Stories of inspiration

The Story of a Strong, Independent Woman and Her Supportive Partner

Summary

An empowered career woman finds joy and a warmed heart in a partner who understands and supports her deeply.

An empowered career woman finds joy and a warmed heart in a partner who understands and supports her deeply. Surexion (Rex) Almeria, known for his vibrant sense of humor and fervent respect for his partner, became an instant source of comfort and happiness for Sherylyn (She) Almeria, who was two years his senior. Both are PSFI Gas Mo, Bukas Ko (GMBK) scholars whose partnership is as dynamic as the engines that power long rides.

She and Rex Almeria have been life partners for 17 years. They’ve witnessed each other’s growth since they started dating in their teenage years. At that time, She was yearning for love and had asked for a divine sign— that her future partner would find and wear a hidden pair of gold sandals. Little did she know, her prayer would be answered in the most unusual way. Rex, visiting his best friend who was She’s sister, found and wore those very sandals.
 
Sometimes, fate has its own way of bringing people together.
 
Fast forward to the present, both are employed at Shell Magallanes Management Corp. She has taken the role of a service receptionist, while Rex works as a deli2GO barista. With two children to nurture and support, they dedicate themselves to their livelihoods and family responsibilities. She and Rex initially did not want to pursue any upskilling as they focused only on making ends meet. However, the couple was determined to provide a bright future for their family. As if guided by fate, Misty Arabia-Dimaiwat, Program Officer of PSFI, offered them a Gas Mo, Bukas Ko program scholarship.
 
Being the career-oriented woman that she is, She realized how new skills can benefit her professional life. This has convinced her to continue learning beyond one course. She started with bookkeeping, next on to basic entrepreneurship, then explored automotive with her husband. “Kahit na mahirap…sabay-sabay ang paga-aral, duty, at iba pang responsibilities, iba yung fulfillment na binibigay after” She shared. Fortunately, their superiors– Mario Cruz, Jr., Shell Magallanes Dealer; Mae Espiritu, Site Manager; and Romina Abad, NFR Manager– showed strong support for their involvement in GMBK.
 
They joined and started GMBK after the pandemic. Rex, inspired by his wife’s ambition, also enrolled in a cookery course. This year, he took his second course joining She in taking an automotive course as a way of spending quality time with her.
 
“Nage-enjoy ako ‘pag pumapasok… inspired ako sa school, magkasama kami e” teased Rex. “Tsaka ‘di kami nagko-kopyahan. Pataasan pa kami ng score. Pero ‘pag group work dapat magka-group kami, dun kami nagkakaroon ng teamwork. Kaya enjoy. Enjoy pumasok ‘pag yung kasama mo ay yung mahal mo sa buhay… yiee!”
 
Their journey as a married couple has taken on a new dimension, with love merged with their shared aspirations for growth and achievement.
 
While their playful banter and solid teamwork may make them look like the perfect couple, they also experience their own challenges. She acknowledges that at times, her frustrations from work spill over into her home life, causing her to feel irritable.
 
Times like these highlight a stark difference in their characteristics as Rex takes on the role of the understanding and even-tempered partner. He also takes the initiative of doing the house chores so his wife can enjoy some rest.
As the two lovingly adapt to what the other needs, they also remain open to bettering themselves on a personal level. “Wag nilang hilahin yung isa’t isa pababa. Hilahin nila yung ka-relasyon nila paitaas,” She advises other couples.
 
Apart from the skills they gained from GMBK, She and Rex agree that the Leadership Enhancement and Attitude Development (LEAD) Workshop was their most memorable experience with PSFI. They liken the experience to a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, as the LEAD experience allowed them to discover their strengths and weaknesses and change for the better. She, in particular, recounts its transformative effect on her, as her family noticed her being more patient and empathetic after attending the three-day workshop. Rex, who joined the next seminar, became more confident with public speaking. They also impart the good values they have learned to their children.
 
The LEAD workshop also helped She and Rex realize that they have the same goals and dreams for the future. Their biggest goal is to provide a better life for their children by ensuring they graduate from college.
 
When asked how they balance working and learning with being with their kids, the couple shares that they try to manage their time according to their long-term goals. They coordinate with their supervisors to create schedules that allow them to attend GMBK courses and be more hands-on with their children, even if it means less paid hours. She believes that this is an investment for themselves and for their family.
 
The couple recently completed the Automotive Servicing course that they took together as a way to learn and spend more time with each other. They look forward to more opportunities to help them strengthen their relationship while building a good future for their family.
 
For Rex and She, their GMBK scholarship was more than just an educational endeavor; it was a journey of love, ambition, and the realization that together, they could navigate any road, no matter how rough.
Taking their learnings from 17 years of partnership, Rex and She offers this advice to other couples:
 
“Pahalagahan niyo ang oras… Kung mag-boyfriend palang, bigyan ang isa’t isa ng oras. Kung may asawa’t anak na, pahalagahan at magbigay ng oras sa anak.” – Rex
“Sa family, katulad sa amin na parehong nagtatrabaho at nag-aaral, gusto naming sabihin sa lahat na wag nating kalilimutan lagi silang bigyan ng panahon. Kaya mong kumita ng pera, pero ‘yung oras, hindi mo na maibabalik” – She
 
 
 

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