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REGION 4A MSME SUCCESS STORIES

SARB MPC and the Magic of New Beginnings

If we can learn something from the business journey of the Sampaloc Agrarian Reforms Beneficiaries Multipurpose Cooperative (SARB MPC), it is to stand up when you fall and trust the magic of new beginnings.

Twenty years ago, SARB MPC started with only five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) as its capital. The said amount of money is a shared contribution of the members who live around the neighborhood. For the main reason that almost all of the members have a background in agriculture, they came up with an idea to plant ginger roots. Eventually, their business grows. Who would have thought that from a capital of P5, 000.00 only, the business will be able to earn hundreds of thousands? However, as the business started to be recognized, an unfortunate incident happened. The officials of the cooperative at that time used the earnings of the business for personal benefits. It was then that their business started to be bankrupt.

Devastated from what happened, the members of the cooperative had no idea on what to do next. But, their vision to make the health benefits of ginger known in the market, guided them on their path towards starting over again.  Despite the fact that they did not have any capital at all and having the obligation to pay several loans, the cooperative persisted to strive for success. So, they borrowed money for a capital and continued their business.  Every time they earned, they used the money to pay for their debts. This goes on and on until they were able to pay all of their debts.

When they were able to get back on their feet, they thought of new ways on how they can earn even more. Having the vision to make the health benefits of ginger accessible, SARB MPC members came up with an idea to manufacture bottled and plastic packed ginger tea or the commonly known “Instant Salabat”. It was then that they became active in coordinating with several government agencies to ask for assistance. With the help of the Department of Agriculture (DA) they were able to improve the production of their ginger roots; the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) helped them on the process of making the ginger into a powder; the Department of Trade and Industry established for them the SSF for Processed Food Industry (Ginger Processing Center), and; the Department of Agrarian Reform gave them 1.9 million pesos to help them make their laboratory conform with the general accepted standards.

The harvest and production of the ginger roots of the cooperative continually went well. SARB MPC was able to be back with a bang. According to Ms. Erlinda Cervantes, the current chairman of SARB MPC, after the bad incident that they have encountered, they see to it that they will have a more sustainable plan and system to maintain the harvest and production of their products.

They may be able to ensure the sustainability of their products (Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat, Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat with Turmeric, and Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat Turmeric), but these did not click instantly. Fortunately, DTI-Rizal came into the picture. It helped them improve their packaging, invited them to attend different seminars that could help them improve the sales and promotion of their products, and continuously guided them in business planning.  According to Erick Cervantes, a member of SARB MPC, he considered DTI-Rizal to be their hero. He said that, “Hero para sa amin ang DTI-Rizal. Namimigay na ng tulong, tinuturuan pa kami kung papaano umasenso sa buhay”. (DTI-Rizal is a hero for us. They are not only giving us assistance, but they are also teaching us how to have a progressive life.)

With loyal clients from Makati, Manila, Cubao, and several resorts in Tanay, there’s no doubt that Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat is now unstoppable. Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat comes in three great flavors such as Instant Salabat with Turmeric (mixed of native ginger and turmeric), Instant Salabat (pure ginger), and Instant Salabat Turmeric (pure turmeric). These products can also treat a number of health problems like coughing, nausea, sore throat, arthritis, and rheumatism.

From a capital of 5,000 pesos only, SARB MPC is now earning more than a million a year. This will not be possible if they did not stand up after they fall few years back. Perhaps, Sir Meister Eckhart was right when he said that you will know when it’s the right time to start something new and that you have to trust the magic of new beginnings. This is true in the case of SARB MPC that after being bankrupt in the cultivation and harvesting of ginger starts over again and comes up with a better idea to manufacture ginger tea or Instant Salabat. 

Now, SARB MPC’s future endeavors are to capsulate ginger powder making it a medicine, manufacture instant salabat in tea bags, and export their products. Having a recipe that composed of the combined assistance of several government agencies like DTI, DA, DAR, DOLE, and DOST, mixed with persistence and perseverance of SARB MPC members, combined with a vision to make the health benefits of ginger known to the market, there’s no doubt that SARB MPC will continue its journey to success.

