learned a lot which I can apply in my daily endeavor.

In my four years with P&A, I’ve been able to gain a lot of new friends. They’ve helped me adapt to my new environment. They also made my transition from a small-town boy to a big-city lad smoother. Though people came and go, I’ve earned a lot of friends for keeps beyond the four corners of P&A.

My P&A family. Family because even though we came from different backgrounds, we still act as one and care for one another.

The best thing of establishing relationships in P&A is having shoulders to lean on during the darkest of times. I am grateful to my P&A friends who stood by me even when my timidity was replaced by viciousness. I know that in my most stubborn, I can push everyone back. I am eternally grateful to those who stuck with me in spite my choleric temperament.

There’s no doubt that P&A has helped me grow leaps and bounds. Though there were countless times when I was ready to hang my P&A shirt, I still held on. There were times I surmised that the going was no longer worth it. There were times when one step forward meant two steps back. Nonetheless, I clung on, on the single hope that everything will eventually change, and also because of the people that I’ve met on my four-year journey.

I am eternally grateful to P&A for being my first employer, for being the first one to take a chance on me. Four years is quite long already for anyone but my four years in P&A is a kaleidoscopic tapestry of magnificent people, valuable experiences and wonderful memories. This tapestry we’ve weaved is something that I will always treasure and cherish, wherever I go.

This is my first birthday celebration as a P&Aer, July 5, 2013. Who’d have thought that I’d spend thre more birthdays here?