MENU

Romalyn’s Ube Halaya, San Pabloeños Scrumptious Dessert

Faring through Footwear: Meet Al-joy Shoes and Bags, the David of the CALABARZON footwear industry

Al-joy Shoes and Bags is a developing micro enterprise of the footwear industry in the province of Laguna. Its proprietor, Ms. Alma Cruz, has been sustaining the legacy that her father has long kept and nourished.

Figure 1. Ms. Alma Cruz, the proprietor of Al-joy Shoes and Bags

During her early childhood days, Ms. Cruz, Alma to her family and friends, has always been exposed in their footwear factory alongside with her father. Moreover, she had witnessed every sub-process when it comes to creating ladies’ sandals and flat shoes and became exceptionally interested in the pattern-making procedure.

Figure 2. Aljoy’s well-loved flat shoes

In the early 1980’s, their business had been faring well as they were able to supply to some of the biggest department stores in the country. They were also able to secure consignment deals with large footwear retailing corporations. Unfortunately, this does not last for the business due to her father’s deteriorating health. Thus, their footwear factory has been closed down in 2015.

In 2016, Alma decided to redeem their business by reopening their factory in the City of Biñan Laguna. She was able to embrace the business that her father had built. She was also motivated to enhance her skills in pattern-making. Currently, she has been catering orders of ladies’ sandals and flat shoes from various corporations.

Figure 3. Ms.Cruz holding some of their signature ladies’ sandals

With expansion in mind, Ms. Cruz, decided to seek the guidance of the government. She visited the Department of Trade and Industry – Regional Office (DTI – IVA) to avail of technical assistance regarding her business.

She was further assisted by the Department of Trade and Industry – Laguna Provincial Office (DTI – Laguna). Ms. Cruz was able to avail a business loan from the Bank of Makati, which she used to secure another order from one of her clients.

Therefore, Al-joy Shoes and Bags would be offering more high-quality products in the near future as it would be dubbed as the most promising David amongst the Goliaths in the industry.

Vegetari Vegetarian Products: Health is Wealth

“Health is wealth.” This motto may sound cliché, but businessman Mr. Arvin Kisig Garcia Lopez literally proves this saying. Being a vegan drives Mr. Lopez to start a business that caters nutritious and delicious food. This enables him to engage in a healthy lifestyle alongside with his business that brought him wealth. Currently, Mr. Lopez runs his Vegetari Vegetarian Products offering low carbon footprint and zero-cholesterol SEACHARON (sea weed chicharon) and CHICHASHROOM (mushroom chicharon) in the local market.

The success of SEACHARON and CHICHASHROOM came a long way. Back then, seaweed tempura chips is just one of the appetizers in the menu list of his Satya Graha Cafe and Restaurant. His breakthrough initiated when Association of Laguna Food Processors (ALAFOP) invited him to join a food bazaar. From his best seller vegetarian lechong kawali to cookies and brownies, Mr. Lopez did not stop trying to satisfy the customers’ taste buds until he came up with the idea of selling his seaweed tempura chips. Fortunately, the market liked the product and that’s when he saw its potential.

From then on, he started developing the seaweed tempura chips into SEACHARON. He also came up with the idea of creating CHICHASHROOM. These two products gained popularity as he continuously participates in different food bazaars and food expos. In January 2015, he registered to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) the business name VEGETARI VEGETARIAN PRODUCTS independent from his restaurant. On that same year, he was able to improve the packaging and labeling of the said products.

However, the following year has been tough for Mr. Lopez. Meeting the growing demand of his products has been a challenge to him. He had to operate twenty-four (24) hours just to meet the required number of orders. This is in the face of small number of laborers. This caused him to close Satya Graha Cafe and Restaurant temporarily so he can focus on research and development of his Seacharon and Chichashroom.

To widen his knowledge on entrepreneurship, he attended various DTI seminars and workshops through their SME Roving Academy (SMERA) Project. These training changed his entrepreneurial mindset and continuously develop his business. This boosted his aspirations to produce export-quality products and compete internationally. He also invested on machineries that will add efficiency on production through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Since then, he was able to meet the demands of the market. From 300 packs, they are now producing 5,000 to 7,000 packs of vegetarian chicharon every month. These are distributed to various stores like Healthy Eats, Eco Store, Organico Gourmet, and Sesou. Vegetari Vegetarian Products is featured in selected SM Snack Exchange outlets and several pasalubong stores. He was able to expand his business in a food stall in SM Makati. These achievements enabled him to operate Satya Graha Cafe and Restaurant again. In addition, his products are exposed to big events such as World Food Expo, International Food Expo, Food and Drinks Asia, and Franchise Asia. Recently, Vegetari Vegetarian Products became part of DTI’s OTOP Next Gen Program.

To fulfill his dream on introducing his products outside the country, he applied for Food and Drug Authority (FDA) certification. DTI is one of the entities that encouraged him to take this step. With his eagerness and determination, Vegetari Vegetarian Products is now FDA approved despite the challenging process of the application.

Apparently, two companies are interested to buy his business, yet Mr. Lopez refused the offer, for he believed that there is no shortcut to success. “To become successful, you have to work hard with the right mindset,” Mr. Lopez added. He also emphasized the

importance of government intervention to MSMEs, but one must learn to stand on their own.

Mani Queen of Manila: from the train tracks to the top

As a young child, Zenny started selling sampaguita, peanuts and drinking water to train passengers; and as she grew older, she realized that there was more money in selling peanuts. “Paboritong kutkutin ng mga tao ang mani at saka mas malaki ang market niya kasi sa tabi ng riles sila nakatira,” testified Ms. Leila Corcuera, Zenny’s daughter and from this discovery, Zenny then developed her own product and continued to rise to the top of her industry.

She started developing her peanut products from 1995, and in 2005 she registered her business in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). In the course of developing her business, Zenny experienced many challenges and hurdles. She experienced problems in having proper supply of raw materials, and having enough manpower for production.

Through these struggles, Zenny kept pushing on in finding solutions for the problems she is facing. “Risk taker kasi siya. So kapag may problema hinahanapan niya ng solusyon,” added Ms. Leila Corcuera. Zenny was not afraid to ask for assistance from different agencies, and through that, she was able to overcome the hurdles to the growth of her business.

She sought help from different government agencies like DTI, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Through these linkages, Zenny did not only overcome her problems but also grow and expand her company.

Through her connection with DTI, she was given access to different capacity building seminars, access to quality suppliers, access to product development consultancies, access to quality packaging services, and most importantly access to promotion and marketing through trade fairs. She was also able to join the Association of Laguna Food Processors which greatly helped her in developing and innovating new products for her company like coco jam, garlic chips, banana chips, and yema.

With the continuous help of DTI and other agencies, Zenny’s company is steadily growing more efficient in production and soon her products will be reaching the international market. “Malaki ang naitulong ng DTI sa business kasi biruin mo, from supot at bilao, ngayon may sarili nang packaging at malapit nang makarating ng ibang bansa ang mga products namin,” added Ms. Leila Corcuera.

Ana Marie C. Argosino: An OFW turned Entrepreneur

Working and living abroad became an utmost dream for most Filipinos. Also, an Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) life has been associated with fancy figures of money and wealth. That is why many Filipinos seek for opportunities abroad without knowing the struggles they will meet.

Anne Argosino, a graduate of BS in Business Management at the San Pablo Colleges, Laguna, took the risk of working abroad in the year 2005 at United Arab Emirates (UAE). “It was my friend who encourage me and lend me money to go there,” she said. She landed into different jobs as Hotel Receptionist and Secretary in less than a year before finally settling on a more stable job in Fitness First for almost five (5) years. But due to the global economic crisis, his husband lost his job and they were forced to go back to Philippines in 2009.

While they were in the Philippines, they have encountered difficulties. The couple had no means of living. With no stable work to sustain their everyday expenses, the little savings they have was taken aback in an instant. They thought of going into business but none came at first. They wanted to put up something that will give them a good return, something that will be known as their own business, something they can be proud of.

At first attempt, they wanted to engage into trading business. “we thought of going into trading, but the dilemma there is that we find it difficult sell something which we never put our hands on, in that case, how will we be able to address the concerns of our customers?” the owner said.

Her husband became a freelance online encoder that time while she was an on-call teacher at a Christian school in Los Baños. Despite they were both working, they needed to earn more. Thus, in 2012, she decided to work abroad again but this time in Singapore. She got hired as a Training Officer at Wing Tai Retail Management Pte. Ltd. and in two (2) years’ time, she got promoted as Senior Training Officer.

