Marinduque, a small island province south of Luzon, is home to inspiring entrepreneurs with stories etched from a vibrant history and culture. One of the thriving household names in the province is the 3 Sisters Homemade Banana Chips. The business is a reflection of a family’s genuine love and connection as seen through their journey towards success.

It was in 1996 when Mr. Jose Rivadeneira was put at standstill because of the closing of the Marcopper Mining Corporation, one of the main sources of livelihood in Marinduque during that time. As the provider of the family, this event, however, didn’t stop him from giving his wife and children the life he always wanted for them.

With a P500.00 capital and every family member doing their share of work, the humble beginnings of 3 Sisters Homemade Banana Chips came into fruition. The father, Mr. Jose Rivadeneira sourced out raw materials, his wife took charge of the cooking, and their daughters, the faces behind the business name, packaged and retailed the products in the market. All processes were manually done thus the lack of produce. Despite this, the home-based business was still the bread-and-butter of the family.

3 Sisters’ Homemade Banana Chips is now in its 2nd decade in the business as one of the major banana chips manufacturers in the province of Marinduque. With its continuous growth over the past years, it was able to provide jobs to several members of its local community. They were trained in the production process of the family, and in return, they were able to build a dynamic relationship with their workers.

It was in 2013 when the 3 Sisters Banana Chips first joined and participated in the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) SIKAT Pinoy Trade Fair as a beneficiary under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). They received their first of many awards as the Regional Nominee for Most Innovative Food Product. From then on, they became a consistent participant in local and national trade fairs and received different awards. Adding to their long list of accolades, they also received the 2014 DTI Sikat Pinoy Trade Fair Most Innovative Product Packaging Nominee, 2015 Awardee as Best Quality Banana Chips Maker, 2017 Nominee ASEAN Business Award: Women entrepreneur among others.

Aside from the massive promotion through trade fairs, social media and radio programs also helped boost sales for the business. Their inspiring family business story was a hit among local and national radio programs. Through these, they were able to acquire distributors from the National Capital Region (NCR) and other nearby provinces. With their business expanding, they now fulfill orders from big groceries and convenience stores.

3 Sisters also actively participated in DTI’s other programs such as the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) and One Town One Product (OTOP). Their participation helped them acquire an Intellectual Property Trademark, GS1 Barcode, improved product label and packaging, analysis on nutrition facts and shelf life among others. They also attended different seminars and training on Standard Sanitation Operating Procedure (SSOP), current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), eCommerce, SGS Kaagapay sa Negosyo, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Seminar which helped them secure License to Operate (LTO) from the agency in 2018. The market competitiveness of the product improved through the functional packaging and label design. 3 Sisters Banana Chips also became one of the many products endorsed by the Provincial Government as Marinduque’s Best Pasalubong, thanks to its excellent packaging.

Through DTI’s interventions, the business was able to hire additional part-time and full-time employees, and their sales significantly grew through the years.

Like most businesses, 3 Sisters was negatively affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Small Business Corporation’s Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Loan program helped them thrive and gradually recover from the adverse impact of the spread of the virus.

Looking back at how they started the business, they channel that drive and passion into fully recovering from the negative effects of the pandemic. They are in the process of securing a Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) from the FDA with the assistance of DTI.

3 Sisters’ banana chips are available online via Shopee and Lazada, and they have distributors in all 6 towns of Marinduque, around NCR, Quezon, Batangas, and Laguna. ♦

Date of Release: 14 February 2022