I took this time in between writing my book cuz I got re-inspired to do it cuz I got to know more of who I am with the experiences I’ve been through. This is a long version so be prepared for a GOOD Read!
I’m Laurence Jedro Magtoto aka Jedro, Jed, JedRocks.
I was born in Edmonton Alberta, Canada but moved to Vancouver BC at a young age and raised a Pacific North Westerner. Being raised by immigrant parents from the Philippines with Big Families, I was blessed to understand all kinds of cultures. I was never one to just stay put in Vancouver and have visited many places on the globe. I’ve been to many spots up here in Canada, visiting family in the United States was a tradition, and have that love/hate relationship with the Philippines one can only develop by being there often.
Whenever I’d visit a different place, there was always that Filipino Culture side that you had that didn’t make you feel homesick. It’s something about that Filipino Soul food that instantly makes you feel comfortable that make ya feel happy. Like my family in Toronto, SoCal, NY/NJ, Midwest, and the Philippines are all different in their perspective culture. When it came time to eat, all that went away and we became one big family. Even our non-filipino family that got married into the family felt more comfortable after we ate and then that’s how we all got closer. With a Filipino cuisine developed palet, I was able to try different types of foods easily and always in to try different kinds of foods wherever I was at.
Dad was an Athlete and knew how to ball, so an NBA game is always on. Being in Canada, it was destined for me to be a fan of Hockey, my Dad became a Hockey fan too. Used to watch CFL when I was younger, but now the NFL is where it’s at. I developed some athletic skill from taking Aikido lessons as a kid and with that I can figure out and play most sports, but I stick with Martial Arts mainly Western Boxing and Grappling/Jujitsu.
Grew up in a lower middle class home and at the time, East Vancouver had a youth/teenage Gang problem. So we always had to watch our backs walking to and from school or the corner cuz there’s a high possibility you’d get jumped. One of the reasons I learned a Martial Art. Guns were properly controlled and hard to get a hold of, so we had to watch out for knives, Machete’s, bats, and crowbars. When maced was used, you Most of the time it would be a 4 on 1 beatdown, all just to brag whose gang was the toughest.
As I grew older, I’ve dabbled at things to make a quick buck but have been burned too. Always had a wild curious side to me and took risks to see if things were possible to do or not. Hated school, but loved learning through experiences. Loved Hip Hop and when I’d go to SoCal or NY/NJ, I’d always get the Hip Hop Swag and music you couldn’t find up in Canada. Especially the kicks. Knowing my cuzins friends I got to know the local culture and people. Became “The Cousin from Canada” when I’d visit again and again. From watching the guys in the US do it, I started writing rhymes and then making beats hoping to make some sort of noise up here in Canada.
Things had to change when I had Rhynen unexpectedly and took that responsibility to be a Dad first. I ended up getting a corporate 9-5 Sales Job and left the Creative side of me behind. Although I was thriving as Salesman and I was good at it, I was not fulfilled inside. I made the choice of being comfortable and safe so that I could provide for my kid. I changed the way I acted and talked, felt kinda fake, but just told myself to grind it out cuz this was the best for us. It wasn’t. Although I may have looked happy on the outside, inside was turmoil. I don’t know why I became a company man and put the company first, but I did cuz I thought it was the only worthy thing to do with life.
Then a blessing happened…
While driving, I had a seizure, and steered off into some bushes going up hill on an empty street.
Wait, your thinking Blessing? Here’s why…
First of all, I am happy and grateful that no one else got hurt when the accident happened. I know for a fact that if I had a seizure at home, I would’ve woke up from it and made up an excuse to not check it out. I’m stubborn like that. That car accident pretty much forced me to go to the Hospital. After some questions from the Paramedics and ER Doc, it was determined to get my head scanned and found the tumour relatively early.
Went under the knife and had it surgically removed. Pathology test came back as Stage 3 (Malignant). Made the choice to go through Chemo and Radiation therapy.
The whole experience with Cancer made me realize how precious life is and taught me to put myself first so that I can take care of my loved ones. I changed my life around and been learning to let go of the unnecessary and focus on what matters that make me happy.
I took the leap and left my 9-5 job Corporate Sales Job. Since then I’ve found places to work where I developed effective cold calling sales (pretty much the jobs no one likes). Learned more about finance like stocks and venture capital. I took acting lessons, got myself an agent, and became friends with Comic Ron Josol. Became an Entrepreneur and Founded a DJ School in Vancouver called TableTutors and still learning how to become an entrepreneur in different industries.
I’m currently writing my first book, Co-Own/Manage a Martial Arts Gym in Richmond BC, & sharpening my people skills by working at Starbucks P/T.
With my book and my writings, I’m wanting to inspire the world with a story about faith, hope, and perseverance.
Thank you for reading!