As she worked in Singapore in 2014, a friend introduced to her a soy ice cream from a local soymilk shop in Singapore, “I was quite impressed on how it looks, how it taste and the benefits they get on it. From there, I thought I probably can adopt this locally in the Philippines and make a business out of it,” she said. By that time, she called her husband and told him about the idea. Instead of using their salary solely for their needs, the couple had to cut off expenses so as to use as their capital for their starting business. “Since then, every time I come home for a vacation in Philippines, I kept on practicing making soy ice cream’ the owner said. Perfecting the fine, smooth texture of soy ice cream takes time, so they thought of experimenting on roasting soybeans.

“Since the idea was brought up by rice coffee or tinutong, why not soy coffee instead? From there, we kept on exploring all possible by-products we can make from soybeans.” she said, that made them come up with other products made of soya.

Through the joint efforts of the husband and wife, they came up with these products: soy coffee, soy milk, soy choco, soy waffle, and chilled and flavoured taho. “Our soy ice cream is still under Research and Development (R&D),” she said. While she focuses more on production and product development, her husband concentrates on product design and is in-charge of Soybeans Roasting as well as Marketing and Advertising, maintaining the minimalistic design of their packaging. Through the University of the Philippines – Los Banos, Laguna, they got a supplier of certified non GMO soybeans.

In 2016, when she decided to stay here in the Philippines, she kept on practicing and tried selling soya products to her friends and neighbours, and kept asking for their feedbacks to further improve her products.

One day, the owner requested her mother to introduce the product “taho” in their relatives in Bay, Laguna. Unfortunately, she was not able to sold it because people were comparing it with the usual taho that is being sold in the sidewalks which is undoubtedly at a lower price, one which can be afford by anyone. It seems to them that their idea will not be patronized. The two had a hard time thinking of ways on how they will be able to sell their products at a lower cost without compromising its taste and quality and also they had given the opportunity to know what market they need to be targeted.

On April 2017, Ms. Ana, together with her husband, decided to make it legal with the Business Name, “Beanstalk Roasters Enterprise.”

“Lots of opportunity opened for us when I registered my business. Bien, the Negosyo Center (NC) Business Counselor from NC Binan City assisted us on the registration, encouraged us to register to BMBE and become a member of the Association of Laguna Food Processors (ALAFOP). Even though I do not know those things, I said yes then the business counselor explained everything to me.”

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Laguna finds her business uncommon, marketable and has potential to grow. She was also enrolled to Great Women Project (GWP) II and to Kapatid Mentor Me Program.

“One day, I received a message from NC Biñan City inviting me to enrol in Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program, he explained all the details, and set an appointment with Ms. Lory Jaraplasan of DTI - Laguna, the next day.”It was in June 2017 when she was formally enrolled as a mentee at the KMME Program.

She was also given an opportunity to enter Franchise Asia thru the DTI - Laguna, “we have learned a lot from there and met a lot of potential customers”, she said. She also met the manager from Real Foods Alabang who is quite impressed on their product.

As of the moment, Beanstalk Roasters’ products are being showcased through a night market at Santa Rosa City and at the Real Foods located at Alabang. They are also accommodating catering services’ and soon, they will supply at a retail store in an airport.

They are now on their way to have a license on Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and other necessary permits and access on technologies through the DTI - Laguna.

“I am grateful because of the opportunities that they have given us, they help us to meet lots of people and learn more about each other’s’ product. Most of all DTI helped me as a person on how to handle my own business properly and provides us with continuous learning. Thank you DTI for the continuous support and thank you for giving us courage to discover our capabilities.” – Ms. Ana Marie Argosino.

“Spirikal” Way to Success: A Hobby Turned Into Business

A Rolyo Likha At Iba Pa Handicraft Success Story

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

Many have said that work and fun are two different things and are exclusive of each other. If you are one of them, let this story change your perspective.

Meet Renel A. Batralo, the man behind the astonishing “Spirikal” Wall decoration. Would you believe that he is an Architecture graduate? But how did he come up from designing buildings to making handicrafts?

In 1999, Renel, a high school student with a creative mind, saw a creative opportunity on the piled newspapers of his relatives. He started twisting, dyeing, and drying these used newspapers and turning it as a raw material to produce handicrafts. From then, he continued this process as his hobby.

Renel started making handicrafts out of these materials in 2008. He created pencil holders, bags, and accessories. “Sa P50 na dyaryo, kikita ka na ng P6,000”, he said.

He was able to attend an exhibit organized by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) held in San Pablo City, Laguna. He was excited and was inspired after seeing handicrafts made from indigenous materials competing in the market. Aspiring to be one of the handicraft-makers showcasing their work of art, he quickly sought the assistance of DTI. “Kung ano yung interest mo, dun ka mag-focus,” he said.

In 2013, ROLYO LIKHA AT IBA PA HANDICRAFT was officially established. Since then, Renel was exposed to different trainings, trade fairs, and consultancies through the help of DTI. Aside from newspaper, he also used water hyacinth stalks, pandan, bamboo, coconut, vetiver grass, and other indigenous materials.

His first exhibit, through DTI, was in Garden Show in Los Baños. This served as an opportunity to meet different handicraft-makers, exchange ideas and widen their market reach. From this event, he received a P300 worth of necklace order. The feedback he received upon delivering his product was very commendable. The client was very much satisfied with his product. After some time, the same client came back and asked him to be their school’s costume designer for a street dancing competition. He was able to close the deal worth P200,000 and that was his biggest sale. Due to his quality products, his work ethics, and professionalism, his partnership with this client still remains.

One of his popular works is the beautiful “Spirikal” (derived from the word ‘Spiral’) Wall decoration launched in 2014. DTI Laguna Provincial Office let Renel exhibit these attractive wall decors inside their office during the grand launching of Negosyo Center-Victoria, Laguna and it captured everyone’s attention. The masterpiece was made with twisted, dried, and dyed water hyacinth stalks and used newspaper, formed into enticing spherical shapes, and glued onto a recycled board. Since then, request orders for the “Spirikal” skyrocketed and Rolyo Likha made a great noise in the industry which enabled him to enter the world of exporting.

In his venture in penetrating the international market, Renel stayed true to one of his advocacies which is to provide a sustainable livelihood to local communities in remote areas by offering free skills trainings on handicraft-making.

We all know that every growing entrepreneur experiences their own set of struggles. In 2014, Renel received a huge order from outside the country and he was able to complete all the orders through the local community workers. They stored the products in his working area in Pila, Laguna. However, two days before its delivery, Typhoon Glenda came and all of his products were damaged because the roof of his working area was severed by the typhoon. The total cost of the damaged products was P70,000.

Depressed, Renel locked himself in his room for weeks. He called to God for strength and guidance. He had no funds left to continue his business. Some of the local community workers

went to him and ask for financial assistance but he has nothing to give. Looking at the local community workers who needed his help, he decided to go out of his room and think of the best possible solution. “Kung hindi ako gagawa ng paraan, paano na yung mga taong umaasa sa production ng business ko?,” he stated.

The only money left on his wallet was P300 and he has to give half of it to his brother as school allowance. With the remaining P150 on his hand, he had a great idea. He bought disposable cups, arranged and painted them, turned it into Christmas lantern, and displayed it outside his working area. He was surprised when people started coming to his shop to show interest in his artwork. A client ordered P40,000 worth of his Christmas lantern. At first, he was hesitant because he had no available funds to complete the order. He told the client about his financial situation and the client offered to give a downpayment. And that is the turning point of his business. “Hindi imposible na muli kang makabangon kahit wala kang puhunan. Ang puhunan talaga natin ay hindi yung salapi. Ang totoong puhunan ay ang karunungan at puso na magpatuloy sa craft mo.”, he said.

With his experience and knowledge and skills on non-food product development acquired through experience and DTI’s continuous support, he is now one of the desired trainors for seminars. He was able to travel to Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to conduct free skills training. He is a member of the Laguna Water Hyacinth Handicraft Producers Association, Inc. (LWHHPA), a Shared Service Facilities (SSF) project beneficiary of DTI who were provided with a dryer, dyeing vat, sewing machines, and electrical flatteners.

His partnership with DTI paved the way for Renel to enhance his entrepreneurial mindset, develop his skills, make artistic eco-friendly handicrafts, create jobs, and save the environment. Through DTI, Rolyo Likha At Iba Pa Handicraft has widened its market reach, both locally and internationally. “Pag gusto mong magsimula ng negosyo pero hindi mo alam kung paano, andyan ang DTI para gumabay at tumulong…. Sila yung nag-open ng opportunity sakin para maging isang Trainor at magbigay ng trabaho sa iba….Lahat ng ibinibigay na intervention ng DTI ay para sa pag-asenso ng negosyo,” he said.

