Hi, I’m Alex Agustin. I’m 24 years old. I’m a System Integrator at a Telecommunications company. I love hiking because I like the challenge in reaching the summit. Even if the trails are long and difficult, I make sure I set my mind in finishing every mountain I climb. I raise my artificial leg when I reach the summit. I feel like it’s my trophy. I hike because I get to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. It also gives me the chance to meet other people and share the experience with them. When my parents found out I climbed a mountain, they got terrified. The first few times I didn’t tell them I was going to hike. Just made things up and left. Then I get scolded when they found out through Facebook. But now, they just tell me to be extra careful. My friends couldn’t believe I climb mountains. They have been supportive and proud of me. Even if I am an amputee, I find ways to make me feel like I’m a normal person. I walk and take the stairs to work every morning. Sometimes, I train at the gym to strengthen my legs. Before I hike, I do a lot of research, look at pictures and psyche myself to reach the summit. The only time I can get to hike is on Sundays. I go to work during the week and go to my Master’s class on Saturdays. When I’m not hiking, I cook, play my guitar, and clean my room. I used to be a bodybuilder before I got into hiking. I also played table tennis. But all of that halted when I started working. My parents told me that when my Mom was pregnant with me, that she had chickenpox and took medicines. They suspected that it had side effects effects and made my leg undeveloped. When I was a kid, I got teased by other kids. I also get weird stares. I’m not sure if they pitied pitied or trying to insult me. But my parents told me to let them be and not pick a fight. I was raised as a God fearing child and that taught me not to do any wrongdoings and just focus on more important things. But there was a time I had to ask God why I’m like this. But all that has passed me now. Now that I have an artificial leg, I can do what other people can do. My parents told me that it’s very important I focus and finish my schooling so I can do well in life. Which I did. Turns out they were right. I always dreamed of a simple life. A family, 3 squares a day, buy few things and get to travel. My father’s wish is for me to get a Master’s degree. This is why I go to school on Saturdays. My message to my fellow PWDs is to never give up. God has a plan for us. Though sometimes it could be hard to understand. But his plans are perfect and we should not lose hope. We all have different skills and talents. We just have to focus on them and improve and someday, our friends and family will be proud of us.