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Malou Treñas Del Castillo Almost Lost Her Speech To Brain Surgery—Now, She Speaks For A Living

She was at the peak of her life, at the top of the corporate ladder, earning the best she ever did—and then she was told she was about to lose her speech.

Malou Treñas Del Castillo was a 27-year-old successful career woman at the time. She was living every career woman's dream. Until one day, they found out she had a growth in her brain that had to be surgically removed, which could then result to her losing her ability to speak.

“I just passed out in my home, alone,” Malou recalls. She then woke up in the hospital with her sister, and found that no words can escape from her mouth. “The growth was growing at the part of the brain that was responsible for speech and labeling.”

Her life was almost over, her years of climbing the corporate ladder down the drain. But then, after the surgery, miraculously, she got her speech back. And as if fate was on a good mood, that day, Malou walked away not only with her words but also without a debt to her name, despite the extremely expensive operation.

“I first felt traumatized, and I felt humbled that I could talk after the surgery,” Malou says. “But I didn’t have money to pay for the surgery! Insurance, family, and savings paid only a third of it. The two-thirds of it, I couldn’t pay. So everyday, I would go to the chapel to cry and pray, ‘Oh my God, how am I gonna pay for this?’ Two days before I was supposed to be discharged, a distant relative heard about what happened and sent somebody to pay the balance—without us, asking.”

After the biggest roadblock in her life, Malou was left with a heart filled with so much gratitude—and a dilemma: “I felt so undeserving. It could've gone wrong in so many ways, but it didn’t. I felt that I needed to do something.”

So Malou went out and searched for that “something” that she could do in turn of all the goodness that flowed into her life. After talking to a career counsellor, she was told that she was meant to be “something that helped people find their passion in their life.” But what was that?



It was a long time before she finally figured it out, and it took a sermon from a priest to finally light the bulb. “I went to mass, and at the sermon of the priest, he said, ‘Nobody lights a lamp and hides it under the bed.’ So I’m supposed to help people with something. And that something is in me. What I’m good at is finding a better job because I was promoting really fast, interviewing really well, and getting career success. So it was something to that extent.”

That started Malou on her path to becoming a career coach, licensed psychologist, and speaker. She started writing a career column for a local magazine, started helping people discover what they really want to do in their life, and even offering psychological guidance to those who need it.

Talking to Malou, it’s amazing to see how this woman who almost lost her speech forever now uses her experience to fuel herself and talk about what she’s passionate about like there’s no tomorrow. She can go on and on about career advice, psychology, and helping other people find their way to their life’s calling, where they will be happy, can flourish, and find financial rewards.




Putting it all down in a book

But Malou’s quest for “doing something” doesn’t just end here. She has all of these information on getting “the job of your dreams.” But not everyone can approach her for coaching, and not everyone could afford to. She says, “Someone told me, ‘Maybe you should put all the things you wrote in a book and publish it?’ So many people talked about writing a book! So, I wrote a book!”

And The Career Roadmap: Your Personal Guide to Corporate Career Success was born. She went through a laborious book-writing program to learn how to create a book, finished it in three months’ time, registered for a business so she can self-publish, and now even distributes the book herself to local bookstores!



“I realized there was a gap in information for our Filipino corporate workers. I became aware that most employees, whether fresh graduates or long-time workers, feel very nervous, unprepared and unsure of how to discern their job objective, make their resume, prepare for interviews or even manage their careers once hired or working in a corporate job.”

“Despite the importance of finding and keeping a good job, it is surprising that the methods on how to do this aren’t taught at our universities or through public courses. I therefore compiled everything necessary to succeed in corporate careers into one useful guide or roadmap. The book is a mix of practical career advice, anecdotal examples of job challenges and success, thought-provoking exercises and easy-to-use templates. These templates help employees plan, manage and decide on major career decisions. There are templates on goal setting, resume writing, how to answer interview questions, or how to decide if you should resign or not,” she explains.

Essentially, The Career Roadmap is anyone’s one-stop shop for anything career-related, at any point of their lives. And for Malou, it’s her way of helping humanity, to make a positive effect in the world in what little way she can.