Truly, whatever hardships you may encounter, with passion, dedication, love of God, and with DTI at your side, you can overcome your challenges. What a “Spirikal” way to success!

Want to have one of this “Spirikal” designs? Rolyo Likha At Iba Pa Handicraft participates regularly in the monthly American Women’s Club of the Philippines Bazaar 2017 held in SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

Business Name : ROLYO LIKHA AT IBA PA HANDICRAFT

Contact Person : Renel A. Batralo

Contact Number : 09083441051

Business Address : Nat’l Highway, Brgy. San Antonio, Pila, Laguna

“Spirikal” Way to Success: A Hobby Turned Into Business

Herbal Fusion for Modern Day Wellness

Terravida Naturals literally means “The Goddess of the Earth blesses our life naturally”. This brings to life the stern belief that the spring of health from the Earth is a call to lifestyle check and embrace total wellness thru marketing natural and organic produce and products. Wellness is a way of life.

It started in February 15, 2015 as an off shoot from the family company that started the turmeric industry in the country. Mr. Clarke Nebrao, Chairman and President of Association of Laguna Food Processors (ALAFOP) and also the owner of Teravida Naturals wanted to pursue the expansion of natural ingredients with a vision to be at the forefront of total wellness thru its high quality, effective and innovative natural and organic products that transcends the palates of the partners and customers to a greener and healthier lifestyle.

The different lifestyle diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension/Heart Disease, Cancer, Pneumonia & Flu Virus are considered as the top 5 health concerns of the Filipinos in the 21st Century. More than ever, TNV have been and is being called to wellness and improve the state of life by being health conscious. At present, the company has products of herbal fusions on turmeric, lemongrass & green coffee and it’s also venturing now on bamboo beverages and bamboo chips. Thus, TNV enters the wellness market with its banner healthy herbal fusion.

TNV’s wellness teas are 100% Natural and Organically grown. All Natural ingredients were harvested at their full maturity to maximize its healing potential and preserve its medicinal properties.

The challenges encountered by the company, are usually the source of the raw materials which are not known and there is a limited market yet. But thru the exposure to trade fairs, international missions and training (DTI SMERAS), there are opportunities to talk about the product lines of Teravida Natural.

Thru the Association of Laguna Food Processors (ALAFOP) and DTI Laguna Provincial Office, interventions on different capacity building as an entrepreneur were given which led to study and trade missions local & abroad where a network of institutional buyers were established.

Mr. Nebrao also has the passion to champion the homegrown entrepreneurs especially that thru ALAFOP they have been recipient of the CALABARZON Food Solutions Hub (CFOSH)facility which is located at the Laguna State Polytechnic University, Sta. Cruz Campus. It is where every homegrown micro entrepreneur have the capacity to level up and accelerate their success thru product development. He was recognized as a savvy leader with passion to champion the home-grown entrepreneur that spans almost 20 years of executive management experience working with multi-national environment. He is also a visionary thinker with global perspective and entrepreneurial drive that sets him apart as a business development expert, marketing strategist and tactician. He is at the forefront of innovation as an ecosociopreneur, mixiologist, financial planner, life affirming specialist and food expert.

His involvement to the different business activities such as the Founding Administrator of Green Living Advocacy Movement (GLAM Philippines), an MSME Representative, National Technical Working Group (TWG) FDA Center for Food Research & Regulation, a Business Mentor of DTI CALABARZON BEAMS (Building Entrepreneurs through Advisory & Mentoring Services) handling Business Development & Marketing assigned to mentor 6 Cooperatives (3 under Coffee Cluster SSF, 2 under Cacao Cluster & 1 under Rebel Returnees with Kaong Products), Deputy Chairman DTI Laguna Provincial Partnership Advisory Committee (PPAC), PSMED Council and trainer and lead convener of different regional and national entrepreneurial activities earned him awards and distinctions both from local, national and international business community.

He believed that Entrepreneurs are dreamers who takes action and makes their dreams a reality. With this advocacy in life, Mr. Nebrao will surely lead TNV into success.

Bountiful Benefits from Negosyo Center Rizal

It was said that, “When a door closed, several windows will open”. This is the case for Mr. Stephen and Mrs. Miriam Rodriguez’s entrepreneurial journey. Mr. Rodriguez once worked at an electronics company, but when it closed down; he was left with no job. Thinking on how they can earn money to sustain the needs of his family, Mr. Rodriguez thought of farming to be his bread and buttery, since they have a quite number of lots that is good for agricultural purposes. Together with his wife, they have decided to build their own business namely the MYPS Hydroponics Garden Enterprise.

This is where the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Rizal through the Negosyo Center Rizal came into the picture. According to Mrs. Rodriguez, she went to the Negosyo Center just to apply for the business name registration last May 2016. She had no idea what government agency such as DTI can do for her business.

She was approached by DTI and invited her to participate to various programs for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs like her. She recalled that her fresh produce were marketed limited to their friends and acquaintances in Antipolo. She claimed that their farm products are on best quality and produce naturally to ensure its quality and freshness. She was ecstatic knowing that DTI Rizal through the Negosyo Center will assist their business. Wanting to expand her market, she supplied her products to the Pasalubong Store at DTI Provincial Office, Antipolo City.

Mrs. Rodriguez invited her to participate to different seminars and programs that would help them improve her business. “DTI Rizal even introduced me to the Samahan ng mga Rizaleño sa Sektor ng Agrikultura at Pagkain or SARAP, a strong industry association composed of food entrepreneurs from the Province of Rizal”, says Mrs. Rodriguez.

After being assisted by DTI and joining the food organization SARAP, a lot of opportunities came in. As regular participant of SME Roving Academy, Mrs. Rodriguez claimed that she and her husband gained knowledge and connection. She was included in the Business Cliniquing-cum-Mentoring Program of DTI where she was mentored by successful business coaches from Kalye Negosyo and the Professional Academy of Culinary Education. During the three months mentoring, she underwent series of modules to improve her production as well as recipe development for her fresh produce. Through the PACE’s intervention on recipe development, she was able to introduce camias salad dressing, santol salad dressing, bottled laing and other processed vegetables to trade fairs and other marketing events, which she declared very

marketable.Through the networking and linkaging, she was able to market her fresh produce to mostly high end restaurants and specialty food stores not only in Antipolo City but also to nearby cities and municipalities.

She was also grateful that her business was also registered as Barangay Micro Business Enterprise with DTI and BIR. She recalled that DTI advise her to register as BMBE and she complied immediately after the BMBE Forum. She is now reaping the benefits of BMBE registrant because of the exemption from BIR, however she meticulously complied with the Agency’s requirements and deadlines. She was thankful for the assistance and programs by the government in assisting MSMEs like her.

Other Details:

Miriam Rodriguez

MYPS Hydroponic Garden Enterprise

Antipolo City

Contact Number: 400-5023 / 0998-8824038

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SARB MPC and the Magic of New Beginnings

If we can learn something from the business journey of the Sampaloc Agrarian Reforms Beneficiaries Multipurpose Cooperative (SARB MPC), it is to stand up when you fall and trust the magic of new beginnings.

Twenty years ago, SARB MPC started with only five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) as its capital. The said amount of money is a shared contribution of the members who live around the neighborhood. For the main reason that almost all of the members have a background in agriculture, they came up with an idea to plant ginger roots. Eventually, their business grows. Who would have thought that from a capital of P5, 000.00 only, the business will be able to earn hundreds of thousands? However, as the business started to be recognized, an unfortunate incident happened. The officials of the cooperative at that time used the earnings of the business for personal benefits. It was then that their business started to be bankrupt.

Devastated from what happened, the members of the cooperative had no idea on what to do next. But, their vision to make the health benefits of ginger known in the market, guided them on their path towards starting over again.  Despite the fact that they did not have any capital at all and having the obligation to pay several loans, the cooperative persisted to strive for success. So, they borrowed money for a capital and continued their business.  Every time they earned, they used the money to pay for their debts. This goes on and on until they were able to pay all of their debts.

When they were able to get back on their feet, they thought of new ways on how they can earn even more. Having the vision to make the health benefits of ginger accessible, SARB MPC members came up with an idea to manufacture bottled and plastic packed ginger tea or the commonly known “Instant Salabat”. It was then that they became active in coordinating with several government agencies to ask for assistance. With the help of the Department of Agriculture (DA) they were able to improve the production of their ginger roots; the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) helped them on the process of making the ginger into a powder; the Department of Trade and Industry established for them the SSF for Processed Food Industry (Ginger Processing Center), and; the Department of Agrarian Reform gave them 1.9 million pesos to help them make their laboratory conform with the general accepted standards.

