Ayana's Siling Kinamayo’s Hot and Sweet Blend of Success
When Typhoon Pablo hit Davao Oriental on December 4, 2012, probably the hardest part was how to bring livelihood to the hardly-hit municipalities of Baganga, Cateel and Boston.
Many lives were lost and the damage on infrastructure and crops, especially on the top source of income – the coconut were enormous.
However, in the Building Back Better Program of the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental under the leadership of Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, a very clear and well-defined program was formulated and mutually accepted and adopted by all the stakeholders.
On the part of DTI, it was mandated to develop reliable and alternative sources of income as coconut production cannot be relied upon considering that it will take five to seven years before the farmer can harvest the crop.
Thus, DTI promoted hot chili production and processing for the farmers to immediately start harvesting on the fourth month from planting.
Anchored on Oplan Pablo (Program to Accelerate Building Livelihood Opportunities in Davao Oriental), hot chili production and processing became the center piece of DTI's assistance to the affected farmers.
Among the new and significant MSMEs developed for this industry is the Ayana's Siling Kinamayo, owned and managed by Mr. Edlun and Mrs. Maricel Ferrando of Poblacion, Caraga, Davao Oriental.
Though micro as it is, it has become the major source of income, not just for the MSME, but also for the farmers.
With an initial capitalization of PHP800,000, and with just the couple working, they were able to help 25 chili farmers from the municipality.
These chili farmers, who are their suppliers of native chili, are earning PHP70.00 - PHP80.00 per kg for the fresh and PHP200.00 per kg for dried chili.
With DTI’s intervention on marketing and promotion, training/seminars and product development, Ayana’s Siling Kinamayo is now being sold in Davao City, Manila, Cotabato City, Cagayan de Oro City and other key cities, and to foreign buyers like Indonesia and the United States.
According to Mr. and Mrs. Ferrando, they have been generating between PHP50,000 to PHP500,000 whenever they trade fairs.
Having imbibed the culture of entrepreneurship by heart, Mr. Ferrando was proclaimed winner of the 2015 AFPSLAI National Search for Outstanding Entrepreneur that made him take home the cash prize of PHP100,000.
The husband and wife tandem, who can be regarded as an epitome of an SME with a very good attitude in running their business are not only thinking about making Ayana’s Siling Kinamayo big for their own benefit, but as well as the welfare of their farmer-suppliers.
Larry’s Food Products
Mr. Larry Balmori was one of the few who were given a chance to exhibit his products during the celebration of the 49th Founding Anniversary of Davao Oriental through the Sikat Pinoy INALIMA 2016 Trade Fair and Exhibit at Honey’s Hotel, City of Mati, Davao Oriental conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Davao Oriental Field Office.
Through the implementation of Bottom-Up Budgeting of DTI-Davao Oriental Field Office, in coordination with the Municipal Local Government Unit of Cateel and other agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Mr. Balmori was able to participate to the skills training on Banana Chips and Taro Chips that helped him produce such products in their municipality. He was also able to participate to different seminars conducted through the Negosyo Center prior to his participation during the INALIMA 2016. These seminars are the Seminar on Visual Merchandising and Seminar on How to Negotiate with Buyers. Assistance in packaging and labeling were also provided by the Negosyo Center Staff.
Larry’s Food Products that were displayed during the exhibit were Native Chili Powder, Driftwood, Banana Chips and Taro Chips. He was able to generate Php 12,525.00.
His participation during the fair enabled him to not only generate sales but also expand his networks over the province.
El Tigre Food Products
After Typhoon Pablo devastated the lands of Boston, Cateel and Baganga in December 2012, the local and national government identified hot chili production and processing as an alternative livelihood for farmers whose lands, mostly planted with coconuts, were destroyed by the typhoon.
One of the programs of the government was the “Hot Pablo” initiated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 11 intended to those who are affected by the typhoon. The resiliency of hot chili production during the typhoon made the brand name “Hot Pablo” as chili production started after Typhoon Pablo hit Davao Oriental.
DTI-11, in coordination with the provincial and municipal government units and other agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST), worked hand-in-hand in this program. The program supported the production, processing and marketing of chili products.
One of the beneficiaries of Hot Pablo Program of the DTI is Mr. Luis Bueno, Jr. of El Tigre Food Products from Malibago, Cateel, Davao Oriental. Having 20 hectares of chili plantation, he was able to meet the demand of chili in the region.
El Tigre Food Products includes products like chili paste, chili extract, chili powder, fresh and dried chili. These are being sold to buyers in Manila, Kablon Farms, Cacao de Davao, Frux and other buyers in Davao Oriental, Davao City and Iligan City.
