Skip to main content »
Igorotage

Howard Chan: From Fast-Food Crew in Baguio City to Successful Lawyer (An Inspiring Journey)

Get inspired by Howard Chan's journey from Baguio City fast-food crew to lawyer, navigating roles as a call center agent and virtual assistant.

Get inspired by Howard Chan's journey from a fast-food crew in Baguio City to a successful lawyer, navigating roles as a call center agent and virtual assistant.

In the bustling city of Baguio, just a few years ago, Howard Chan found himself navigating the challenges of being a young college student, juggling multiple jobs to support his education. One notable stint was his role as a service crew member in a local fast-food restaurant. However, Chan's journey was far from easy, marked by financial struggles and societal judgments.

Howard Chan

From Service Crew to Law School: A Remarkable Journey

Eight years later, Chan stands as a testament to the triumph of tenacity. Despite the ridicule he faced as a service crew member, he successfully navigated through college and law school, ultimately passing the Bar exams and earning the title of a lawyer.

Chan's background paints a picture of a working-class family. With five siblings, an unemployed father, and a mother working as a waitress, financial strain was a constant companion. The family's hardships were exacerbated by his father's reputation as an alcoholic taxi driver, limiting job opportunities.

Side by side, Howard Chan's IDs narrate a journey from Baguio's fast-food hustle to the prestigious title of a lawyer.

Service Crew Challenges: Beyond the Typical Job

Working as a service crew member in a fast-food establishment is often considered a typical part-time job for students. However, Chan's experience shed light on the harsh reality faced by those less fortunate. The physically demanding nature of the job, combined with handling difficult customers, created a stressful environment. And the pay? Not much - P21 per hour. Despite the challenges, Chan chose the closing shift to accommodate his morning and afternoon classes, highlighting his commitment to education.

Beyond his role in the fast-food industry, Chan took on various jobs, including working as a house painter for a local real estate company. These experiences showcase his determination to explore diverse avenues to finance his education.

Academic Pursuits Amidst Adversity

Chan's aspiration to become a teacher after college led him to resign from his fast-food job. However, faced with the harsh reality of a tough job market, he ventured into tutoring Koreans. Unfortunately, the financial strain persisted, forcing him to borrow money from his girlfriend just to take his final exams.

Undeterred by setbacks, Chan worked as a call center agent for two years. Yet, the realization struck him-this wasn't the life he envisioned. Returning to law school at the University of the Cordilleras, he maintained his status as a working student.

Tragedy struck on the final day of exams during his second year when Chan's father passed away. This personal loss, coupled with academic stress, led him to transfer to the University of Baguio to complete his law studies.

The challenges persisted in his professional life, particularly during his call center employment. Transferred to a financial account with a high volume of irate callers, the stress reached a breaking point, prompting Chan to resign in pursuit of a healthier work-school-life balance.

The Role of Online Jobs in the Pursuit of Dreams

Introduced to online jobs by a friend, Chan became a virtual assistant. Online gigs became his lifeline, supporting him through the remaining years of his law school journey until his graduation in 2014.

A Lawyer's Commitment to Justice and Workers' Rights

Now a lawyer, Chan is determined to give back to society. Contractualization, a major concern affecting workers in the Philippines, stands out in his advocacy. Despite existing laws, Chan emphasizes the gap between legal provisions and the practical challenges faced by ordinary workers, often leaving them with no choice but to seek alternative employment.

In a recent blog post, Chan outlined his goal of being a "judicious and moral lawyer." For him, the focus is not on being the smartest or most prominent but on embodying qualities that he admired during his times of struggle. He envisions being an agent of change, using the law to vigilantly champion the rights of those who may not have the means to fight for themselves.

Conclusion: Howard Chan's Journey, A Lesson in Grit and Hope

Howard Chan's journey from a struggling college student working odd jobs to a successful lawyer is more than a personal achievement; it's a lesson in resilience and hope. His story encapsulates the reality of many striving individuals facing financial challenges and societal judgments.

In the midst of fast-food kitchens, call centers, and online gigs, Howard didn't just navigate work and education; he conquered them. Each challenge became a stepping stone, shaping him into the lawyer he is today.

As we reflect on Howard's experiences, it's a reminder that success often comes from the hard-fought battles against adversity. His commitment to giving back, especially in championing workers' rights, adds a commendable layer to his narrative.

Howard Chan's story isn't just about the triumph of an individual; it's a testament to the enduring power of grit and determination. In a world where obstacles are inevitable, Howard's journey stands as a beacon of inspiration for anyone striving to turn dreams into reality.


Sharing is caring, kailian!

We do hope you find something great in this story. If you find this helpful, please do share it with the people you care about.


Igorotage is a platform for people to share their thoughts and ideas. The views expressed on Igorotage are the opinions of the individual users, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Igorotage.

Comments

Sign in to share your thoughts. No account yet?

What to learn next?

You might also like to read more related articles filed under Awe-Inspiring Stories — or jump to a random article!

Awe-Inspiring Stories Surprise me

Dr. Maria Linda Gabit-Gavino: The First Doctor-Lawyer in Cordillera

Dr. Maria Linda Gabit-Gavino, first doctor-lawyer in Cordillera, faced many challenges but never gave up. Her story of resilience is an inspiration.

Mar 5, 2022 · 4 min read

Jozef Maynard Borja Erece: The Modern Day Renaissance Man

Jozef Maynard Borja Erece, a gifted Cordilleran from Baguio City, already made history as the youngest practicing lawyer in the world at 18.

Dec 31, 2021 · 8 min read

Igorota Lawyer Wins PRC Outstanding Professional of the Year in Social Work

Mary Inglay Capuyan-Fokno, an Igorota lawyer, has been named Outstanding Professional of the Year in Social Work by the PRC.

Nov 9, 2023 · 2 min read

Jayson Duclan: An Igorot Artist's Inspirational Journey

Discover the inspiring story of Jayson Duclan, an Igorot artist, as he follows his passion and achieves success through art in Baguio City.

Feb 21 · 4 min read

Bauko Couple fuses Igorot and Church Wedding Traditions

Join Tessie and Randy in Bauko as they celebrate their love with a harmonious blend of Igorot culture and church ceremony.

Jan 28 · 2 min read

SLU Grad Gets P150K Cash Bouquet on Graduation Day

Discover the heartwarming story of SLU graduate Roselyn Gunnawa, who receives a surprising P150K cash bouquet on her graduation day.

Jan 27 · 2 min read

Arturo Arcio: Having Only One Wife is the Secret to Long Life says Cordilleran Centenarian

Hear it from Arturo Arcio, a Cordilleran centenarian from Kalinga: Having only one wife is the secret to reaching 100 years.

Jan 9 · 2 min read

Al Christian Agngarayngay: Cordilleran Graduates Magna Cum Laude at UP After 12 Years

Inspiring story of Al Christian Agngarayngay from Apayao who graduated Magna Cum Laude at the University of the Philippines after 12 years of college.

Nov 30, 2023 · 5 min read

2LT Godffrey Paligan: Ikalinga Trailblazer Joins Royal Canadian Mounted Police

2LT Godffrey Blaquera Paligan from Tabuk, has made history by becoming the first Ikalinga to join the prestigious Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Nov 15, 2023 · 3 min read

Dr. Karl Jose Solang Balansay: Igorot is First Filipino SAS Doctor of the Year in UK

Dr. Karl Jose Solang Balansay, a proud Igorot, has become the first Filipino to be awarded the prestigious SAS Doctor of the Year Award in the UK.

Oct 30, 2023 · 4 min read