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[ soles & stories JRDN ] Jowena

A little farm in the Mindanao is the centerpiece of Jowena’s story. She might live and work thousands of kilometers away from there, and have dreams of one day traveling even further, but the little farm in the Philippines will always be close to her heart.

The farm is her childhood home and even though its been nine years since she left there to attend high school in the Philippine capital Manila, she fondly remembers the many days spent gardening, planting new crops, and feeding the chickens that darted around the property.

The feeding of those chickens and all the planting and harvesting is now done by Jowena’s parents, who have farewelled all their children and support only themselves off the land. It’s a simple but tough existence and Jowena’s goal in working overseas is to one day be able to return to her parents with the means to provide for them the way they provided for her growing up.

Leaving family in the Philippines was made slightly easier by the fact that Jowena was joining her elder sister, and Soles & Stories shoe artist, Aileen in Jordan. With everything arranged on the ground in Jordan and no major uncertainties troubling her, Jowena says she was excited about the move and the different experience it offered.

Aileen helped organise Jowena’s employment in Amman for an initial two-year period, and when Jowena found she liked her role she signed on for longer. She has now been in Jordan for three years and in that time has had the opportunity to travel to Canada, a trip that ignited her dream of visiting other countries and experiencing different cultures.

She says she would especially love to travel to Hong Kong when her time in Jordan is over, as she has relatives there and could hopefully find similar work.

In the very near future though, there is a little farm in Mindanao that Jowena will be visiting, and her face lights up when she talks about surprising her parents with a holiday home.