Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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Most Outstanding OFW Microentrepreneur

Sol and Rero Castillano

Purok 7 Osocan, Plaridel, Misamis Occidental

The Municipality of Plaridel, Misamis Occidental is surrounded by Riceland and is considered the rice granary of the province and the couple Sol and Rero Castillano used this to their advantage by putting up a palay trading business, and a piggery as a second business.

Rero's savings as an OFW, amounting to Php200,000.00, provided the couple's start-up amount was not enough for the succeeding cropping. They decided to borrow money from Petal Foundation in Oroquieta City, a program partner of OWWA Region X for the province of Misamis Occidental which granted them Php100,000.00 loan in May 2010, and a second one amounting to Php75,000.00, a year and a half later. The profit from their business ventures allowed the couple to pay their obligations six months before every maturity, sustaining a good relationship and a substantial credit line with Petal Foundation.

In May 2013, for the 3rd time, Petal Foundation granted the couple with a bigger amount worth Php200,000.00 as an additional capital for their two businesses. These two businesses enabled the couple to employ 5 direct workers and 10 seasonal laborers helping them take care of their piggery which now has a herd of fatteners and 7 sows. This business would give them a monthly income worth Php80,000.00 to Php100,000.00.

The couple wishes to expand their piggery business and again invest a bigger amount of capital on the palay trading in the next 5 years. They believe that all of these are attainable with God's help along with their determination.

The financial assistance from OWWA-NLDC thru its partner Petal Foundation, Inc. plays a very vital role in the success of their business by providing a relatively low interest rate and a longer term which is easier for the couple to pay.

Sol and Rero hope that OWWA-NLDC thru its partner Petal Foundation will continue helping and extending their financial assistance so that more OFW families will have a chance to a better future.



Most Outstanding Microentrepreneur for Luzon I

Teresita M. Rapada

Batangan, Gonzaga, Cagayan

Hers is a unique story of a business acumen being passed on as a legacy to a daughter-in-law. Teresita traced the humble beginnings of her business from Mrs. Marina Rapada, her mother-in-law who gathered what she then called the "blessings of the sea" and started fermenting "munamon", a type of fish used in processing fish paste and sauce or bagoong and patis to locals. Patis and bagoong significantly became the source of living of the family and the processing technology was passed on as a legacy to all the children.

Inspired  by  decades of   a  happy marriage  and  a  capital  of  Php20,000.00,  Teresita  and her husband Renato  decided in 2005  to   embrace  the  business  to augment  their  own  family income.   Their products are fermented in big earthen jars or “burnay”  and  are distributed among  Teresita’s  co-teachers, neighbors and stores in the barangay.    Managing  the business was  relatively easy  despite her busy schedule as a university  teacher   because of the support she gets from her husband and their children.

The opportunity of  promoting  her products  to many  came when  her competitor, who is  senior by   5 years in  the business,  was not  able to meet the demand  for  fish paste  and  sauce.  She immediately grabbed the chance by increasing production  to fill the  gap.   Luckily, the  Department of  Science and Technology (DOST)   saw the potential of  her  business ,  granted the couple a soft loan amounting to  Php261,000.00  and  an  opportunity  to attend  trainings and seminars.  These   enabled    “RAPADA’s Premium Patis and Bagoong “   to penetrate the 11 municipalities of the 2nd district of Cagayan.

Teresita   thoroughly researched on  how   to  lower  the cost of production  without sacrificing the  quality of her products.   Her dedication and passion which she showed by maintaining   competitiveness in  a  market  where    competitors are not few and by trying new techniques and procedures to enhance the flavor of the fish paste and sauce produced rewarding results for her and her family.

In January 18, 2011 Mrs. Teresita  Rapada  became a member of the  Cooperative Bank of Cagayan through its Microfinance East Unit and applied for a loan amounting to Php100,000.00.   The money  was  used as additional capital  to  expand  the  business    to   meet  increasing demand.   Since  then, the Cooperative Bank of Cagayan has been Teresita’s  financial partner in business. “RAPADA’s Premium Patis and Bagoong “,  earlier accredited by DOST under  the DOST  SET-UP PROJECT on  Expansion of Fish Paste & Sauce Production  was  awarded a Plaque of Recognition  on the same year.

She later procured additional boats for fishing “munamon”,  equipments for processing and  a closed van for  product distribution.  This expansion provided employment within the community for   60 fishermen and helpers   assisting in the production of bagoong and patis,   57  indirectly  hired to hasten  production whenever there are higher demands. Aside from the business expansion, she  is currently busy  developing packaging alternatives  -- from  pouches (by way of vertical sealer)   to  assorted  sizes  for the regular bottling –offering  a  wide  variety of  options to   her increasing  number of  customers.    

