“There should be no stops, you have to keep on going,” says RCBC Vice President of Corporate Communications, Mr. Joee Guilas. This fighter has been through a lot. At a very young age, he lost his dad which led to losing all of their family’s wealth, even including their own house. It even came to the point that the young “Tondo Boy”, who once lived a comfortable life, only had 30 centavos left in his pocket. “I know how it’s like to be hungry and poor,” he says. But this, or any other situation that he faced, never stopped him from achieving more.
Who would have thought that this Bank Executive once had a dream of being in the world of media? Joee referred to himself as an “Ugly Duckling”. Entering UP in college, he wanted to pursue a course in Mass Communications. But even his own mother did not believe that he could pursue a career in the media because she believed that Joee doesn’t have the “looks” to be famous in the industry. Thus, he studied Business Economics instead.
But education did not stop him from pursuing his lifelong dream. Given the opportunity, he entered the world of media as a segment producer in a popular TV station. With his skill, Joee was given several jobs in the media until he was finally seen on cam as a newscaster. Finally, what his mother thought would never happen came to pass. Joee did achieve his dream of being in the limelight. But upon achieving this lifelong dream, Joee was never contented. He was still hungry for other ambitions. And this yearning for a new path opened up a new door for him in the world of banking.
Joee’s successful entry in the world of banking started with a very interesting story. It was his first week working in a prominent bank and he was tasked to host an event. Despite being new to the company and the banking industry, Joee still managed to bring with him his outgoing and friendly personality that he got from the world of media. As he was on his way to the event and entered the elevator, he sociably introduced himself to the person next to him and told him that he was new in the company and he would meet the president that day. Joee never expected that this elevator conversation would be the key to his triumph in the world of banking. Hosting the event and upon reading his script, Joee announced and recognized the presence of the bank’s president and CEO who was no other than, Mr. Lorenzo Tan, the guy whom he started a conversation with in the elevator. Ever since then, Joee and his boss became good friends and worked together for many years, “We clicked. We never left each other’s side ever since,” he revealed. Until now, he works with Mr. Lorenzo Tan as RCBC’s Vice President of Corporate Communications.
Just when everything was falling into place, Joee faced the greatest challenge of his life. Not in his career, but in his own health. In 2010, Joee was diagnosed with Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease. But this condition did not hinder him from achieving more. “When I learned about it, instead of sulking, I asked what I can do.” Joee considers whining as a total waste of time. When prescribed with a challenge, he doesn’t just give up. He would always make it a point to find a solution and think of his next move. And with this condition, he immediately knew that his next move would be a total change in lifestyle.
Joee was determined to reverse most of the negative findings and he did so by going to the gym regularly while still working at RCBC. Not only that, he was even given the award as 2013 Fitness First Health Ambassador, which led him to not only prolonging his life, but to inspire many others as well. Besides his banking career and passion in fitness, Joee even managed to be a disc jockey and a communications professor in FEU.
When asked how he was able to handle everything despite his condition, he said, “If you really want it, you’ll go for it.” And true enough, he really did go after everything that he wanted.
Out of all the many achievements in his life, what he considers his major achievement is “being able to score a lot of wins despite the challenges that came my way” And true enough, this fighter just proved to us that indeed, he is a winner.