MCARL Enterprises: Good Intentions Can Pave The Way To Success

Maricel Villaflor, with MCARL Enterprises Food Products

Driven by her desire to help a church mate to showcase her talent in creating steamed rice cake or puto, Ms. Maricel Villafor decided to start her own business, MCARL Enterprises Food Products. According to Ms. Maricel, since she has the ability to provide the capital and her church mate has the talent to make a puto, they came up with an idea to help each other and establish a business that will offer a good and delicious puto. And this was the start of her journey towards a purposeful business venture.

As a woman, Ms. Maricel would like to prove that she can also do something significant in the business industry which is mostly dominated by men. She wants to reject the wrong beliefs about women, most especially that of the “Babae ka lang” idea.

“Gusto kong mapatunayan na, oo babae ako, pero kahit babae ako, may mga kakayahan din akong kayang maipakita”, says Ms. Maricel.

MCARL Enterprises Food Products, with three kinds of puto

To be well equipped before starting her business, she attended several trainings and seminars. During the Women’s Initiatives for Successful Entrepreneurship seminar, she met Ms. Sharon Fojas-Dioco of DTI-Rizal. This started the relationship between DTI-Rizal and Ms. Maricel Villafor. Through DTI-Rizal, she became a member of the Samahan ng mga Rizalenyo sa sektor ng Agrikultura at Pagkain, commonly known as SARAP – an organization of local food production and processing businesses in Rizal.

Through the help of DTI-Rizal and SARAP, MCARL Enterprises Food Products started to be known in the market. However, when MCARL Enterprises was starting to make a name in the local business sector of Rizal, an unfortunate incident happened. Some of the employees of the said business have used the company’s money for their own benefits. But, instead of giving up, MS. Maricel saw this event as a chance to further improve what she started.

Maricel Villafor at the DTI Kalakal Calabarzon Regional Trade Fair

“Hindi ako nawalan ng pag-asa. Hindi ito naging dahilan para sumuko ako at tumigil sa aking naumpisahan. Bagkus dapat akong matuto sa mga nangyari at lalo pang pagbutihin ang aking business”, says Ms. Maricel.

After that unfortunate incident, she became more active in attending different trainings, seminars, and other DTI-Rizal business related activities to further improve her business management skills, as well as her food products.

Ms. Maricel became wiser and more attentive to details which helped her to make intelligent decisions and become more innovative when it comes to developing her products. From offering the traditional puto, MCARL Enterprises is now producing Puto Pao, Puto with 3 toppings, and Puto with Dinuguan, Tuna, and Adobo Flakes. At present, the said enterprise also manufactures oatmeal cookies, gourmet tuyo, gourmet tinapa, and bottled sweet langka.

MCARL Enterprises Food Products' Oatmeal Cookies

Ms. Maricel is also participating actively every time there are bazaars and trade fairs. In KALAKAL CALABARZON 2016 Regional Trade Fair that happened last October 12 to 16, 2016, MCARL’s Puto with Dinuguan became a nominee for the “Most Innovative Food”. It can be considered as a great recognition for a food production business like MCARL Enterprises Food Products.

All of these have helped MCARL Enterprises to grow more as an enterprise. With an initial capital of P80,000.00, MCARL’s current asset size now is P180,000.00. She said that MCARL was able to achieve this because of the help of DTI-Rizal. According to her, “Sobrang laki ng naitulong ng DTI-Rizal sa aming business”. This must be true because from a monthly income of P10,000.00, MCARL is now earning P30,000.00 monthly.

MCARL Enterprises Puto with Dinuguan: a Most Innovative Food nominee at DTI Kalakal Calabarzon 2016

According to Ms. Maricel, she’s really happy with what’s happening with her business right now. If before she only has two employees, now she has a total of 5 employees that she could help.

