Of Motorbikes, Accidents, and Life

Published by: Joelito Anabieza

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Almost a decade ago, I was at the prime of my life. I had traveled to and fro in several countries across the world and explored many places of opportunities. I worked as a manager at an international automotive company overseas.
I had a promising career, I traveled and I was earning a lot.
Like many, the life I lived was the fruit of my years of diligent and truthful labor.
My life was at its best!

In September 2009, I decided to spend my vacation leave in my province, Cebu City. I was reunited with my friends and family after my long months of overseas work.

December of the same year, I went out of the house to pay for my bills. I used my favorite motorbike since it was the most convenient ride to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city.

I was carefully riding my bike when a van for hire hit me!

The bones below my knees were severely fractured and the doctors did not have any choice but to amputate them.

The accident I went through was tragic enough to bare but what made it worse was the absence of my wife. She was not there in both operations. She was not even there when I struggled through life trying to adjust to the changes I needed.
She gave me her reasons that until now I would never understand. She was not there when I needed her the most!

I stopped thinking of the negativity her absence brought me. I turned my thoughts on how I could get back with life and improve myself so I could still support my children.

I have to be honest. It was not easy.
I had a hard time right after I was discharged from the hospital. It was difficult for me to move myself. I didn’t know how I would go to the toilet or take a shower. I also had to adjust on how I should travel with my wheelchair because technically I can not go anywhere else without it.

My restrictions brought me into reconsidering the next career I should take. After all, I could not go back abroad and work because of my physical condition. And the fact remains that I need to find ways to have my own income so I could still support myself and my children.

I had to have a back up plan.

I decided to go to Davao city and start anew there. I joined the Association of Differently Abled Persons (ADAP). I got to meet a lot of people who have similar conditions.

I applied for jobs and because of my connections, I was easily hired in a company. I was blessed enough that the companies I applied at did not look at my disability as a limitation, instead they saw the optimism and the capabilities I have.

However, the problem was my mode of transportation. Since I could not take the public jeepney, I had to take a taxi to work all the time.
A big portion of my salary only went to my transportation allowance that was on top of my every day hassle of traveling from place to place.

So I started working online. I joined a networking business and tried marketing my products through the internet. I also tried other side jobs online but it was not as stable as I expected.

Eventually, my friend from ADAP introduced Ryan and Rose from Virtualahan in 2015. I joined the early batch of trainees and learned about virtual assistantship.

The training improved my digital skills and I was employed in an international company. This time, my finances are a lot bigger and my online opportunities widened. I do not have to experience the everyday struggle of commuting to my workplace.

I am very much grateful to Virtualahan for all the help they gave. I am able to work with ease and I have better and bigger linkages to other PWDs who share the positivity of life with me.


The Strand of Hope

People got scared of them even their own family members because there were not enough scientific and medical explanations about the condition

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A six-week digital skills training using blended life-long learning approach. The curriculum is co-developed with Accenture and British Council and delivered 100% online.


Three months of employment support or one year of business mentorship depending on which track a graduate decides to take at the end of the six-weeks training.


Life-coaching through well-being sessions led by our resident psychologist with a strong focus on restoring human dignity, embracing disability, career guidance, patient education, and community-based therapy.

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Community projects led by Virtualahan alumni such as awareness campaigns, policy recommendations, public events, and activities focused on advancing SDG 1, 3, 8, 10 and 17.