Balik-Probinsya Careers To Explore When You’re Back In The Province

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Leave a congested city like Manila behind and head home for a career in the province.

Recent events surrounding the COVID-19 crisis in the country have left us thinking: is there a future for young professionals in the city?

Considering the growing congestion in the city, the potential threat it could bring not only in health but in other aspects, the future’s promise of a city life is questionable.

There could be life in the city after COVID-19, studies show.

But for professionals who are in Manila with a provincial base accounting for  approximately 40% of its population of 13 million, there might be hope in their hometowns.

Leave a congested city like Manila behind and head home for a career in the province.

We’ve listed down five potential careers a provincial setting might just be the perfect place for.

Tour Guide (Food, Heritage/Historic, Extreme Adventure Tours--the list goes on)
Naga City Tourism's Alec Santos serve as a local guide for the Food Tour promoted by the Best of Bicol (2019)

Who else can better show off the beauty of his/her own province than a probinsyano himself?

Fortunately, local tourism agencies onboard private individuals–train them too–to become local tour guides. 

Not that they need training on what to say, but how to say it: something that the late Carlos Celdran of Intramuros’ Walk This Way Tours has perfected.

They can be paired with travel agencies (even travel agencies may onboard them directly) and book tours where they play the role of a story teller, vibrantly painting pictures with their own experiences. What a job!

Content Creator/Producer
The term 'content creator' is now loosely used in relation to anything creative in nature--whether it's used in print, social media, or other digital formats. Photo: Boyet Abrenica

The growth of platforms for outsourced creatives such as Upwork, the widely popular Facebook groups such as Independent Creatives and Advertising Professionals (ICAP), and the recent launch of a directory of independent artists/creatives Indierectory Manila are indications that in the age of automation, creative talent (who’s ultra tech-savvy) is on-demand.

The term ‘content creator’ has been loosely related to creative work for use in print and other digital platforms–mainly social media.

The good thing is, most creatives can work remotely (or should work remotely, at times) so clients can be located in Manila while they work in the province.

Content creators have a wide spectrum of services to offer: copy writing, video/photo editing, social media management, voice talents, photography (in some cases such as product photography, clients now ship products to photographers for them to photograph at home, eliminating production costs), commissioned illustrations, art direction and many others.

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Surf Instructor (or an instructor for basic resort activities)
Gubat's surfing scene is known for its rugged surroundings and its advocacy to keep out-of-school youths motivated to make a better life for themselves. Photo from

The good thing is, unlike diving or other water sports that require rigorous training and licenses, surfers can be self-taught with frequent runs to spots like Bagasbas (Camarines Norte) or Gubat (Sorsogon).

Since its arrival in the country in the 1960s, Surfing has become one of the country’s top tourist athleisure-related attractions, making Siargao its top revenue-generating spot.

All you need is a surfboard and maybe some seasoned guys to help you get a jumpstart.

You’ll find yourself teaching tourists–young and old–on the basics of surfing and its infinite joys, just like the folks at Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp.

Farmer/Agri-Tourism Ambassador
Louise Mabulo, a chef from the town of San Fernando, Camarines Sur has bagged a UN award for her efforts in helping Bicolano farmers. Photo: ABS-CBN News.

Global trends on sustainability, farm-to-table dining, the Slow Food movement, urban/vertical gardening, the popularity of local heritage cuisine–it’s obvious that the world is becoming more conscious about the way and what we eat.

Three best things about farming in the province? Land area, abundant soil/sun and minimal operational costs.

We’ve seen locals such as Bidibidi de los Santos of La Huerta de Rosario, Randy Dagooc and his North Carolina Natural Farm, Sonrisa Farms, and Masbate’s Una Koinonia provide interesting business models for young farmers.

Hairstylist/Barber/Beauty and Wellness Services Provider
Learning a new skill set that's in the beauty/grooming/wellness services industry might be helpful in these times. Photo: Hai Phung

There’s beauty in working in the beauty/grooming services industry: it never goes out of style.

As an example, barbers in provincial cities charging 60php-80php per haircut make a decent living earning between 800php to 1000php per day on a good day without tips. 

Makeup artists, masseurs, and yoga instructors among others show varied rates, but there’s good business in this industry.

This goes to show that learning a new skill–whether it’s massage, hair styling, etc can turn in good profits, and good conversations, too.

The beauty and wellness industry has seen growth spurts over the years, as more and more people resort to pampering themselves amid a ‘stressful’ lifestyle. 

What are other careers you can think of when you return to the province? Let us know when you share this! ■

Featured image photos from L-R: Seven Shifts, Eddie Kopp, Josephy Greve, Hai Phung.
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