Well Met - Gerard Villoria / by Matt Treager

This is the first in a series of posts about a project I'm working on while my wife and I are traveling/sabbatical-ing. We are nearing the end of our journey through SE Asia and India, and it's been a wonderful (and exhausting) 2.5 months. And as we look back on our trip, the best part has been the people we've met along the way.

"Well Met" is a portrait project focusing on the people that I connected on a deeper level with. I not only wanted to visit these places, but to also share in the stories of the locals. To take in their wisdom, their view of the world, and to share it with others. So along with taking their portrait, I asked each person for one bit of advice about life, or one piece of wisdom that they try to live by. I was encouraged and inspired in different ways by each person I met. I started to see that no matter where you come from or what your background is, we are all pretty much the same.

 

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Gerard was one of the first people I met in my week spent at Diniwid Beach at the beginning of our trip to the Philippines. A gregarious and easy going guy, Gerard lived in Manila before moving to Boracay Island with his family in February 2014. He is the owner of GerWeiss Motors, a company he started in 2008, manufacturing custom electric tricycles that he himself engineers and designs. 

Due to a recent pollution reducing program initiated by the local government, business has been booming at GerWeiss Station, where he hires locals to manufacture and maintain the trikes. The Station also doubles as a recharge point for drivers, and serves up refreshingly good mango and coconut shakes.

After stopping in for shakes several times, Gerard generously invited Sacha and I over for a BBQ, after which he gave me this advice: "The number one thing to have is faith, and to trust in God."