My name is Julia Quisumbing, my friends call me Jules. I am a Filipina – American procrastinator turned entrepreneur living in The Philippines. 2017 has been the year where everything has finally come together. Since i’ve accomplished almost everything I wanted this year, my next plan is to be more organized and consistent since these are my biggest problems. Starting a blog to organize my thoughts, ideas, and life is my plan to achieve my goal. I believe this can help me mentally, physically, and spiritually with my daily life.
My father is a confident businessman, lawyer, and passionate sportsman. My mother was an adventurous, warm and loving human being who kind of got lost in life. Mix those two up and you got me!
This is my lifestyle blog. Now I mentioned that I need to be more organized right? I love pretty much everything in life; fashion, sports, travel, animals, nature, health & fitness, partying, interior design, entrepreneurship, business, hospitality management, video editing, photography, music, etc. I never started a blog before because I had no idea, out of all these things that I like, what I would possibly write about. I decided to just write anything and everything that comes to my mind, a true lifestyle blog. Maybe after getting with the flow of “blogging” will I find my true passions.
I was born in the US and brought to The Philippines to spend my childhood. My parents sent me to International School of Manila where I got an amazing education full of culture and opportunities. My parents enjoyed doing many sports so they wanted me to be good at everything. They put me into every sport possible like horseback riding, tennis, volleyball, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, dance, etc. My schedule was crazy! I got into varsity teams for almost every sport I could think of but had to choose only a few or I’d be overworked. I was a girl scout at a young age, then a cheerleader as a teenager, and even got my PADI scuba diving license when I was 13 years old. Since I could do all of these things, I never knew exactly what I truly liked because they were all kind of pushed onto me. But I have to thank them for making me do many activities at once because now I can learn new things quickly. At 22 years old, I learned how to wakeboard and within a few months I competed, did a backflip off of an obstacle, and became the brand ambassador of Stoked Inc. I knew that anything was possible if I really put my mind to it.
Growing up in the Philippines was amazing but debilitating in ways. We had a big house with a polo field as our backyard and a club just across. Our house had 3 maids and 2 drivers. We got to swim, run, play, travel, and do whatever we wanted. This sounds great, I know, but being a child able to control adults is not the best way to be raised. You become spoiled, detached, and lazy. I didn’t cook, wash my clothes, or make my bed until I was 18 and went to university in Switzerland. When I turned 18, I made many goals for myself such as learning how to cook well! Although I was lazy and pretty much microwaved frozen corndogs for the first year, I learned how to cook very well, hosted college dinners, and even created my own recipes in just a few years. I’d wished that I learned so many things when I was younger, like fixing the house, cleaning, cooking, and more. I knew I had a lot of learning to do!
My weekends in the Philippines would be spent at my father’s side-business, Eagle Point Resort in Anilao, Batangas. He first purchased the land in the late 80’s and decided to build a small restaurant, cottages, and dive shop. He also bought a separate beach island a 10-minute boat ride away from Eagle Point since the resort didn’t have sand but was perfect for scuba diving. After a few years, he developed it by adding three swimming pools, a large elevated restaurant, a hotel, and more cottages. I learned how to swim extremely well at Eagle Point by trying to dive as deep as scuba divers and only using a mask. I naturally became a free diver. I felt such peace and comfort while I was in the ocean and enjoyed the sound of nothing but rocks tumbling from the currents. I was always called a fish out of water when I was in the city because I loved the ocean so much.
My childhood summers would be spent visiting my grandparents in California and Virginia. Those summers were amazing because my grandmother put a trampoline in her backyard for my brother, sister, and I. She also had this beautiful Golden Retriever. Those were the days of slip n’ slide, climbing broken trees, fishing, and going to camp. After visiting my grandparents, we would go to our summerhouse in Maple Valley, Washington. This place was full of memories and beauty. My father bought land and a house by the icy Cedar River. The house was rustic and cozy, surrounded by forest and greenery. We’d sit by the fireplace and watch TV. We were given some chores and I actually found them fun since I never had to do them! My father built me a tree house that I would secretly camp at night in it with my sleeping bag. We would go tubing down the Cedar River, laughing like crazy if one of us flipped over because the water was freezing. I miss this place since we sold it and it will always be in my heart. My siblings and I plan to buy it again in the future.