The harvest and production of the ginger roots of the cooperative continually went well. SARB MPC was able to be back with a bang. According to Ms. Erlinda Cervantes, the current chairman of SARB MPC, after the bad incident that they have encountered, they see to it that they will have a more sustainable plan and system to maintain the harvest and production of their products.

They may be able to ensure the sustainability of their products (Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat, Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat with Turmeric, and Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat Turmeric), but these did not click instantly. Fortunately, DTI-Rizal came into the picture. It helped them improve their packaging, invited them to attend different seminars that could help them improve the sales and promotion of their products, and continuously guided them in business planning.  According to Erick Cervantes, a member of SARB MPC, he considered DTI-Rizal to be their hero. He said that, “Hero para sa amin ang DTI-Rizal. Namimigay na ng tulong, tinuturuan pa kami kung papaano umasenso sa buhay”. (DTI-Rizal is a hero for us. They are not only giving us assistance, but they are also teaching us how to have a progressive life.)

With loyal clients from Makati, Manila, Cubao, and several resorts in Tanay, there’s no doubt that Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat is now unstoppable. Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat comes in three great flavors such as Instant Salabat with Turmeric (mixed of native ginger and turmeric), Instant Salabat (pure ginger), and Instant Salabat Turmeric (pure turmeric). These products can also treat a number of health problems like coughing, nausea, sore throat, arthritis, and rheumatism.

From a capital of 5,000 pesos only, SARB MPC is now earning more than a million a year. This will not be possible if they did not stand up after they fall few years back. Perhaps, Sir Meister Eckhart was right when he said that you will know when it’s the right time to start something new and that you have to trust the magic of new beginnings. This is true in the case of SARB MPC that after being bankrupt in the cultivation and harvesting of ginger starts over again and comes up with a better idea to manufacture ginger tea or Instant Salabat. 

Now, SARB MPC’s future endeavors are to capsulate ginger powder making it a medicine, manufacture instant salabat in tea bags, and export their products. Having a recipe that composed of the combined assistance of several government agencies like DTI, DA, DAR, DOLE, and DOST, mixed with persistence and perseverance of SARB MPC members, combined with a vision to make the health benefits of ginger known to the market, there’s no doubt that SARB MPC will continue its journey to success.

MCARL Enterprises: Good Intentions Can Pave The Way To Success

Maricel Villaflor, with MCARL Enterprises Food Products

Driven by her desire to help a church mate to showcase her talent in creating steamed rice cake or puto, Ms. Maricel Villafor decided to start her own business, MCARL Enterprises Food Products. According to Ms. Maricel, since she has the ability to provide the capital and her church mate has the talent to make a puto, they came up with an idea to help each other and establish a business that will offer a good and delicious puto. And this was the start of her journey towards a purposeful business venture.

As a woman, Ms. Maricel would like to prove that she can also do something significant in the business industry which is mostly dominated by men. She wants to reject the wrong beliefs about women, most especially that of the “Babae ka lang” idea.

“Gusto kong mapatunayan na, oo babae ako, pero kahit babae ako, may mga kakayahan din akong kayang maipakita”, says Ms. Maricel.

MCARL Enterprises Food Products, with three kinds of puto

To be well equipped before starting her business, she attended several trainings and seminars. During the Women’s Initiatives for Successful Entrepreneurship seminar, she met Ms. Sharon Fojas-Dioco of DTI-Rizal. This started the relationship between DTI-Rizal and Ms. Maricel Villafor. Through DTI-Rizal, she became a member of the Samahan ng mga Rizalenyo sa sektor ng Agrikultura at Pagkain, commonly known as SARAP – an organization of local food production and processing businesses in Rizal.

Through the help of DTI-Rizal and SARAP, MCARL Enterprises Food Products started to be known in the market. However, when MCARL Enterprises was starting to make a name in the local business sector of Rizal, an unfortunate incident happened. Some of the employees of the said business have used the company’s money for their own benefits. But, instead of giving up, MS. Maricel saw this event as a chance to further improve what she started.

Maricel Villafor at the DTI Kalakal Calabarzon Regional Trade Fair

“Hindi ako nawalan ng pag-asa. Hindi ito naging dahilan para sumuko ako at tumigil sa aking naumpisahan. Bagkus dapat akong matuto sa mga nangyari at lalo pang pagbutihin ang aking business”, says Ms. Maricel.

After that unfortunate incident, she became more active in attending different trainings, seminars, and other DTI-Rizal business related activities to further improve her business management skills, as well as her food products.

Ms. Maricel became wiser and more attentive to details which helped her to make intelligent decisions and become more innovative when it comes to developing her products. From offering the traditional puto, MCARL Enterprises is now producing Puto Pao, Puto with 3 toppings, and Puto with Dinuguan, Tuna, and Adobo Flakes. At present, the said enterprise also manufactures oatmeal cookies, gourmet tuyo, gourmet tinapa, and bottled sweet langka.

MCARL Enterprises Food Products' Oatmeal Cookies

Ms. Maricel is also participating actively every time there are bazaars and trade fairs. In KALAKAL CALABARZON 2016 Regional Trade Fair that happened last October 12 to 16, 2016, MCARL’s Puto with Dinuguan became a nominee for the “Most Innovative Food”. It can be considered as a great recognition for a food production business like MCARL Enterprises Food Products.

All of these have helped MCARL Enterprises to grow more as an enterprise. With an initial capital of P80,000.00, MCARL’s current asset size now is P180,000.00. She said that MCARL was able to achieve this because of the help of DTI-Rizal. According to her, “Sobrang laki ng naitulong ng DTI-Rizal sa aming business”. This must be true because from a monthly income of P10,000.00, MCARL is now earning P30,000.00 monthly.

MCARL Enterprises Puto with Dinuguan: a Most Innovative Food nominee at DTI Kalakal Calabarzon 2016

According to Ms. Maricel, she’s really happy with what’s happening with her business right now. If before she only has two employees, now she has a total of 5 employees that she could help.

“Sobrang saya ko kase noon dalawa lang ang natutulungan ko, ngayon lima na silang natutulungan ko”, says Ms. Maricel.

Starting her business out of the desire to help other people and to prove that women can also make a difference, Ms. Maricel Villafor was able to attest that is indeed true that “you reap what you sow”. Having good intentions in establishing her business, she is now enjoying the sweet fruit of her success.

Bugóng - An Asian Symphony of Flavors

Bugong Restaurant

Not all food establishments are created equal. While they all serve a specific purpose-- a place where people congregate to buy and eat food-- some go the extra mile. These days, where eating has been the mainstream hobby of people, discriminating taste buds of customers are beginning to look for something more, elements that contribute to a whole new experience.

This is precisely what Bugóng has focused on since it opened nearly 20 years ago, and the reason loyal customers have patronized the grill all these years despite the mushrooming of other similar businesses. "We serve fusion of Asian dishes in the beginning, before being known for our 18 herbs and spices Bugóng Roast Chicken," says Bugóng Owner and General Manager Jerry Erguiza. "It was way ahead of its time when we opened and establishing our name is such a struggle. Also, it was difficult to get suppliers because our name was new and not known then in the market."

Erguiza graduated BS in Agriculture in UP Los Baños Campus and after several years of work in Department of Agriculture and in Ministry of Housing Settlement, he later acquired his Master's Degree in Agricultural Development in Australia. Upon return to the country, he worked at International Rice Research Institute and later on, accepted the offer for early retirement on second thought. With the decision of having an early retirement, Erguiza took a full grasp of pursuing love for food-- venturing into food business. "I was at the verge of the feat then and was at a crossroads whether to stay in my job, which provided career stability and financial security, or leave all that and pursue my lifelong goal. My wife has her job back then so I took my early retirement." Stakes were undoubtedly much higher but the owner also knew that there was fulfillment in that direction.

With barely 6 sq. m space located just a few meters from UPLB main gate, Erguiza originally put up a take-out counter of roast chicken in 1999 with three people as staff, including himself. "With such a little space, a charcoal grill on the side and rice cooker on the other, we feel like literally inside an oven."

In 1996, Bugóng was at first a diner originally offering Asian food but the owner later thought of shifting into roasting chicken after finding it difficult to maintain additional inventories of ingredients as well as the manpower the former requires. "Additional inventories and additional labor needed means additional wastage and since our business at that time is not yet well established, it is not an ideal move," says the owner.

Erguiza's love for food is what pushes him to venture in that kind of business. "I want a job that doesn't look like a job after all. It's like not just a work to me given that I also enjoyed what I am doing." Eventually, hard work and tenacity paid off. This passion which rooted from humble beginnings now have 8 branches to date: 3 in Makati City; 2 in Los Baños, Laguna; Calamba, Laguna; another in Sucat, Parañaque City; and in Bonifacio Global City.

