Jap Angeles: The fitness belle

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CARLA BIANCA RAVANES-HIGHAM

It’s not a secret that I am not the girl with a bajillion friends. I have always been the lady who formed one-on-one friendships as to big barkada ones because I’ve always felt more comfortable truly getting to know a person and to know their perspective on life.

That being said, most of my friendships are rooted in deep conversations more than anything else. It’s safe to say
that I am an introvert and this is the reason why I treasure moments where I can truly bond with a friend.

One such experience is with dearest Jap Angeles. We were on a company trip to Vietnam and instead of sleeping, we spent the whole night awake, waiting for the sun to rise talking about life. It was one of those moments you remember for a very long time and it was during that time that I truly got to know Jap and saw the strength she honed through life’s many challenges.

I have always admired Jap’s resiliency and grit to win in life. She’s the type of person who rose from life’s challenges and go against the curveballs life has thrown her way.

A graduate of De La Salle, College of St. Benilde, Jap was an academic scholar, with a Degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs. From the get-go, Jap was who you would call an overachiever.

She recalls already landing a job at 19 even before she marched to get her diploma. From then on, she became a commercial model (she once had a huge billboard on EDSA!), a radio jock, a writer, a host, and even a hair and make- up artist.

A far cry from her dream of becoming a doctor and from her degree, she found herself in the world of marketing and public relations. Jap reflects on her different career path, “I really wanted to continue my international studies but I didn’t like the slow pace of work and the routine. I realized that I only enjoyed studying it but not being in that industry. I knew I was a strong speaker and writer so I tried my luck in public relations. I had no experience in the industry but I was given the chance.”

Jap says that it instantly felt like home, “I finally found the place I belong. Marketing is an industry that evolves so quickly that you will never get bored. There is always something new to learn and there is always something new to do. It’s fun to be in an industry where you can be yourself and still be successful.”

At 24, Jap is now the regional marketing manager for Anytime Fitness Asia and is in charge of handling not one, but six countries in the region, an amazing feat for someone under 25. Her post requires her to provide marketing support and direction for all of their countries in Asia and that includes managing a team of four exceptionally talented individuals, “I love how we change lives [directly or indirectly]and how I’ve learned and grown so much in such a short span of time.”

When asked what the challenges are of being a young manager, she says, “It is challenging enough to be a manager, even tougher being a young one. I still find myself being completely aware of sending instructions to people twice my age and if I am being polite enough. I am very conscious of how I present myself, especially in a formal setting. I also have this internal thing of pressuring myself to prove my worth which I am trying to take out of my system because it can be very toxic. Handling my own stress on top of everyone else’s in my team is also something I am still learning how to manage.”

Saying further, “I must also admit that I used to have superiority complex. I thought I was the best. I thought because I was young and I am already holding this position that I was ahead of everybody else. Luckily, I always have my mom and God to bring me back to Earth every time this happens. I always mess things up whenever I get this feeling so I get reeled in back to reality that I am not better than everybody else— I am just someone trying to do my job in the best way I can as I learn new things every day.”

Today, Jap’s journey continues and she trusts her three nuggets of wisdom to help her through, “I have learned so much in my journey but I have three nuggets of wisdom that I always remind myself with still: First is to be humble enough to accept the fact that there will always be someone better than you…so you should never rest on your laurels. Second is to always keep learning. When you stop learning, you stop growing and you get left behind. Lastly, learn that success is different for everyone. Your definition of success may be different from someone else’s, and that is okay.”



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