Photos by: Jowen De Vera

A Glimpse Through His Lens

Samantha Godoy

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When outgoing and free-spirited personalities were to be captured in one shot, the BA Communication graduate of Saint Louis University, Jowen De Vera, would be the three-dimensional image.

The former president of the School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts’ (STELA) Repertory allowed me to zoom in on his life through an insightful and inspiring interview. Being BA Communication as his first choice, Jowen never had regrets because this course best suited his personality and passions.

“I feel like the number one unforgettable memory from college that is academic-related was when we made a film; it was memorable both in a good and bad way. Almost all of us were looking forward to experiencing filmmaking, and it was fulfilling to see our final output. As for the bad memory of our filmmaking, it was maybe the struggles of making it.”

He also recalled the bond he had with his friends as something unforgettable.

The current Marketing Manager of Bistro Lokal shared how he landed this job he found on Facebook Market Place.

“I never pictured myself venture into Marketing, but we need to live, and we have bills to pay. But I do not want to work somewhere I am underemployed because I have been in that position before, where you work in a field different from what you have accomplished. Although it was a learning experience for me, you will feel like you just wasted the four years of schooling to end up underemployed and not be able to practice what you have learned. I assured myself that if I get a job, it should be related to the course I finished.”

Going three months into his present occupation, Jowen stated that his job is focused more on the creative side of Marketing; thus, he did not need to adjust much on his work because these were already part of his skill sets such as photography, videography, and editing.

Moreover, he named three values he learned from college that he applies in his work: patience, creativity, and professionalism. One value resonated with me the most when he said:

“Keep on creating; amidst school requirements, we find time to feed our passions. For example, one of my passions is photography; now that I am working, I still try to explore and experiment with how I edit and take pictures.”

As we live in unprecedented times, the SLU alumnus emphasized the importance of media, especially now that traditional media is dwindling. Jowen also shared how this adversity challenged his career. He experienced a series of ups and downs during this pandemic, like getting out of a bad management yet not being able to do his freelance works. Like all of us, the freelance photographer and make-up artist does not always have a picture-perfect life. Despite that, he rises from rough days and failures by keeping a solid support system from his family and friends.

When asked between practicality and passion, he mentioned,

“Based on my experiences where I opted to be too practical, I think this time I want to choose my passion because I want to do so much in life.”

He also shared that he wants to pursue his passion for photography, a hobby he has been doing since high school, and he is also planning to start a business with his friends.

From all the pieces of advice he gave for BA Communication students, from accepting failures to taking your time to explore new things, one really stuck with me that I now constantly remind myself:

“While you are earning for a living, may you never forget to feed your soul and passion because those will make you feel alive.”

My interview with Jowen De Vera was eye-opening; he made me realize many things about school, work, and life. He taught me not to abdicate my potential and to pursue my aspirations.

When it was time to zoom out, I collected three adjectives that would best describe the person in front of my screen: creative, empowered, and boisterous; but as we were about to conclude our virtual interview, I saw the bigger picture and another adjective emerges: brave.

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Samantha Godoy

A Communication student with gusto and purpose. Voyager of life. Amplifier of voices within and around.