So the saying became reality, in the owner's case, that a modest man talks small and passive but does big and impressive.

"You're work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it." -Steve Jobs

Along the journey, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), with its continued efforts to provide programs and seminars that embedded the technical know-hows of putting up a business has greatly helped Bugóng, with its owner Erguiza to finally put into reality its passion. Among the programs/seminars that provide guidance for the framework of the food business are Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP), Food Packaging and Labeling, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Documentation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points.

At present, Bugóng offers a warm backdrop of its many Asian dishes. They don't fall into one type of cuisine- but a hodgepodge of all sorts of dishes that captures the taste buds of its customers. In such case, that sets them apart from its competitors. Their most popular dishes are Poori Pockets, Penang Beef Curry, Signature Asian Combo, Bun Cha Platter, Chicken Malaka, and of course, its signature Bugóng Roast Chicken.

The first Bugóng which opened in Vega Centre, the one with 6 sq. m, is now the Bugóng with more than 100 sq. m with parking spaces for customers, so the place understandably holds a special place in the owner's heart. Shortly thereafter, new Asian dishes are added to the menu and are continuously evolving throughout the years. "This is where it all began for us. The difference in our food is the love and passion that we put into it." From being a take-out counter in the beginning, Bugóng is now a fast-casual dining restaurant.

For the owner, success can be define in only a word, that is, growth. Growth despite the difficulties that come, from establishing their name and supply chain, to having close supervision on employees and having a sound operating system. "I don't know how I measure the success of our business but I think sustaining the business through the years is success in itself."

SARB MPC And The Magic Of New Beginnings

If we can learn something from the business journey of the Sampaloc Agrarian Reforms Beneficiaries Multipurpose Cooperative (SARB MPC), it is to stand up when you fall and trust the magic of new beginnings.

Twenty years ago, SARB MPC started with only five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) as its capital. The said amount of money is a shared contribution of the members who live around the neighborhood. For the main reason that almost all of the members have a background in agriculture, they came up with an idea to plant ginger roots. Eventually, their business grows. Who would have thought that from a capital of P5, 000.00 only, the business will be able to earn hundreds of thousands? However, as the business started to be recognized, an unfortunate incident happened. The officials of the cooperative at that time used the earnings of the business for personal benefits. It was then that their business started to be bankrupt.

Devastated from what happened, the members of the cooperative had no idea on what to do next. But, their vision to make the health benefits of ginger known in the market, guided them on their path towards starting over again.  Despite the fact that they did not have any capital at all and having the obligation to pay several loans, the cooperative persisted to strive for success. So, they borrowed money for a capital and continued their business.  Every time they earned, they used the money to pay for their debts. This goes on and on until they were able to pay all of their debts.

When they were able to get back on their feet, they thought of new ways on how they can earn even more. Having the vision to make the health benefits of ginger accessible, SARB MPC members came up with an idea to manufacture bottled and plastic packed ginger tea or the commonly known “Instant Salabat”. It was then that they became active in coordinating with several government agencies to ask for assistance. With the help of the Department of Agriculture (DA) they were able to improve the production of their ginger roots; the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) helped them on the process of making the ginger into a powder; the Department of Trade and Industry established for them the SSF for Processed Food Industry (Ginger Processing Center), and; the Department of Agrarian Reform gave them 1.9 million pesos to help them make their laboratory conform with the general accepted standards.

The harvest and production of the ginger roots of the cooperative continually went well. SARB MPC was able to be back with a bang. According to Ms. Erlinda Cervantes, the current chairman of SARB MPC, after the bad incident that they have encountered, they see to it that they will have a more sustainable plan and system to maintain the harvest and production of their products.

They may be able to ensure the sustainability of their products (Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat, Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat with Turmeric, and Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat Turmeric), but these did not click instantly. Fortunately, DTI-Rizal came into the picture. It helped them improve their packaging, invited them to attend different seminars that could help them improve the sales and promotion of their products, and continuously guided them in business planning.  According to Erick Cervantes, a member of SARB MPC, he considered DTI-Rizal to be their hero. He said that, “Hero para sa amin ang DTI-Rizal. Namimigay na ng tulong, tinuturuan pa kami kung papaano umasenso sa buhay”. (DTI-Rizal is a hero for us. They are not only giving us assistance, but they are also teaching us how to have a progressive life.)

With loyal clients from Makati, Manila, Cubao, and several resorts in Tanay, there’s no doubt that Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat is now unstoppable. Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat comes in three great flavors such as Instant Salabat with Turmeric (mixed of native ginger and turmeric), Instant Salabat (pure ginger), and Instant Salabat Turmeric (pure turmeric). These products can also treat a number of health problems like coughing, nausea, sore throat, arthritis, and rheumatism.

From a capital of 5,000 pesos only, SARB MPC is now earning more than a million a year. This will not be possible if they did not stand up after they fall few years back. Perhaps, Sir Meister Eckhart was right when he said that you will know when it’s the right time to start something new and that you have to trust the magic of new beginnings. This is true in the case of SARB MPC that after being bankrupt in the cultivation and harvesting of ginger starts over again and comes up with a better idea to manufacture ginger tea or Instant Salabat. 

Now, SARB MPC’s future endeavors are to capsulate ginger powder making it a medicine, manufacture instant salabat in tea bags, and export their products. Having a recipe that composed of the combined assistance of several government agencies like DTI, DA, DAR, DOLE, and DOST, mixed with persistence and perseverance of SARB MPC members, combined with a vision to make the health benefits of ginger known to the market, there’s no doubt that SARB MPC will continue its journey to success.

Rolyo Likha Atbp Handicrafts “Spirikal” Wall Decors

The beautiful and creative wall decors (their creators named them “Spirikal” (derived from the word ‘Spiral’)) lodged at Negosyo Center - Victoria (NC - Victoria) immediately captures any visitor’s attention, but there are more to these than meets the eye.

They are made with twisted dried and dyed water hyacinth stalks, or alternatively, used newspaper, formed into attractive shapes, and glued onto a recycled board.

Mr. Batralo of Rolyolikha Atbp. Handicrafts, a DTI-Laguna - assisted client, first made prototypes. He, together with Mr. Cesar Pasco of Sarilikha Handicrafts, being seasoned product development trainers themselves, made sure each step of the process was taught with the proper skill and technique to local communities around the country thereby creating jobs and a sustainable livelihood project.    

But how was this unique and innovative product to be translated into a profitable venture? The answer came as a surprise when DTI-Laguna Provincial Director spotted the eye-catching pieces of artwork and allowed them to be displayed in what was to be the Negosyo Center - Victoria. During the launching activity of the latter, guests and visitors started appreciating the picturesque pieces of art, and the recipients of these tokens valued them so highly. That was the starting point. Since then, orders for these products have skyrocketed.

Rolyo Likha Atbp Handicrafts 1 Rolyo Likha Atbp Handicrafts 2Rolyo Likha Atbp Handicrafts 3

Their simple designs turned out to be the most saleable and in demand item in the recently concluded Manila Fame event sponsored by CITEM.

Negosyo Center Victoria has helped provide the avenues for pieces of artwork such as these to reach a wider audience both locally and internationally; From the skills and product development trainings, to the trade fairs / exhibits, consultancies, to name a few, born out of these processed water hyacinth / recycled products, livelihood has been created, jobs have been generated, income has increased, and the environment has been spared.

Shared Roasting Facility for Cafe Amadeo

The surge of coffee shops augurs well for the burgeoning coffee industry in the country.

A lot of young coffee shop patrons may be surprised to learn that a couple of centuries ago, quality Philippine coffee was in demand the world over making it the fourth largest coffee-producing country in the world. But in the last quarter of the 19th century, coffee, ‘rust’ decimated the industry.

The Philippines is reclaiming its rightful place in the world of quality coffee blend hence, in 2001, the Provincial Rural Industry Development Committee and the government of Cavite got together to revitalize the Cavite coffee industry. Of the nine coffee growing municipalities in the province, the municipality of Amadeo stood out in terms of hectarage planted, production, and number of coffee planters. On 28 June 2002, Amadeo Development Cooperative with 15 members and PHP137,500 as initial capital. The cooperative started by selling premium green coffee beans and much later engaged in producing ground coffee.

Then, with subcontracted roasting services costing PHP12.50 per kilo, this easily spelled out a hefty PHP18,750 for roasting 1,500 kilos of coffee beans a month. The answer to deflect large expenses came in December 2013 when it got a roasting facility from the DTI worth PHP560,000.

