This is Joemar. If you have been to Cebu and met him, you already get the link between the picture and the post title.
Joe is what we call a lifer…a company man. He loves his job, works hard and looks his best when he’s in his uniform. The problem here is that he works for McDonald’s. Look at the guilt on his face as he polishes off a meal from their primary competition in Cebu. He agreed to this picture even though I told him I was going to use it as blackmail. He even held the cup out to give the shot some dimension.
I guess Joemar is a lifer at CSC too. He arrived on July 15, 1985, and at age 35, doesn’t show any sign of moving out of the Duterte home. Not that we would have it any other way.
I remember first meeting Joemar. First week of the job, first trip overseas, trying to keep all kinds of balls in the air when Marlys brought him over. It didn’t take more then a few seconds to realize Joemar has development delays, or that he loves Superman for that matter. To this day I find it helpful to have Auntie Sandy around to translate, but I’ve learned many of the key Joemar terms. Even if I hadn’t, he usually seems happy to show me around or have me just talk to him. This last trip he was showing me how he could write his name.
I don’t remember what I thought when I first met Joemar, but I find myself wondering if I realized how valuable he is when I did. Did I think “he sure is lucky to have CSC?” Maybe, maybe not. But, what I know I didn’t realize yet is that CSC sure is lucky to have him. Not because he’s such a hard worker or a good roommate, but because Joemar is a gem. He is precious, valuable and reflects light wherever he goes.
I don’t know if I thought it (I know I didn’t say it), but I suspect my attitude when I met Joemar was “poor guy.” I know myself well enough to know that at first I was focused on what was missing when it came to Joe. So let’s just get one thing straight: poor me. What a sad deficit-based approach to a child of a God. What a blessing I would have missed if I would have only seen so far as Joe’s limitations. 7 years later I thank God that He put a gem named Joemar in my life. Not because he had something to gain, but because I did.
Though, I suppose I could have something to offer and at least explain blackmail to him.