“Sobrang saya ko kase noon dalawa lang ang natutulungan ko, ngayon lima na silang natutulungan ko”, says Ms. Maricel.

Starting her business out of the desire to help other people and to prove that women can also make a difference, Ms. Maricel Villafor was able to attest that is indeed true that “you reap what you sow”. Having good intentions in establishing her business, she is now enjoying the sweet fruit of her success.

Bugóng - An Asian Symphony of Flavors

Bugong Restaurant

Not all food establishments are created equal. While they all serve a specific purpose-- a place where people congregate to buy and eat food-- some go the extra mile. These days, where eating has been the mainstream hobby of people, discriminating taste buds of customers are beginning to look for something more, elements that contribute to a whole new experience.

This is precisely what Bugóng has focused on since it opened nearly 20 years ago, and the reason loyal customers have patronized the grill all these years despite the mushrooming of other similar businesses. "We serve fusion of Asian dishes in the beginning, before being known for our 18 herbs and spices Bugóng Roast Chicken," says Bugóng Owner and General Manager Jerry Erguiza. "It was way ahead of its time when we opened and establishing our name is such a struggle. Also, it was difficult to get suppliers because our name was new and not known then in the market."

Erguiza graduated BS in Agriculture in UP Los Baños Campus and after several years of work in Department of Agriculture and in Ministry of Housing Settlement, he later acquired his Master's Degree in Agricultural Development in Australia. Upon return to the country, he worked at International Rice Research Institute and later on, accepted the offer for early retirement on second thought. With the decision of having an early retirement, Erguiza took a full grasp of pursuing love for food-- venturing into food business. "I was at the verge of the feat then and was at a crossroads whether to stay in my job, which provided career stability and financial security, or leave all that and pursue my lifelong goal. My wife has her job back then so I took my early retirement." Stakes were undoubtedly much higher but the owner also knew that there was fulfillment in that direction.

With barely 6 sq. m space located just a few meters from UPLB main gate, Erguiza originally put up a take-out counter of roast chicken in 1999 with three people as staff, including himself. "With such a little space, a charcoal grill on the side and rice cooker on the other, we feel like literally inside an oven."

In 1996, Bugóng was at first a diner originally offering Asian food but the owner later thought of shifting into roasting chicken after finding it difficult to maintain additional inventories of ingredients as well as the manpower the former requires. "Additional inventories and additional labor needed means additional wastage and since our business at that time is not yet well established, it is not an ideal move," says the owner.

Erguiza's love for food is what pushes him to venture in that kind of business. "I want a job that doesn't look like a job after all. It's like not just a work to me given that I also enjoyed what I am doing." Eventually, hard work and tenacity paid off. This passion which rooted from humble beginnings now have 8 branches to date: 3 in Makati City; 2 in Los Baños, Laguna; Calamba, Laguna; another in Sucat, Parañaque City; and in Bonifacio Global City.

So the saying became reality, in the owner's case, that a modest man talks small and passive but does big and impressive.

"You're work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it." -Steve Jobs

Along the journey, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), with its continued efforts to provide programs and seminars that embedded the technical know-hows of putting up a business has greatly helped Bugóng, with its owner Erguiza to finally put into reality its passion. Among the programs/seminars that provide guidance for the framework of the food business are Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP), Food Packaging and Labeling, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Documentation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points.

At present, Bugóng offers a warm backdrop of its many Asian dishes. They don't fall into one type of cuisine- but a hodgepodge of all sorts of dishes that captures the taste buds of its customers. In such case, that sets them apart from its competitors. Their most popular dishes are Poori Pockets, Penang Beef Curry, Signature Asian Combo, Bun Cha Platter, Chicken Malaka, and of course, its signature Bugóng Roast Chicken.

The first Bugóng which opened in Vega Centre, the one with 6 sq. m, is now the Bugóng with more than 100 sq. m with parking spaces for customers, so the place understandably holds a special place in the owner's heart. Shortly thereafter, new Asian dishes are added to the menu and are continuously evolving throughout the years. "This is where it all began for us. The difference in our food is the love and passion that we put into it." From being a take-out counter in the beginning, Bugóng is now a fast-casual dining restaurant.