Not only did the machine address the roasting needs of the cooperative, it also saved the group valuable processing time by subcontracted companies. The production process is now accessible, faster, and inexpensive.

Today, 80 local farmers and three millers benefit from the project. The original 15 members have expanded to 209 active members. The cooperative used to produce 1,000 to 1,500 kilos to produce 3,000 to 3,500 kilos a month. In 2012, it grossed PHP9,621,827 and netted PHP649,113 income improving further in 2014 with PHP14,483,082 gross income and PHP2,226,187 net.

As an enterprise, Café Amedeo has been growing with total assets of PHP8,663,653 as of December 2014. With aggressive promotion, diversification, and value proposition as marketing strategies, it is not farfetched that it could become a medium scale enterprise by 2016.

From Pesky To Pleasant

The Province of Laguna is blessed with natural attractions and a rustic charm. It is where the past blends with the present, and man is one with nature. Not only that, it is a businessman’s haven and a traveler’s prime destination.

One of Laguna’s pride and joys is the Laguna de Bay. It is the largest lake in the country with 220 kilometers of shoreline and a 949 square kilometer area. It also the home of water hyacinths, which were considered a nuisance not so long ago. With the help of Laguna Livelihood Emergency Employment Accelerated Program (LEAP), the water hyacinth slowly became a source of livelihood, so far from their infamy as blockers of waterways.

The Laguna Water Hyacinth Handicraft Producers Association, Inc is one such group of people that benefitted from the pesky hyacinth. Located in Los Baños, the group’s production area is backed up against Laguna de Bay, providing them a consistent supply of water hyacinth. With the innovation and creativity of its members, the association was able to turn the problematic and invasive water hyacinth into works of art, like bags, shoes, mats and other decorative items.



They are beneficiaries of the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) project, and were provided with a dryer, dyeing vat, sewing machines and electrical flatteners.

“Before, it took us 10 days to completely dry the stalks. With the dryer, it was reduced to 5 days, and we can dry the water hyacinth during the rainy season, whereas before, we do not have production during rainy days!”, said Remia V. Adedoja, president of the association.

“Originally, we used empty bottles of liquor to flatten the water hyacinth stalks. This process is tedious and eats up a lot time. Our arm muscles are painful after a long time of pressing!”, lamented another association member.

With the assistance DTI Region IV-A has provided, their sales increased to Php1,190,000 in 2015, and they were able to hire 42 full time workers from the original 25. They also provide house wares to establishments like Taal Vista Hotel, Acacia Hotel, The Suez Boutique Hotel and SM City Calamba. In the same year, they were able to export picnic baskets made of the hyacinth with cloth linings to the Japan market.



Truly, the Laguna Water Hyacinth Handicraft Producers Association, Inc has captured the hearts of the local and foreign markets with their world class design and craftsmanship.

The Success In Darak

Who would have thought that darak or rice bran that is commonly fed to pigs or thrown away could be turned into beauty products and be a profitable business venture? A woman entrepreneur from Laguna province has this success story.

Ms. Sherill R. Quintana started with selling candles and beauty products over a decade ago when there are only few players in the industry and limited supplies were available. Her first exposure was during the Barakalan 2001, a DTI IV-A organized trade fair where she got several contacts and buyers. Her first taste of direct exports came in 2002 even reaching shelves of Macy’s New York. By the year 2007, she was able to put up her own stall in a mall in Laguna and named it to Kutitap. But just like any other business, Ms. Quintana faced a big challenge when the products from China came into the scenario. She then lost her major clients locally and abroad.



Instead of giving up and going back to work, Ms. Quintana rocked brains on research, prayed really hard and embarked on product development with the help of DTI and DOST, until she stumbled to darak. In 2011, she renamed her business to “Oryspa Spa Solutions”, the first in the country to provide spa products in the wellness sector made out of rice bran oil. Quintana’s Oryspa business has a wide range of products including massage oil, soap, shampoo, lotion, perfume, body scrub, among others.

In a period of four (4) years, she grew the business from toll manufacturing to a franchising company which today has over 20 branches across the country and 2 outlets in Singapore.



With her success, she gained recognition from different local and international organizations such as: Most Promising Filipino Franchise of Franchise Excellence Awards 2015; Philippine nominee for ASEAN Business Awards for two categories: ASEAN Women Entrepreneur award and ASEAN Priority Integration Sectors Excellence Awards for Healthcare 2015; Outstanding Young Entrepreneur 2015 in South Luzon by the PCCI; and one of the Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur of Go Negosyo Filipina Summit 2016. She is also a motivational speaker for APEC, Go Negosyo, PCCI and DTI. Currently, Ms Quintana is working on her book about her entrepreneurship journey to inspire more Filipina to venture into business.

UPBEAT Merchandise

UPBEAT MERCHANDISE is the very first distributor and retailer of UP merchandise   allowed to make use the official logo of the University of the Philippines Los Baños in all its merchandise like shirts, jackets, caps, umbrellas, etc. The company   is owned by Mr. Jan Excel M. Cabling, the business started on February 2011 and is running for more than five years now. Their mission is to be the preferred brand for UP products in every UP units if given a chance.  In September 2015, Negosyo Center was launched in Los Baños in time for its 400th years’ celebration, UPBEAT Merchandise   was one of the few businesses who were given the opportunity to showcase their products inside the Negosyo Center Office.  Having their products exposed through the clients and visitors of the Negosyo Center,   Mr. Cabling said that it brought their business closer to Los Baños community and helped increase their market range. It also allowed them to be visible to other communities whenever they visited Los Baños (delegates from other provinces). By the help of Negosyo Center, they were able to market their merchandise not only to students of UPLB but also employees from government and private institutions of different provinces. 

At present, they were able to open a branch in UP Diliman. They also started to introduce a wide range of UP products aside from shirts and jackets. They also established student distributors from different UP Campuses to reach UP Communities aside from UPLB and UP Diliman.  He shared that during downfall of any business, the entrepreneur must identify the problem well and determine the factors affecting the situation. It must be discussed with the team and strategize for a solution. Implement the plan and create methods to avoid the same problem(s) in the future.  Mr. Cabling pointed out that any business must have original concept or idea and be strong in handling money and spend according to the needs. Be consistent in doing products excellently. Be resilient and do not be easily threatened by the struggles of the business.   His final words are “There are no mistakes in business, only lessons learned.”  

Contact Details:

Mr. Jan Excel M. Cabling Raymundo

Gate, Umali Subd., Batong Malake, Los Baños, Laguna

 09178449126

 

Baloc Sewing Project of Philippine Frontline Ministry Inc.

The Philippine Frontline Ministry Inc.  has started their Ministry at Sitio Baloc, Bgry. San Ignacio, San Pablo City, Laguna in the year 2009. Since then, its pastoral staff has initiated several livelihood projects that will address the needs of its members and residents of Sitio Baloc  (the City dumpsite) for alternative opportunities other than scavenging or manually processing wastes of the dumpsite.  But in the year 2012, by a City Ordinance the dumpsite was closed and scavenging is prohibited.  The displaced scavengers have been introduced to quilting business, taking advantage of the acquired sewing skills they had entered into a sewing contract for sailor uniforms and other sporting apparels.  This will not only provide alternative source of income but also uplift the morals of local residents by decreasing instance of scavenging in the near dumpsite.

One identified client is the Aquarian Marine Supply, Inc. the company has been providing uniforms to sailors and other sporting apparel. The said company considers contract sewing with the Baloc sewers for their products.  Product list of Aquarian Marine Supply, Inc. includes coverall, gala chef uniform, stewards scrub suit, polo, parka jacket, pants, polo shirts, uniform supplier, aprons, polo shirts, t shirts, chef jackets, toque, and hand gloves.

Having known of the DTI-Laguna Shared Service Facility Program, the ministry  submitted their project proposal. The requested equipment is essential in establishment of the operations of sewers of Sitio Baloc. The client requires large number or orders per contract. The group would like to take advantage of this opportunity to provide livelihood and uplift morals of the resident of Sitio Baloc. In order for the sewing  contract to establish and fully operate, tools and equipment are needed in the production.  It would also  empower the beneficiaries to sustain their  sewing activities, also to deliver high quality work based on customers need thus leading competition in the market.  The facility was established on December 2014.

At present, the Baloc Sewing Project has an on-going construction for  a new  100 square meter building factory worth P1.5 million.  From the 6 sewers in 2014,  they were now 26 sewers though some of these are on-call sewers earning P350.00 a day, an amount more than the standard wage in the city.  The sewers are generally housewives with ages of 20 to 58 years old, but the young ones, four of them are college students who were scholars of the ministry, but opted to work part time to earn more.

