Overseas Filipino workers are proclaimed as the new heroes of our times. In 2005, Liza worked overseas as a maid for 2 years; she dedicated herself in her job doing household chores and taking care of her employers’ children. However, after her contract has ended, she returned here in our country and eventually found a job like most of Filipinos — vendor.

She was not just a vendor, but she was also accepting clients for her tailoring services until she got an opportunity to went back abroad and continue her job as a maid. She was very dedicated as you see, for she was like just being a mother to her own family — yes, family. Heroes have family, too, and they also feel pain whenever they think that they have to work far away from her own children, her husband, and her own family just to earn and provide for their needs. Thus, after a year and a half, she again decided to return here in the Philippines and this time, she decided to settle here in our country.

When did she start working as a tailor? At first, she was just practicing and honing her skills in this field. She did not attend schools to learn tailoring or even took it as her course when she was studying. Also, she did not graduate from any training programs such as those provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. She was just partaking as a tailor in her mother-in-law’s umbrella shop. She worked there for over 7 years not until she took over the shop per her mother-in-law’s will. Finally, she does not have to work overseas for their necessities. She has her own business to run which will provide them everything they need.

Liza reflected that, most of the time, it really feels good that you don’t have to worry where you will earn money because clients are here and there and then you will earn savings and provide daily needs but then the pandemic came and the whole world was affected by it. Most of the people panicked about their professions and studies, and most of the employers almost lost their jobs. Liza was among them, and it was really hard back then since the operation of shops was limited. Despite these challenges, Liza did continue her business in their house and there she accepted clients asking for tailoring repairs.

Through those hard times, the government never neglected business owners. They provided cash assistance not only for them to use as capital but also for them to support their families. One of these government programs, particularly the Department of Trade and Industry, was the Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa. This program gave business owners not just entrepreneurial business counselling but also livelihood kits as support for them to maintain their operations and to keep them running even in the times of pandemic.

Getting back to the new normal, it was not that hard for Liza to adjust despite the presence of competitors that arose during the pandemic. Since Liza continued the business operation at home, she was able to gain and maintain her clients. Thus, after the pandemic, she expanded her business offerings from tailoring and umbrella repairs to bag and shoe repairs. This also helped her business gain more clients and more earnings. “Having business is not easy, so it is really important to persevere, and whatever may come, you have to stay strong and not be stumbled by hardships,” Liza emphasized.

With her positive outlook in business and in life, although it may be hard, she never stops dreaming of having her very own shop so that they will not have to pay for rent. Also, she dreams of having an extension of their building to operate and to have employees work for them in the near future, probably 10 years from now. ♦

Date of release: 3 January 2024