Teresita  dreams  of   distributing   her products to  the   whole  region, penetrating  even the   export market and engaging into manufacturing sardines and dried fish production.

Despite her tight schedule as a wife, mother and teacher ,  she has  explored  the world beyond these   walls  to pursue  her  dreams.   Teresita is truly a remarkable epitome of a  self-fulfilled woman and an instrument of economic, social, and spiritual nourishment.


Most Outstanding Microentrepreneur for Luzon II

Eulogio D. Salubre, Jr.

Brgy. Espinosa, Masbate City 

Eulogio “Leo” Salubre and his wife started their candy making business in 2000 without any business experience, with very minimal capital and armed only with perseverance, determination and faith in God.   The candy products they sell include caramel balls, tamarind and batuan candies and polvoron.    Fortunately, the couple managed to surpass the challenges in the business of candy making and were even able to venture to other business such as bakery, frozen processed food products, a piggery, a small store and soya and tofu production. The years of hard work paid off and    SALUBRE’S PROCESSED FOOD   became widely known not only in Masbate but also in the nearby provinces.

Leo decided to borrow money from informal lenders for additional capital but he could not cope  up with the  high interest rates.     In  2008,  the  couple  learned about  the Taytay  sa Kauswagan , Inc.  (TSKI),   a Visayas - based  non-government  organization   with operations  in  Masbate and decided  to apply for a  loan  which was fortunately granted.    Using the money the TSKI  provided ,  the couple   bought a larger oven for their candy products and  hired workers,   mainly friends and  neighbors   to augment the number of manpower they needed and at the same time help the people in their community.       At the  moment,  18 employees  work for the  couple ,  helping in the daily operation of their business including the distribution of candy and processed foods in large markets of Masbate. Aside from helping their neighborhood with the employment, Leo and his wife continue  to  be good  examples  to  their  employees,  moulding  them  to  be  responsible, trustworthy, and family-oriented citizens.

With  all  these   enterprises  generating  an  average   annual income of  about  Php800,000.00,    financing the   family’s  daily needs  and  the schooling of   six (6)   of  their  eight (8)  children    became  less  of  a  struggle  for  Leo  and his wife. 

The couple are grateful for all the blessings they have received   and are now looking forward to employing more people from their community to help them have better lives and having their products known to other provinces.


Most Outstanding Microentrepreneur for Visayas and National Winner Microentrepreneur Category

Floraiwin M. Cainglet

Bgy. Omambong, Leon, Iloilo

When Flor, a  Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate and Romel, an Electrical Engineering graduate, got married in year 1998, one of the challenges they encountered was how to  sustain  the family they were about to start. The idea of starting  a piggery business came  to mind  so they decided to raise 2 pigs, but eventually realized that this kind of business will not cover  the daily financial requirements of the family. To finance their daily needs, they ventured into Puto-cheese making which they peddled around neighboring barangays and the town proper.

Romel decided to seek formal employment when their first baby was born, but it meant being physically away from Flor and the baby. On the other hand, Flor had to stop making puto cheese and had to concentrate on raising and improving the hog business.   She ventured into contract growing  but   the   lack of sustenance from her sponsor and her divided time between the business and the baby  caused this business to  fail. On the other hand, her  husband Romel got homesick and  decided  not to  renew his contract. Upon coming back home, Flor and Romel focused on their hog business – Flor managed the  finances  while Romel  explored innovative possibilities to improve  operations.  One major concern was the source of capital for business expansion, so the couple scouted around for a source of additional capital  and Valiant Bank fitted  perfectly into the picture. Using NLDC funds, Valiant Bank granted them an initial loan of Php50,000.00 which they used for stocking feeds and research activities. Since then, Valiant Bank became Romel and Flor’s partner in their business ventures.

The couple has been very active in research on animal husbandry and their courage to tread the realm of their imaginations and to tinker on ideas and design which resulted to “imagineered” tools helped them run the business more efficiently.  Examples of these innovations are the homemade automatic feeder made from recycled materials, the sow-piglet separator, and multi-powered water pump  which helped  keep labor cost to a minimum. The 157- head V-CO Hog Farm (25 sows, 60 piglets, 2 boars, 70 fatteners) can be run efficiently by only 2 people. Presently, Romel and Flor are researching on the use of wind turbines to further save on electricity.

Another major innovation is the construction of a biogas tank which now supplies methane gas to the Cainglet residence. This has greatly reduced the pungent smell of hog waste and manifests a  potential   for providing  free fuel for a  neighborhood of 10 houses – a possibility that the Cainglets are looking into.