For the owner, success can be define in only a word, that is, growth. Growth despite the difficulties that come, from establishing their name and supply chain, to having close supervision on employees and having a sound operating system. "I don't know how I measure the success of our business but I think sustaining the business through the years is success in itself."

SARB MPC And The Magic Of New Beginnings

If we can learn something from the business journey of the Sampaloc Agrarian Reforms Beneficiaries Multipurpose Cooperative (SARB MPC), it is to stand up when you fall and trust the magic of new beginnings.

Twenty years ago, SARB MPC started with only five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) as its capital. The said amount of money is a shared contribution of the members who live around the neighborhood. For the main reason that almost all of the members have a background in agriculture, they came up with an idea to plant ginger roots. Eventually, their business grows. Who would have thought that from a capital of P5, 000.00 only, the business will be able to earn hundreds of thousands? However, as the business started to be recognized, an unfortunate incident happened. The officials of the cooperative at that time used the earnings of the business for personal benefits. It was then that their business started to be bankrupt.

Devastated from what happened, the members of the cooperative had no idea on what to do next. But, their vision to make the health benefits of ginger known in the market, guided them on their path towards starting over again.  Despite the fact that they did not have any capital at all and having the obligation to pay several loans, the cooperative persisted to strive for success. So, they borrowed money for a capital and continued their business.  Every time they earned, they used the money to pay for their debts. This goes on and on until they were able to pay all of their debts.

When they were able to get back on their feet, they thought of new ways on how they can earn even more. Having the vision to make the health benefits of ginger accessible, SARB MPC members came up with an idea to manufacture bottled and plastic packed ginger tea or the commonly known “Instant Salabat”. It was then that they became active in coordinating with several government agencies to ask for assistance. With the help of the Department of Agriculture (DA) they were able to improve the production of their ginger roots; the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) helped them on the process of making the ginger into a powder; the Department of Trade and Industry established for them the SSF for Processed Food Industry (Ginger Processing Center), and; the Department of Agrarian Reform gave them 1.9 million pesos to help them make their laboratory conform with the general accepted standards.

The harvest and production of the ginger roots of the cooperative continually went well. SARB MPC was able to be back with a bang. According to Ms. Erlinda Cervantes, the current chairman of SARB MPC, after the bad incident that they have encountered, they see to it that they will have a more sustainable plan and system to maintain the harvest and production of their products.

They may be able to ensure the sustainability of their products (Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat, Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat with Turmeric, and Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat Turmeric), but these did not click instantly. Fortunately, DTI-Rizal came into the picture. It helped them improve their packaging, invited them to attend different seminars that could help them improve the sales and promotion of their products, and continuously guided them in business planning.  According to Erick Cervantes, a member of SARB MPC, he considered DTI-Rizal to be their hero. He said that, “Hero para sa amin ang DTI-Rizal. Namimigay na ng tulong, tinuturuan pa kami kung papaano umasenso sa buhay”. (DTI-Rizal is a hero for us. They are not only giving us assistance, but they are also teaching us how to have a progressive life.)

With loyal clients from Makati, Manila, Cubao, and several resorts in Tanay, there’s no doubt that Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat is now unstoppable. Nature’s Delight Instant Salabat comes in three great flavors such as Instant Salabat with Turmeric (mixed of native ginger and turmeric), Instant Salabat (pure ginger), and Instant Salabat Turmeric (pure turmeric). These products can also treat a number of health problems like coughing, nausea, sore throat, arthritis, and rheumatism.

From a capital of 5,000 pesos only, SARB MPC is now earning more than a million a year. This will not be possible if they did not stand up after they fall few years back. Perhaps, Sir Meister Eckhart was right when he said that you will know when it’s the right time to start something new and that you have to trust the magic of new beginnings. This is true in the case of SARB MPC that after being bankrupt in the cultivation and harvesting of ginger starts over again and comes up with a better idea to manufacture ginger tea or Instant Salabat. 

