Grateful for Opportunity to Learn
By Raymond P. Bondad
Unlike my fellow Coachella Unincorporated reporters, I did not grow up in the eastern Coachella Valley. In fact, I’m not even from Riverside County. I grew up in Los Angeles County; I began high school at Northview High School in Covina and graduated from Santa Monica High School. I moved to the Coachella Valley in late 2007. After six years in the Army, including one year in Iraq, I found the transition back to Los Angeles civilian life harder than I thought.
I moved to Palm Desert in late 2007 with my mother who had moved here a year prior. There were two main
things she mentioned that drew my attention: one, the slower pace; and, two, it is roughly ten miles from everything. Show me somewhere in Los Angeles or Orange County where everything is that close. Of course, out here, what you’re looking for is usually more specific and requires less decision-making. In Los Angeles and Orange County, there are more options unless you’re looking for a Mexican restaurant or a carniceria, which are not hard to find here.
My heart grew fonder for the Coachella Valley because of its small-town feel which is the reason I once was smitten with the idea of moving back to Louisiana. I was looking for houses in Lake Charles, Deridder, and Natchitoches. Now, I would like to buy a house in Coachella, Indio or La Quinta. As a former History major, I’m drawn to the East Valley’s rich Filipino migrant farm worker history, pre-UFW, as well as the Coachella Valley’s rich history as a whole. Would you believe this valley used to be under a body of water known as the ancient Lake Cahuilla?
I’m currently a Mass Communications major at College of the Desert. I have found that expressing my personality and charm over the radio is my niche, along with video production. Ultimately, my career goal
is to become a radio personality, entertaining listeners with my sense of humor – either on their way to work in the morning or as they come home in the afternoon. If that doesn’t pan out, my developing knowledge in video production can become a rewarding career.
I’m grateful for the opportunities given to me by Coachella Unincorporated. Although I would be able to learn some things on my own, I feel my future in Mass Communication and Journalism is safer with the guidance of my mentors, Brenda Rincon, Gloria Rodriguez, and Jacob Simas. They’ve provided me the opportunities to call myself a published writer after my first story was published in The Desert Sun, Coachella Valley’s daily newspaper. I’ve been given the opportunity to learn journalism outside of writing, in the form of video and photojournalism, as well as video editing with Final Cut Pro. Also, as the oldest of my fellow correspondents, I can assume a position as a pillar of strength and confidence as a leader.
I’m happy to be one of the original founding members of Coachella Unincorporated and will be happy to be around as long as I can to help its expansion and growth in the years to come.