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[VA FEATURE] Joe Penny Equito and the Art of Allowing


As a full-time student during the COVID-19 pandemic, this lad has spent a lot of time discovering his new flow. Being raised as an independent person, he does his best to become enthusiastic in the meadow of opportunities that the health crisis delivered on his door – one of which is qualifying as one of the few project-based VAs in Ripple in 2020.


Since he was a child, hailing from Iloilo City, 20-year-old Joe Penny Equito has wanted to see himself as a public figure, specifically an artist. Growing up, his experiences in the arts have led him to reveal his potential in the photo and video editing field. These skills – along with proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Suite, photography, and public speaking – have compelled him to sustain his needs and cope with the busy virtual industry around him.


Joe concentrates on his studies as a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy sophomore at the University of San Agustin while simultaneously working in Ripple. His family inspires him to work part-time because he wants to be helpful in their eyes at an early age. The value of self-initiative also pushed him to take the job. "And I just want to make them have a life without worrying about certain things that could risk a lot of aspects in our life," Joe adds.


For Joe, being a VA does not mean being perfect in many things; instead, it means welcoming oneself to self-growth. For nearly two years now, Joe's stay in Ripple has allowed him to connect with different people that made him strengthen his core, character, and faith. According to him, Ripple and his work develop him into a person who keeps the fire for determination and hard work burning. Moreover, his three-word motto "Keep Moving Forward" resonates with his personal beliefs and empowers his reputation as he recites the words.


"I always see that each person I encounter here [in Ripple] has a very inspiring story to tell, and with perseverance, they have achieved the things that they wanted to achieve. Keeping the faith high is a big yes, as always. As the famous saying says: 'Do your very best, and God will do the rest.' We have to keep moving forward," Joe stressed.


With the pandemic ongoing, Joe maintains himself in flow with the things that save his mental health and love himself more. He plays tennis as a hobby that later became one of his passions. He also champions mental health and youth empowerment while broadening his knowledge, involvement, and impact.


Joe's typical day includes having a good morning prayer, music, socializing, a quiet afternoon doing school and work while having a non-caffeinated drink, and a chill and reflective podcast and vlog nights, followed by a good worship song to cool down.


"If I could describe my life right now with any song, I think it would be 'Inevitable' by Ben&Ben. This song has led me to become freer from all the stress and pressure. It reminds me to become the person that I need to be, and just live in the moment without aiming for society's and other's expectations of me," Joe ended.


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