Ariel Pigao – Accountant

“Enjoy ako sa pagma-manage ng isang team. Kahit hindi gaano ka-exciting ang accounting”

56yo. Toronto, Canada

Ariel is the eldest of four children from parents who both hailed from Leyte but met in Manila. He immigrated to Canada in 2001 after working for 10 years in Indonesia. With his savings from Indonesia he went back to school to earn his CPA both in the US and in Canada. He’s a diligent worker who strives to maintain good relations with his colleagues and bosses. He currently works for a real estate firm managing a team of accountants.

FTV: Gaano katagal ka na sa kasalukuyang pinagt-trabahuhan mo?

AP: 10 years

FTV: Pang ilan ka among how many siblings?

AP: I am the oldest of four siblings

FTV: Anong aspeto ng trabaho mo ang pinakagusto mo?

AP: Enjoy ako sa pagma-manage ng isang team. Kahit hindi gaano ka-exciting ang accounting, mas nagugustuhan ko na mag-mentor ng mga staff, mag-organize ng schedules at trabaho ng team para ma-meet ang goals ng department, at makipag-coordinate sa ibang mga department para ma-involve sa mga strategies ng company.

FTV: Anong prinsipyo mo sa trabaho?

AP: Importante sa akin ang magandang work ethic, sipag sa trabaho while maintaining a good work-life balance. Kailangan kong laging humanap ng solusyon sa mga problema, kahit gaano kahirap. Importante din sa akin na hindi mahiya humingi ng tulong at direksyon kung kailangan.

FTV: Any specific challenge/s that shaped you into who you are now?

AP: My father lost his job and had his first of a number of many strokes in 1986, just as I finished university. While I landed a job with SGV, my pay was not sufficient to cover our depleting savings, debt payments, hospital bills and education of my three siblings. So I went on a constant lookout for jobs overseas. This is how I found the job with KPMG Jakarta and later a job with a private Indonesian company. But the pay was still not enough, so I was in constant stress of having to provide for the family. But I kept my head down, did my job with maximum effort and prayed. Unfortunately my father passed in 1996. He was only 62 years old. But my hard work and prayers never stopped, even after my siblings finished school, even after our financial problems were solved, even after I moved to Canada.

FTV: I notice you have a smiling face. Were you always like that? What’s the mindset behind it?

AP: I try to be as pleasant to others as much as I can, and smiling is a good start to making that effort. I haven’t always been this way and I have had times of being unpleasant myself. But family and friends have taught me that we constantly have to put effort in being kind and fair to others.

FTV: What do people say about “Ariel Pigao?”

AP: I hope they’d say I am pleasant, kind and generous. But I would not blame some if feedback is not as positive because I’ve had my faults and things I’ve done that I would take back if I could.

FTV: What do your friends enjoy most about you?

AP: I think my friends like my company because I am real and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I think I have been a good friend who shares when I can. But again, I have had my shortcomings and I would like to spend the remainder of my life making up for these.

FTV: What would you say are your 3 greatest strengths?

AP: I think I am strong-willed, but also kind and hopefully wise.