Through bazaars and trade fairs of private sectors with the assistance of the DTI, El Tigre was able to market its products nationwide. It also allowed him to create networks to buyers outside Davao Region and expand their market.
Bueno has already applied for the License to Operate (LTO) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) early this year, awaiting approval..
Three years after Typhoon Pablo struck the areas of Davao Oriental, the El Tigre Food Products by Luis Bueno Jr. remained hot and thriving.
Silver Bullet Opportunity
An-an F. Salinas, a former bank teller and a dedicated sergeant's wife, decided to take a leap in the business world by opening El-An's Lemonade in February 2016.
Happily married to a soldier and a mother of two, this former bank teller has an inherent spirit and will to build her own business to a greater scale.
An-an Salinas finished BS Accountancy from Agusan Institute of Technology (AIT) and worked in Butuan City as a bank teller. Yielding to the desires of her family, she gave up being a banker and fully supported her husband’s endeavor by going with him in his assignment in Mati. She was pretty happy and contented as a full-time housewife until an incident led her to a new phase in life. Her kids, a son and a daughter have to be hospitalized almost every week for heavy coughing. Aside from losing unreasonable amount of money, she got worried of the possible side effects of those synthetic drugs used for the kids’ treatment.
Incidentally, a brother-in-law suggested to her to try lemon juice as a home-based remedy for her kids. She concocted her own formula of lemon juice and it tried to her sick children. Perhaps with heaven’s blessings, her son and daughter were cured of their disease and found out that the lemon juice is amazingly effective.
Processing lemon juice into lemonade was actually her husband’s family business. Almost all of her husband’s siblings were engaged in the said business in Cagayan de Oro and Cebu City. In fact, they are the ones who keep on urging her to start doing the same business in Compostela Valley. Way back in college An-an Salinas was already an aspiring entrepreneur, she used to make yema & maja and sell it in the school’s canteen to sustain her school needs. Convinced of the health benefit of lemon juice and its business viability she decided to pursue making lemonade as her own business. In February 21, 2016, she registered her business name with DTI as El-An’s Best.
Initially, she sold the product to her friends, neighbors and around her community. Selling at a very reasonable price, many accepted and praised her product which gave her confidence to produce more. Her business wasn’t an instant success though as she also experienced disappointments.
“I approached my neighbor who is also my friend asking her to display my lemonade in the mall where she is working since she has access in their canteen, but she refused because it might cause her some troubles with her customers, and could ruin her reputation. I was disappointed but did not give up, I didn’t lose hope.” An-an recalled.
That circumstance instead became a blessing-in-disguise as it drove her to seek more opportunities and meet more people. With the help of her nephew Archeniel, she came to know Dr. Ratcho, who happily ordered 20 bottles of lemonade. She wanted to know at once if the doctor liked her product but days passed she got no feedback.
“It made me worried and a lot of senseless thoughts came running in my mind”, An-an recalling her feeling to us. Finally, in the fourth day since the sale, she received a news thru her nephew that the doctor wanted to buy more bottles of lemonade from her! She was even stunned to learn that they actually tested her product on the laboratory to find out whether the water she using is clean and safe to drink. Lab result shows that it was indeed clean because she was using purified water all the time. From then on that hospital Doctor became her regular customer ordering as much as 100 bottles of lemonade every day.
An-an is grateful for the support she received especially from the DTI for the continuing growth of her business. “I was never alone in this journey, DTI has been my partner”, she said. DTI has assisted her even from the start by providing her various trainings and exposing her to events, trade fairs and other DTI major activities for MSMEs. She was even able to dispose 3,380 bottles of lemonade during the Bulawan Festival in the province on February 28- March 8, 2016.
“My husband is also the one who inspires and supports me a lot in the business, we are buddies in this battle”, she adds with a loving smile.
Even on duty her husband always finds time to help in the business, he takes care in contacting the suppliers and making sure the raw materials arrive on time.
Now El-An’s (Elmer & An-an) Lemonade has distributors from various places in Davao, Trento and around Compostela Valley Province. Some of her regular customers are from schools, Government Agencies, Restaurants, Resorts and Hospitals. The delightful part is, one of her active distributors is that friend who first declined the offer of making her product available in a mall’s canteen, now she’s ordering 50 bottles per day, not bad for a former hesitant distributor.
Business is like putting yourself in the battlefield, the risk is there and the chance of losing is there, the most important thing is being ready in facing the battle. Packed with the bullet of determination, courage, patience and perseverance and never forgetting the troops standing behind who are the family, friends and God.
“For us, the battle is not yet over, there are still challenges to meet, plans to fulfill, improvements to make and opportunities to grab- sometimes in a silver bullet”, she concluded with a humble smile.