Their biggest order comes from an exporter of T-shirts,  the Faces Apparel who is a Chinese/American company has an on-going order of 2,000 pieces of T-shirts for export and local markets.  The next job order will be a 5,000 pieces T-shirts as  guaranteed contract but  it will be on a 5,000 to 10,000 pieces on the coming months.  With the factory and production expansion, the Project Manager had plan for subcontracting sewers to other barangays in order to support the livelihood of other women-sewers and as part of their ministry work.

The Ministry as well as the sewers were very grateful with the additional sewing equipment provided to them, as because of these that they were able to close orders for sewing jobs.

Contact Details:

Name of the beneficiary:        SSF on Baloc Sewing Project

                                                (Philippine Frontline Ministry Inc.

Mr. Edmundo G. Mercado

                                                Project Manager

Address:                                  Brgy. Sto. Niño, San Pablo City

Contact No:                             09054014220

Casile Guinting Upland Multipurpose Cooperative

In the event of the growing market for coffee in City of Cabuyao, Laguna, the establishment of Shared Service Facility equipment including Coffee Packaging Machine, Dosing Coffee Grinder and Espresso Machine for Casile-Guinting Upland Multi-purpose Cooperative at Brgy. Casile, City of Cabuyao, Laguna which is ten to fifteen (10-15) minutes from Tagaytay, greatly enhanced the way they venture in the coffee industry. The cooperative has 107 members in total having 47 male and 60 female members. Before, they served their coffee in the traditional manner, serving it hot from a kettle plain and simple. With added equipment for their Coffee Shop (formerly known as “Agri-Kapehan” or “Cafe Liberica”), they have improved the way they handle and serve coffee from harvesting to roasting. Trainings on how to handle and maintain equipment and brewing, like Good Manufacturing Practices and Barista Training, has given farmers and future Baristas of their cooperative, a better chance for a greater profit for their hard earned labor. Now their coffee can be served with better taste and quality, a sophisticated look and enjoyed by a larger market, mostly for those who wants to take a break from traveling their way to the uplands of Tagaytay, suiting their tag line “From soil to cup”.

A Heavy Duty Ginger Extractor Machine was also procured by the Share Services Facility Project to help the cooperative in improving their ginger tea or “Salabat” giving them better quality produce that is shared by the members and market.

Due to these equipment higher employment, intensified production capacity, wider range of market and higher income are generated by the Casile-Guinting Upland Multi-purpose Cooperative.

Contact Details:

Mr. Juanito DS Andal Jr.

Brgy. Casile, Cabuyao City, Laguna

09257203713

Ai-She Footwear

How the Business Started

The Municipality of Liliw, Laguna is known for its footwear industry as it is the predominant business enterprise in the municipality since 1930s. However, despite of being surrounded by footwear makers, the couple, Ferdinand and Corazon did not engage in said business until 2006. Ferdinand has worked as seaman for 16 years and Corazon was a registered Nurse, who worked for several years at the Provincial Hospital of Laguna. In 2006, the footwear making business of Corazon’s cousin closed down due to poor business, and its designer, a friend of Corazon, encouraged her to engage in the business. Corazon immediately saw an opportunity and she invested P50,000.00 to start the business and she hired two male footwear makers aside from her designer friend. She initially supplied her products to footwear stores in Liliw, and after a few months, she rented a stall along the Gat Tayaw Street . The business had a slow progress and its break came through in mid- 2006 when the Department of Trade and Industry ( DTI ) Laguna invited Corazon to participate in trade fairs and exhibits in the Province of Laguna and in Manila. She got good sales from the trade fairs and received volume orders during exhibits from various shoe retailers in Manila and other places. Because of her constant participation in trade fairs and exhibits, Corazon developed her marketing skills and she offered her products to stores in gasoline stations along the main highway from Manila to South Luzon. Soon enough, her shoes and slippers became one of the regular products at the stores in the gasoline stations. In late 2006, she also started supplying a shoe store in LandMark Department Store in Makati City. In 2007, Ai-she Footwear was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine ( a monthly magazine on business and entrepreneurship with national circulation ). This enabled Corazon to get more wholesale customers from Manila and as far as Visayas and Mindanao. Hence, the business had a steady growth, and in 2008, Corazon and Ferdie decided to resign from their jobs and concentrate on the business.

Enhancing capability of the entrepreneur

In late 2009, DTI endorsed Ai-she Footwear to CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization) as Corazon and Ferdie were already getting overwhelmed on the initial success of their business. The couple was optimistic that their business will further grow but they did not know how to prepare a business plan to pursue it. In January 2010, Corazon participated in the training seminar on business planning that was conducted by DTI Region 4A through the CESO program. After the seminar the participants were required to submit a copy of their own business plan. She was assisted by one of the staff of DTI-Laguna in crafting the Ai-She Footwear Business Plan. The main objective of the business plan was how to increase production as orders for the products kept on coming. The main plans that were drafted are the following- to transfer to a bigger production area in order to hire more workers and increase production, designate or hire a Quality Control Officer, and improve raw materials and inventory management. To further capacitate Ai-She Footwear another CESO Volunteer Adviser was dispatched to give consultancy on business management. Corazon learned financial/ cash flow/ inventory management from the VA, business recording on excel system, and in refining her business plan. Because of the these training and consultancy assistance, Corazon and Ferdie were able to institute proper monitoring of sales and expenses, reduce wastage in raw materials by as much as 10%, and improve their knowledge and skills in managing their business. In late 2010, the couple was able to save some money to build a 3- storey factory building in Liliw. Their business operation improved further as they were able to expand their production and market. Having the need to expand the production, the production facility was transferred to another barangay which was far from the residential area and is an ideal location for a footwear factory. The couple was able to close the deal, wherein they paid PhP 1.5 Million as down payment and they are amortizing PhP 133,333 per month until November 2012 to fully pay the property worth PhP 4 Million. They have also built a 3- storey office- storage building in said property, worth PhP 1.8 Million. The new factory building is more spacious and well ventilated, which gives now a better working condition for the workers.

Jobs generation of Ai-she Footwear

Ai-she is now employing a total of 50 workers in the factory mostly women. In the selling area, 4 women are working. Most of the workers are married and have children of about 4 each.

Ai-she also sub-contracts sewing and crocheting jobs with 7 women in the neighborhood, who earn about PhP 500 each per week.

With the success of the footwear business of the couple, they are not only earning for their family of four but they also provide livelihood to some people in their community. Their workers are now assured of steady income to support the daily needs of their family.

Looking to being Successful

Ferdie and Corazon are still overwhelmed with the fast development in their business and fortune. They feel that they are still dreaming as they can’t believe that their business is now located in a 6,000 sqm lot. They said that people in Liliw thought they have won the lotto as their fortune had rose quickly. Corazon said that their business luck came from their openness to get assistance from organizations and people who have knowledge and skills on business development. DTI, for one, opened doors for them to find buyers of their products, and to get assistance from CESO – partner of DTI for capability enhancement and consultancy for entrepreneurs like the Ai-She Footwear it had helped them in planning for their business expansion and in improving their capacity in managing their business.

Today, Ai-She Footwear has been a regular exhibitor on every trade fairs at the national and international fairs organized by the DTI.

Hosefelito O. Fines : On Keeping Going

You want to start a business.
You want motivation; an inspiration. You want assistance.
DTI can help. They will help.
Just ask and keep going.

I am talking to you.

You are here and you want to start a business and begin with a sense of what it should be look like; progressive, accomplished, perfect.

It is so exciting that you wake up and bounce out of bed and full of hope and energy and you settle down to work for what you were thinking the other night; to start a business.

In your mind’s eye you have such a vibrant idea of what you want your business, like a masterpiece, looks like. You work hard and toil harder than even you could have envisioned then you take a step back from what you’ve done and realize things aren’t’ the way you’d hoped. Let us put it more brutally, it is terrible and you are disgusted by what you have achieved and the only thing you can think about is the terrible gap between what you wanted to do and what you have actually done. It seems your taste is well ahead of your abilities.

You failed. You run away in distress and maybe into the arms of someone who loves you or perhaps you choose to sit alone where you contemplate your own profound mediocrity. You are now looking at yourself and thinking that you are no better than that spider in the tree who works hard to build his web and become successful at the end of the day. You are so sad. You’ve gone back to bed. The problem is, going back to bed is too easy. Despair is cheap. Someone also failed but unlike you he did not stop. He just keep going. Yes, he just keep going.

This is his story.

