Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Most Outstanding Microentrepreneur for CAR, Regions I, II and III
Emily C. Ordonia
Baan, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya

"If you are going to borrow, money should not be spent on trivial things. You must have a project, maybe one, two or three projects at the same time so that if one of these goes bankrupt, you can still bank on the other two to pay your debts."

"Never say die" could very well be Emilia Ordonia's battlecry - after having tripped and fallen countless of times, this hardy woman simply refused to give up.

A midwife by profession, Emily as she is fondly called, has more of the entrepreneurial spirit in her since most of her lifetime had been spent in overseeing the farm more than in delivering babies.

She first loaned P20,000 from the Cooperative Bank of Nueva Vizcaya in 1998 to use as added capital in their rice farm. Although Emily knows when and where to invest, she got burned in the early 2000s when she lent out money to farmers in the hope of being paid back with interest. Most did not pay back and she almost went under.

Bouncing back from this sad experience, she made a renewal of her loans with the National Livelihood Support Fund-Livelihood Credit Assistance Program in 2004 to start a hog-fattening project. Whenever a loan would be paid up, she immediately applied for another, then another, then another until she had hogs and cattle, rice mills and rice fields, vegetable farms and fishponds, and orchards among others.

Emily's success has spilled over to her community as she now hires many of them to assist her in her businesses.


Most Outstanding Microentrepreneur for Regions IV and V
Nenie D. Grajo
Lungib, Casiguran, Sorsogon

As a wife of a successful businessman, Nenie Grajo never had an inkling that someday she would be catapulted into a field thoroughly unknown to her.

When her husband was sent to prison, following an accident, Nenie was left to shoulder the accumulated bills, the receivables of their business, take care of their growing family, and run their once thriving junk shop cum hollow block-making enterprise by her lonesome. Her life had reached its lowest point there was nowhere to go but up.

Nenie got the courage to apply for a loan of P2,000 to revive their business. Whenever she had the money, the priority was to pay off the loan. Such discipline would prove to be rewarding - she was able to erase the loan then reapply for a new one until one day, she had proven she can do it. Her business thrived anew and she even had people under her employ. Soon her junk shop and hollow block business reached capitalization of nearly half a million pesos.

Wisely, she bought properties and entered into dealership of Fern-C and DXN, products sold by networking. She is now the acknowledged biggest distributor of these products in Juban, Sorsogon.

Nenie is also a long-time head of one of the Samahan ng mga Kababaihang Nagkaisa (SAMAKANA) centers established by the Peoples Alternative Livelihood Foundation of Sorsogon Inc. (PALFSI). She has since been awarded Microentrepreneur ng Dekada by PALFSI in year 2007 proving her mettle as a model microfinance client and as a businesswoman.

Most Outstanding Microentrepreneur for Visayas
Cicilia M. Lorenzo
Malalison Island, Culasi, Antique

Cicilia is an "islander" having been born and raised in the island of Malalison, a 20-minute boat ride away from the mainland town of Culasi, Antique. In this island, noted for its coral reefs and clear waters, fishing is the main source of living.

Cicil married a man from the mainland and he was used to farming. When Cicil cajoled her husband Rey to live in Malalison, she did not realize the alien lifestyle would also soon alienate her husband's affection; her husband refused to participate in the fishing or in selling the smelly creatures.

It was Cicil who, then heavy with their third child would carry 30 to 40 kilos of fish to peddle around the island. She would also paddle the banca alone to get to another place just to sell. But love conquers all and Rey, coming to his senses, began to help his wife for livelihood.

At first, Cicil borrowed money from a sister to have a stall inside the public market. Then in 2005, she attended a Taytay sa Kauswagan Inc. (TSKI) orientation on how to avail of loans. Again, she borrowed money and used it to repair the fishing boat her father gave them. The perseverance and togetherness of the couple paved the way for more success - they were able to acquire more boats, hire more people, and send their children to school. Now, they are also planning of renovating their house.

Cicil is actively involved in community work as president of the barangay women's association.

Most Outstanding Microentrepreneur for Mindanao
Lorna E. Vallejos
Katipunan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte

Lorna is one of the countless microentrepreneurs in the country. Like these countless others, she was at a loss on how to make ends meet. But she was not daunted. Unlike most, Lorna was a great believer in her Maker - that whatever happens, she will overcome the odds with His help. Such a positive attitude was a great factor in what she has become.

Lorna first tried to make a loan at the Peoples Bank of Caraga. She used it to set up a sari-sari store that catered to her neighbors. But there is a great risk in selling to clients who are so poor that they could hardly pay back debts incurred. Still, Lorna persevered and bore the situation gracefully. Her persistence paid off, and in addition to her store, she was also able to put up a furniture shop and engaged in buy and sell, mostly of ready-to-wear garments.

Her unusual entrepreneurial spirit was such that even though people sometimes made off without paying her, she simply lifted up these experiences to the Lord. And when she was rewarded, the returns came a hundredfold. In time, Lorna and her husband were able to buy lands on which they plan to build a rice mill. They also plan to put up a restaurant and a karaoke joint, a favorite hangout of Filipinos particularly after a hard day's work.

With their fortunes and graces, Lorna and her husband now plan to help further their relatives who are in need. Lorna is very modest with her successes, she says that they have loans from the bank in the thousands - P135,000.00 - as of last year. Confident of herself, she is bold where others are afraid in obtaining loans.

Now, Lorna's assets have grown to include not only land but also three units of motorcycles and appliances for her businesses. She helps her siblings and her husband's siblings by hiring them in their stores. Clearly, Lorna's perseverance, persistence, industriousness and most especially her faith has paid off.

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