Now, SARB MPC’s future endeavors are to capsulate ginger powder making it a medicine, manufacture instant salabat in tea bags, and export their products. Having a recipe that composed of the combined assistance of several government agencies like DTI, DA, DAR, DOLE, and DOST, mixed with persistence and perseverance of SARB MPC members, combined with a vision to make the health benefits of ginger known to the market, there’s no doubt that SARB MPC will continue its journey to success.

Rolyo Likha Atbp Handicrafts “Spirikal” Wall Decors

The beautiful and creative wall decors (their creators named them “Spirikal” (derived from the word ‘Spiral’)) lodged at Negosyo Center - Victoria (NC - Victoria) immediately captures any visitor’s attention, but there are more to these than meets the eye.

They are made with twisted dried and dyed water hyacinth stalks, or alternatively, used newspaper, formed into attractive shapes, and glued onto a recycled board.

Mr. Batralo of Rolyolikha Atbp. Handicrafts, a DTI-Laguna - assisted client, first made prototypes. He, together with Mr. Cesar Pasco of Sarilikha Handicrafts, being seasoned product development trainers themselves, made sure each step of the process was taught with the proper skill and technique to local communities around the country thereby creating jobs and a sustainable livelihood project.    

But how was this unique and innovative product to be translated into a profitable venture? The answer came as a surprise when DTI-Laguna Provincial Director spotted the eye-catching pieces of artwork and allowed them to be displayed in what was to be the Negosyo Center - Victoria. During the launching activity of the latter, guests and visitors started appreciating the picturesque pieces of art, and the recipients of these tokens valued them so highly. That was the starting point. Since then, orders for these products have skyrocketed.

Rolyo Likha Atbp Handicrafts 1 Rolyo Likha Atbp Handicrafts 2Rolyo Likha Atbp Handicrafts 3

Their simple designs turned out to be the most saleable and in demand item in the recently concluded Manila Fame event sponsored by CITEM.

Negosyo Center Victoria has helped provide the avenues for pieces of artwork such as these to reach a wider audience both locally and internationally; From the skills and product development trainings, to the trade fairs / exhibits, consultancies, to name a few, born out of these processed water hyacinth / recycled products, livelihood has been created, jobs have been generated, income has increased, and the environment has been spared.

Shared Roasting Facility for Cafe Amadeo

The surge of coffee shops augurs well for the burgeoning coffee industry in the country.

A lot of young coffee shop patrons may be surprised to learn that a couple of centuries ago, quality Philippine coffee was in demand the world over making it the fourth largest coffee-producing country in the world. But in the last quarter of the 19th century, coffee, ‘rust’ decimated the industry.

The Philippines is reclaiming its rightful place in the world of quality coffee blend hence, in 2001, the Provincial Rural Industry Development Committee and the government of Cavite got together to revitalize the Cavite coffee industry. Of the nine coffee growing municipalities in the province, the municipality of Amadeo stood out in terms of hectarage planted, production, and number of coffee planters. On 28 June 2002, Amadeo Development Cooperative with 15 members and PHP137,500 as initial capital. The cooperative started by selling premium green coffee beans and much later engaged in producing ground coffee.

Then, with subcontracted roasting services costing PHP12.50 per kilo, this easily spelled out a hefty PHP18,750 for roasting 1,500 kilos of coffee beans a month. The answer to deflect large expenses came in December 2013 when it got a roasting facility from the DTI worth PHP560,000.

Not only did the machine address the roasting needs of the cooperative, it also saved the group valuable processing time by subcontracted companies. The production process is now accessible, faster, and inexpensive.

Today, 80 local farmers and three millers benefit from the project. The original 15 members have expanded to 209 active members. The cooperative used to produce 1,000 to 1,500 kilos to produce 3,000 to 3,500 kilos a month. In 2012, it grossed PHP9,621,827 and netted PHP649,113 income improving further in 2014 with PHP14,483,082 gross income and PHP2,226,187 net.