We don’t often dwell on this – and may never discuss it with others – but when it comes to responding to the challenges we face around our businesses or careers, many of us have voices in our heads. We have a murmuring stream of thoughts inside of our minds that constantly comment on our aspirations and achievements. Like him, He has experienced adversities like being part a broken family when his father left him with no financial stability leaving his mother to take over all their needs. A challenge not only shapes his identity but also contours the structure of doing business in his community in Nasugbu, Batangas.
I know sometimes, the voices are warm and encouraging – urging us to find more strength or to give an initiative of another go: ‘You’re nearly there, stick with it”. Yet sometimes, you might argue, the voices are harsher and more condemnatory; their tone is defeatist and punitive, panic-ridden and humiliating leaving you to just go back to bed. But these voices can be chosen by you. You have a choice. Choose the former. When he knew that he has no money to live and let alone pay for his studies, he has chosen the former voice and became a young hustler of resourcefulness. Imagine those days when he was still fixing the toys of his friends during his childhood era just to compensate his family’s daily needs which helped him to acquire that vital skill of perseverance which you will need after failure. The truth is, a failure at one point, does not essentially mean to define our future neither our life.

You still don’t agree and still choose to cover your body with your mattress in your bed? Here’s more.

Being successful is, after all, to a critical degree a matter of confidence, a faith that there is no reason why success would not be ours. He has shown much confidence when he ventured his first entrepreneurial experience of renting out his old books for students in his university which made him able to pay his tuition without any scholarship or rebates. It’s humbling to recognize this achievement he had when he was in college of making profit out of him being resourceful which have been the result not of superior talent or technical know-how, but merely that strange buoyancy of the soul we call confidence.

Part of mastering a business or even our carreer we can love involves coming to terms with our inner voices. We need to audit the voices, and edit some of the less helpful ones out. Like when he decided to choose a life in entrepreneurship. This was the time when he needed to tease out what voices characteristically operate in his minds, what they are telling him and where they are likely to have come from; to become successful without compromising the physical distance it will be brought to his family as a consequence of accepting and continue studying abroad in Hawaii.

We may have different opinion at this point, but when he became a degree holder of BS Business Administration and had chance to study more in Brigham Young University in Hawaii he turned down this half a million worth per semester scholarship grant and decided to start his own business instead. For this, it helps to remind ourselves that we have a choice about the voices we entertain. We should strive to ensure that the way in which we speak to ourselves becomes more conscious, less the result of accident and that we have henceforth planned for the tone we use in response to the challenges we’re confronted with. Like the dilemma he had of whether or not to continue his studies or start a business what is important is that he never stop going and continue choosing while being conscious and responsible in his every actions.

While you are still on your bed after your first failure, it’s easy that you could be sarcastic at this point. We know, because we hear it so often, that maybe he had that choice and its due to his fanatical pride and we live in a crazily materialistic society where practicality is more dominant than perseverance and taking risks. But this is far from being true. The motivation is in fact, in general, more emotional and touching; He decided not to go in Hawaii to help build a business that could not only help his family but also a mission to help his community in Nasugbu. At first, the enraged is real coming from his family which was clouded more when he lost his first hard earned Php 10,000.00 money on his first swam to business. He failed but he really wanted to move on.

He has the confidence, perseverance and initiative. What is more is that he is honest in himself that he cannot do more without assistance of the people around him. That he cannot become successful without more trainings, knowledge and opportunities.

This is where Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in his region in Batangas and their programs entered in his life.

Now, you are finally listening.

When he went out and started different small ventures like selling Ice, Perfume, Pulvoron and others, he already knew that failing is part of the learning process. We often think of being a success primarily in status and financial terms. But being a success just means doing anything well, and there are so many different goals we might actually choose to be successful at, once we break away from the dominant status ideals of our societies. He knows that he is not good at everything, he just wanted to become a good entrepreneur and the trade fair in MAMARAKA sa Nasugbu headed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership of the Local Government Unit literally saved his dreams on becoming one.

A book reader and a doer, this man pursued his dream of becoming an entrepreneur by actively attending seminars of the DTI and not stopping despite failing and persecutions from his community that he cannot do well and he must stop dreaming of owning a business and instead become more practical and realistic that being an employee of an existing business is the easier door than owning a business.

You should not miss this line because this is what he did; The first rule of anything to become successful in life in general is to forgive yourself for the horror of the first rounds of trying.

Don’t hurry. Do a little bit every day.

With a proper philosophical perspective on the needs of customers, DTI helped him to establish a business that helped him to see new market opportunities, rather than merely being left to fiddle with margins of his “self-owned-no-DTI-assistance” ventures.

Get up and find your business mission. DTI helped him to scent his mission by exposing him to different activities which radiated into him after. At the end of the day, He focused on doing perfumes formerly known as “Fine Scents” which is locally now known and popular as Fino d’Fine French Fragrances. A self-experimented perfume business, DTI helped him to present his products on various trade fairs and assisted him in marketing strategies and even in distribution and packaging skills.
For the next time you dwell on trying again a business, your business mission is about having a plan; and reducing the amount of times that, because one has no clear goal, one gets swept along by the plans of others. Clear illustration is when he wanted to create a perfume with a mission to produce a local perfume line with an international scent that can be exported or even outmaneuver the mainstream of the said industry in the future.

DTI can help you to find your mission.

You should remember that it is different from an ambition. As they say, an ambition starts with what you want while a mission centers around what others need. People with missions like him may well end up making money and having status, but that isn’t what led him to the mission in the first place. The search for a mission required himself to ask: among all the problems facing humanity, what are the ones that properly interest me? This made him to trim down goals of making scents for a lesser price without compromising its quality.

The challenge is around focus. When he was selling on a home-based business platform with a start-up capital of Php 5 000.00, DTI helped him to focus on his products by inviting him to MAMARAKA sa Nasugbu. After he asked for the assistance of DTI to that particular activity, a trade fair program, he joined and opened his first booth along with some bottles for trial testing. Because of armed knowledge and trainings from the DTI by teaching him to choose a specific target, he is now aware of how much energy it will take to reach it and how to deal with it.

As he clearly put it in an interview: “It was one of the greatest financial success that happened to me early in my life as it was my first time to touch, let alone earn 25,000.00 in just one day!, My hype level was to the max seeing all of my perfume bottles fly off the display so fast and my cash box filling up to the brim that I even went out to the nearest booth to buy a tote bag where I could put my sales in, I remember that night where I only see lights as people come by to try my product and fall in love with it, it was the first day that I’ve felt that all my decision early on is right and that I am really chasing a tangible goals and not just an imaginary dream of greatness, I literally felt like I was the king of the world that time. Mamaraka has helped me not just financially but it has done something so great within me it confirmed my long dream that I could be an entrepreneur and that I could produce something that people would want and love, it made me feel that dropping my scholarship in Brigham Young University was the right decision, it made me feel that I could be a great father and a provider. It has given me that small boost, that last leap of faith, that confirmation that everything was right and in order and I was one step closer to my dream. I will never forget Mamaraka and Sir Jhun Ortizo who manned the event singlehandedly and has done an exceptional work with it. I finished the 1 week season with almost a hundred thousand in total sales.”

He has since then became very dynamic in attending MAMARAKA and testing out different concept and strategies for 5 years now with the help of DTI.

By actively mentioning MAMARAKA and DTI as his starting point of being an entrepreneur in whatever speaking activities he is being invited to give a speech or thank you comments after receiving honors such as being the President and CEO of PriMa Center for Creative Excellence and Chief Executive Strategist of Finesupport J.H Fines SME Consulting Group, delegate of APEC Summit for young entrepreneur or awards such as being one of the top outstanding young entrepreneur in 2015 organized by Go Negosyo and USAID, and Startup entrepreneur of the year organized by organized by Philippine Academy for creating enterprise’s entrepreneur academy awards. These skills and aptitudes made him hi distinctive zone: that’s where his mission lies. Like what other writers say, A mission isn’t a mission because it is grand, but because it is precise.

It is alright. Being confused about starting a business or career choice is perfectly normal. You may become anxious about making the wrong choice, but it is better than making no choice at all. Fear is normal but let neither of these scupper our chances to succeed forever. This paradox of choice stemming from too many options should not be hindrance to success in life.

Know yourself. Say it, I know this is the oldest philosophical recommendation but still has a particular relevance to careers and business. Keep a timetable and stick to it. Work with hope work like this for days, months, years and even decades and eventually one day, the result will catch up with your taste, with what you have in your mind. You might even be a little proud of yourself and who knows maybe the rest of the community will be a little bit too like the accolades to the man that I am referring to you the whole time: the scent magnate of Nasugbu, Mr. Hosefelito O. Fines.

Like him we just have to keep faith, work one day at a time – and we’ll get there. Just keep going.

Back
to top