Aside from the piggery, Romel and Flor are now venturing into quail egg production which gave additional employment to neighbors as egg gatherers and quail cullers. They are now producing an average of 2,300 quail eggs per day which they supply to the southern part of the province as well as the neighboring province of Antique. Meanwhile, the quail dung are gathered, dried under the sun, preserved and sold  to farmers  as organic fertilizer.

Concerned as  they are  about the   pungent  hog waste and quail droppings ,   the couple  lived away from the rest of their neighbors, yet maintained  a good relationship with them by constantly  getting their feedback about the smell.    The success they have   achieved  so far has  also  rekindled  the philanthropic  side of the  couple.   Flor opened an informal day care center for free for the neighborhood children using the nipa hut in her garden as activity area. She would copy her children’s activities from school, she would also buy school supplies and engage  the toddlers in  activities  which  will  prepare  them for  formal schooling.    On the other hand, Romel takes charge of establishing goodwill with the rest of the Barangay and the community.   He attends barangay assemblies, contributes to barangay funds for their development projects such as construction of drainage, etc. and sponsor sports programs of the barangay.  Aside from these activities, a weekly feeding program is held to about   20  less fortunate neighbors    as the  couple’s  way   of returning back the blessings  they continue to receive.   Five   students are also   under the  couple’s  ward  as  scholars.  

The couple’s   relationship with their employees is  very strong.   Apart from granting them  employee  benefits,  the couple treats  their employees  as  family offering them   free meals, board and lodging, and clothes for them and   their children.

After all the struggles they’ve been through, the couple learned that success doesn’t come easy. Patience, perseverance, sacrifice, dedication and faith in God are the main ingredients for both a  happy family and  a  successful business.


Most Outstanding Microentrepreneur for Mindanao

Aida A. Maestrado

Purok 5, Brgy. Carmen Annex, Ozamiz City

Aida, a native Ozamiznon, worked in the City Hall of Ozamiz after completing her degree in Commerce specializing in Management at the Misamis University. But even if she worked there for twelve years as a casual office work, she was not able to enjoy any benefits. She decided to start a small eatery with her husband as the main cook, who luckily had the passion for cooking. The first thing she did was to  secure  an  arrangement  with  a  local  shop    to  purchase  Php2,000.00   worth  of  groceries  to start the said business. Little  did   Aida and  Vicente  know that  this  microenterprise    will  enable   them  to send their four (4) children to  school.    This  pride  is  seen  from  the  couple’s   eyes   as   Aida   offered   her aspiration:  “ My  dream  is  to  see  my   children  finish their  education.    That   dream   has come true.   Three already passed their licensure examinations and one still in school. ” Indeed,   with hard work and patience, along with prayers, Aida’s wishes came to life.  

She approached moneylenders for additional capital to sustain the requirements of their business, but decided to stop after a while when she realized that the interest rates are too exorbitant. Fortunately, she had a chance encounter with  a  cousin who opened  her  door  to formal  microfinance and to the opportunities and services that Gata Daku Multi-Purpose Cooperative offers. She immediately grabbed the chance and applied for a first cycle  loan worth Php20,000.00 and an additional Php50,000.00  afterwards.   By  2009, she was able to borrow   Php150,000.00 which she used to expand  her business in  Dipolog City.  The expansion was successful and fortunately  led to the   opening of another branch.

But life is always full of challenges.    Aida’s  eatery business in Dipolog city underwent a critical stage  in operation but was luckily rescued by  her   daughter who supported her and her husband. After some time, the   Dipolog branch was on its feet again.

The challenge her business experienced did not hinder her from dreaming of bigger things but only made her tougher.  In 2012, aside from her eatery and  chicken  barbeque (Manokan)    business, she applied for a loan of  Php30,000.00 to venture in   palay production and another  loan of  Php50,000.00 for  corn production.  She also ventured in rent-a-car,  in  trading  and  loading services.  She now  employs   50  regular  employees   and   earns  a net income  that  averages  Php590,000.00  annually. 

Aside from being a successful businesswoman, Aida is a responsible citizen who pays annual taxes and business licenses. She is also the   Barangay’s   Secretary and as a church leader, her family  offers monthly visits and prayers to the sick in their community.      Also, every Christmas, they spend their time giving gifts to the poor and offering  songs.    Moreover,  she is a   responsible  and  active  cooperative member , having  been   cited as  one of the Coop’s Members in Good Standing (MIGS) and a representative  for the coop’s  SME  segment.

Business is Aida’s passion and her success in this endeavor is a proof of her dedication and perseverance she pours to her businesses.

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