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I still remember the day very well. I was sitting in the train going from Mordialloc to Melbourne CBD early 2016, and I thought to myself that I want to change my life again. I had tasted corporate life for a good time, was working on exciting accounts, consulting some Fortune 500 companies.


However, I was never made for the 9-5 lifestyle. I always wanted to be my own boss, without even really knowing it during my studies. I had majored in historical sciences with philosophy minor, I was certainly loving my freedom ever since.

The moment, when I understood that I would rather want to follow some sort of “digital nomad” lifestyle was back in early 2010. I was sitting in a resort on Siargao Island with my best friend Jakob, looking at the strong waves coming from the Pacific ocean and attracting some of the best surfers from all over the world to this beautiful gemstone in the north-east of Mindanao.

However, I would not describe myself as a “digital nomad” or “digipreneur”, maybe as “travelpreneur”. This was also the main reason for me to quit my job in Australia and go back to the Philippines: to start a new company in the Philippines which was Kapwa Travel (as sole proprietorship in the beginning).

I remember cycling through the streets of Cebu, trying to find a suitable office. Sometimes, we were close to sign a contract, only to find out that the papers were not complete, the landlord had changed teir mind “over night”, or some were asking for ridiculous “development costs”.

But eventually, you will find sth. suitable, if you only search long enough. Our first hire was some random person who had asked us for a job. She was “working” in a wooden shed, trying to sell tickets for ferry trips, and other stuff. No aircon, no fan, in the moist summer heat. She was very thankful that we gave her this opportunity.

Little did we know that she would do “funny things” with our company funds behind our backs, but you have to learn along the way and sometimes commit costly mistakes. I had to learn a lot about Philippine culture and mentality, I myself am a half German, half Filipino breed. I understood that even after a few years living in the Philippines, I was basically still a green-horn and knew nothing, or close to it.

Now, about five years later, I think that I was able to figure out a few things. Apart from the sole proprietorship, we also founded an incorporation and a partnership, and I have the feeling that a few more companies are about to being started.

I have learned that the Philippines is full of opportunities, and there are many people who have a lot of passion, a lot of drive, and dedication. Most importantly, I learned that it really is my calling to build something in the Philippines, start businesses and try to create opportunities to grow.

I am very thankful that even in challenging times like a pandemic, we are able to continue to grow. The team is constantly learning and improving every day, also about the vision & mission of our companies. Most importantly, I have learned that it was and is a great idea to promote the “kapwa spirit”, and we will certainly continue to do so, try to find new interpretations and derive actionables to further improve ourselves, our partners, the environment, and eventually help the Philippines to succeed in future.