I went to college in Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland for university and studied hospitality management, entrepreneurship, and marketing. I lived in Montreux for the first year and then transferred to the next campus in Bulle, Fribourg. I experienced an even stronger international culture in that school since everyone’s second language was English and some couldn’t even speak it. I made great friends from all types of countries there. I traveled to their countries by train, met their families, and experienced their local cultures. I would spend weekends in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and other parts of Switzerland. It was great! I just had to learn a little French while living in the Swiss-French side of Switzerland. At Glion, we had the most amazing view of the Lake of Geneva and the Evian Mountains. Montreux was a charming and historical lakeside city. My favorite time would be winter with the Christmas market right by the water surrounded by romantic lights. It would be freezing, so my friends and I would be bundled up in layers, drinking hot wine, and eating raclette.
Our university had us take two internships for 6 months each to experience hospitality in the real world. My first internship was when I was 18 years old and it was in Hilton Head Island (HHI), South Carolina, United States. I was a waiter for the Wreck of the Salty Dog. I learned the value of hard work there. I would be standing, running and waiting tables all day, 6 days a week. I enjoyed working at that restaurant very much. It taught me organizational skills that I now implement in my father’s restaurant in Eagle Point Resort. The people in HHI were so humble and kind. I made many friends because everyone was so helpful and giving. I didn’t have a car at the time but they would take turns picking me up to go to work, home, or the supermarket. I lived in a large condo complex near the beach and would spend my free days with my friends playing volleyball, drinking cocktails, and doing barbecues. Having to leave the friendships and life I built in those 6 months were very sad but I also missed my family and friends in the Philippines and my friends in Europe. It seemed like I would always be missing people no matter where I was. I returned to university in Switzerland to study for a semester.
I took my second internship at age 20 in Barcelona, Spain at the Ritz Carlton, Hotel Arts. This hotel was right in front of the ocean and beach with extreme views of the entire city or the calming sea. I was a guest relation’s officer in charge of greeting the guests, showing them to their rooms, and ensuring that their stay was excellent. I worked with concierge, reception, and the restaurants in providing a specialized service for guests. I had to learn Spanish very quickly because I would give tours of the hotel in Spanish. Although the majority of the guests were international, I had to be ready for when a Spaniard or Spanish speaker stayed at the hotel. This internship taught me hospitality in a whole new level. Everything ran perfectly and it’s the way I do my business now. The way I provide service to my Airbnb guests is exactly the way I was with guests in Ritz Carlton. I have even started training our Eagle Point Resort staff to improve our service. Barcelona was probably one of my favorite cities to live in. I truly felt like I belonged there because it was a cultural city where people are always coming and going, the buildings were modernized but its history kept, it was by the beach and ocean, there were always events or cultural festivals, and the fashion was always trendy. This is where I could shop until I dropped, literally. I had a condo in the center of the city with one of my university friends and we explored Barcelona inside out for those 6 months. It was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in my life. It has been a few years since I’ve been there but I’m sure I still have that city mapped out in my brain.
After Barcelona, I returned to Switzerland to finish university. I was able to graduate with a Bachelor’s in Arts of Degree of Hospitality Management and Marketing. I returned to the Philippines to visit my family and take a break before working. I had planned to go to New York to work in a hotel there but a night out in Manila altered my decision. I had met the manager of Primastella Management that night and was asked if I had ever modeled before. When I told her I did a few times in high school, she offered to send me to a few castings. When I landed my first commercial and earned half the salary I would get in a month’s work in New York in one day, I decided to give modeling a go. My father thought it was a bad idea at first but thankfully I followed my gut and he can see that it was the right decision now. Parents will always tell you to take the easy road and get a job but if you stick it out and do what you believe, there’s no stopping you. I have been modeling since 2012 and it has supported and given me the freedom to build businesses and fund my dream to buy a condo. I now have three condos in my name with a parking spot, and two of them on Airbnb.
I have so many plans for the future and wish there were more of me to complete them but a little progress each day adds up to big results. I work every day to find my true passions, learn new things, and to build a future where I can feel fulfilled and happy!