With only Php250.00 as a capital in 2009, who would have thought that Sarilikha Handicrafts can now offer a range of pandan and water hyacinth bags, gowns, crafts, and slippers?

Mr. Cesar Pasco, the owner, who once used to live in a slum, paves its way to success in his craft as a designer and an entrepreneur because of his perseverance, willingness to learn, and love for his community and especially to his family. Without having a formal education in managing a business, he always says that his business “Sarilikha Handicrafts” only started by accident, starting with just a Php250.00 fund. He did not even expect that his business is able to sustain its operation up to now.

In addition to, Mr. Pasco shared that, during the beginning of his entrepreneurial career, he thought that making a good sale was the only goal in order to grow his business. His previous practice was to only buy raw materials, produce a product, and finally sell the product. He was not giving so much consideration on other aspects of his business such us managing his finances, product development, operations, and human resources.

Then there came a time when the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Go Negosyo of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship launched the “Kapatid Angat Langat” where he became one of the mentees. According to him, the program gave him a sense of direction for his business. He also mentioned that the DTI has not only helped him change his demeanor toward his business and personal goals but also opened doors for opportunities with the help of other government agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology and the local government units. He was also invited to showcase his products to different exhibits and trade fairs sponsored by the DTI, American Women, Manila FAME, and many more. Mr. Pasco is very grateful with these opportunities because it became an avenue for him to enter the market and get closer to potential partners and loyal customers. By participating to these exhibits and trade fairs, he was able to close a contract with high-end stores such as Balikbayan Handicrafts, Rustan’s, and Robinsons.

At present, “mentee turned mentor” Mr. Pasco is always tapped to conduct training for Product Development in some provinces all over the Philippines. Not only beneficiaries of the local government units do receive trainings from him, but also he supports them by buying their finish products and selling them in his handicraft shop or showcasing them at exhibits where he joins and participates. He also looks forward in growing his adopted communities by making pandan and water hyacinth products to be well-known all over the world because it can greatly help in creating sustainable livelihood for Filipinos where the abundance of such indigenous materials is very evident.

To end, the owner of Sarilikha Handicrafts leaves a message to those who want to start a business, “For you to be successful, always remember these three recipes for success: (1) quality of products, may it be food or handicrafts; (2) price should always be competitive; and (3) be responsible and committed not only to your clients but also to your suppliers and [do not] ever be afraid to start a business even if it is small. Challenges may come along the way but the sweet taste of success is everlasting, especially if you’re already able to help create jobs to your fellow Filipino.”?

 Cesar Pasco of Sarilikha MR. CESAR PASCO, Owner
 Sarilikha Handicrafts
 Address: Brgy. San Antonio, Pila, Laguna, 4010
 Mobile No.: 09199753335