Through the Viewfinder

A glimpse into the story of Jowen de Vera

Greeted with a casual air and a nonchalance for formality — Jowen de Vera makes us feel home with a simple phrase of “Kuya na lang” in the face of the rigidness of the virtual interview. It felt welcoming and it dispelled the air of tension, turning it into a friendly conversation between individuals of the same age group.

The 22-year old graduate of BA Communication reveals that his first choice was always mass communication, reminiscing about how during his high school days — people had always been urging him to pursue the college program. With his outgoing personality and talkative traits, the choice wasn’t made in regret as he proceeds to have certain unforgettable memories in college regarding film projects and hanging out with friends at the end of the semesters. He reminisces the pros and the cons of making a film production.

“It’s memorable in a good and in a bad away. Good because we all wanted to say we had an experience in making a film, and likewise because we struggled due to our limited resources.”

He then muses that in the end, that the hardships were a learning curve that helped them.

The SLU alumnus had his ups and downs after graduating: getting out of a bad management and having troubles with freelancing among them. He mentioned about how he spent four years in college studying a certain field and not being able to apply that knowledge to his previous job that basically made him feel underemployed. Getting a job was crucial after college to pay the bills, but he wanted something that still aligned to his line of education.

“Yes, it’s a learning experience — but you felt like you wasted the four years that you couldn’t even put to practice in the real world.”

This is how the Marketing Manager of Bistro Lokal entered his current profession, surprisingly through the Facebook Marketplace, admitting he had difficulties starting out in the company due to the nature of individual work. Whereas in college you had a production team with designated roles and assigned tasks, in marketing: he did the planning and the executing himself.

While it was tough shifting from Communication to Marketing, Jowen revealed that it wasn’t a big of a step in adjusting since his work leaned into the creative side of marketing rather than the business aspect. He added that the job was already part of his skillset, that of photography, videography, editing, and the like. What was a challenge to him however, was the work environment. With his colleagues significantly older, it lies to him to be politically aware in current issues.

In parting, he give a piece of advice in accordance to practicality and dreams. He confesses that this time, he wants to focus on his passion for photography.

“Whatever you want to be in the future, go for it and just enjoy it. What you’ll eventually recall in college were the times you spent with your friends.”

Be practical.

That was the words that echo as the virtual interview come to an end.



Fiction writer, visual storyteller, aspiring filmmaker.

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