From LibDay festival volunteer to employee


Former volunteer Maria Domingo, left, joins Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, seventh left, and the 2016 Liberation Day committee members in Thursday meeting at the Saipan Mayor’s Office conference room. (Jon Perez)

Maria Domingo signed up as a volunteer in last year’s Liberation Day festival as a way to connect with the community. Little did she know that her experience of more than one month of helping the organizers would open a lot of opportunities for her.

“I just wanted to get some connection with the entire community back then. I told myself, ‘I’ve been living on Saipan for seven years, but I haven’t connected with the people,’” said Domingo in an interview before the Liberation Day committee’s meeting at the Saipan Mayor’s Office.

“The Liberation Day is one of the biggest celebrations here where it highlights the celebration of freedom. By way of volunteering and participating in the activities, I could connect with the community, meet new people, and gain more friends,” she added.

Now, the Advanced Placement business degree graduate at the Northern Marianas College is a full-time employee at the Skywalker Group under the GreenStay Homes project using the same skills she learned from being a volunteer.

“One task of the volunteers is to promote the festival and let the people know of the various activities. We handed out flyers and we put up posters. It was an enjoyable and unforgettable experience for me, even though we have to deal with the heat of the sun,” she said with a laugh.

“I made new friends and learned new skills that made me grow as a person. I feel more confident now with the organizational and communication skills that I learned from being a volunteer that I’m now using in my line of work,” added Domingo.

She said that encountering difficult people tested her patience and communication skills. “There are some people that would say no if you asked them if we could put up posters at their store or would be rude to you if you approach them. We learned how to deal with them.”

But before being a Skywalker employee, Domingo also helped in organizing the Raise The Roof fundraising event after Typhoon Soudelor hit Saipan last year. “I learned a lot and it open up a great career opportunity for me.”

Liberation Day overall chair Christopher Leon Guerrero said Domingo was one of the most active volunteers in last year’s festival. “She could do three tasks at the same time.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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