As an enterprise, Café Amedeo has been growing with total assets of PHP8,663,653 as of December 2014. With aggressive promotion, diversification, and value proposition as marketing strategies, it is not farfetched that it could become a medium scale enterprise by 2016.

From Pesky To Pleasant

The Province of Laguna is blessed with natural attractions and a rustic charm. It is where the past blends with the present, and man is one with nature. Not only that, it is a businessman’s haven and a traveler’s prime destination.

One of Laguna’s pride and joys is the Laguna de Bay. It is the largest lake in the country with 220 kilometers of shoreline and a 949 square kilometer area. It also the home of water hyacinths, which were considered a nuisance not so long ago. With the help of Laguna Livelihood Emergency Employment Accelerated Program (LEAP), the water hyacinth slowly became a source of livelihood, so far from their infamy as blockers of waterways.

The Laguna Water Hyacinth Handicraft Producers Association, Inc is one such group of people that benefitted from the pesky hyacinth. Located in Los Baños, the group’s production area is backed up against Laguna de Bay, providing them a consistent supply of water hyacinth. With the innovation and creativity of its members, the association was able to turn the problematic and invasive water hyacinth into works of art, like bags, shoes, mats and other decorative items.



They are beneficiaries of the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) project, and were provided with a dryer, dyeing vat, sewing machines and electrical flatteners.

“Before, it took us 10 days to completely dry the stalks. With the dryer, it was reduced to 5 days, and we can dry the water hyacinth during the rainy season, whereas before, we do not have production during rainy days!”, said Remia V. Adedoja, president of the association.

“Originally, we used empty bottles of liquor to flatten the water hyacinth stalks. This process is tedious and eats up a lot time. Our arm muscles are painful after a long time of pressing!”, lamented another association member.

With the assistance DTI Region IV-A has provided, their sales increased to Php1,190,000 in 2015, and they were able to hire 42 full time workers from the original 25. They also provide house wares to establishments like Taal Vista Hotel, Acacia Hotel, The Suez Boutique Hotel and SM City Calamba. In the same year, they were able to export picnic baskets made of the hyacinth with cloth linings to the Japan market.



Truly, the Laguna Water Hyacinth Handicraft Producers Association, Inc has captured the hearts of the local and foreign markets with their world class design and craftsmanship.

The Success In Darak

Who would have thought that darak or rice bran that is commonly fed to pigs or thrown away could be turned into beauty products and be a profitable business venture? A woman entrepreneur from Laguna province has this success story.

Ms. Sherill R. Quintana started with selling candles and beauty products over a decade ago when there are only few players in the industry and limited supplies were available. Her first exposure was during the Barakalan 2001, a DTI IV-A organized trade fair where she got several contacts and buyers. Her first taste of direct exports came in 2002 even reaching shelves of Macy’s New York. By the year 2007, she was able to put up her own stall in a mall in Laguna and named it to Kutitap. But just like any other business, Ms. Quintana faced a big challenge when the products from China came into the scenario. She then lost her major clients locally and abroad.



Instead of giving up and going back to work, Ms. Quintana rocked brains on research, prayed really hard and embarked on product development with the help of DTI and DOST, until she stumbled to darak. In 2011, she renamed her business to “Oryspa Spa Solutions”, the first in the country to provide spa products in the wellness sector made out of rice bran oil. Quintana’s Oryspa business has a wide range of products including massage oil, soap, shampoo, lotion, perfume, body scrub, among others.

In a period of four (4) years, she grew the business from toll manufacturing to a franchising company which today has over 20 branches across the country and 2 outlets in Singapore.



With her success, she gained recognition from different local and international organizations such as: Most Promising Filipino Franchise of Franchise Excellence Awards 2015; Philippine nominee for ASEAN Business Awards for two categories: ASEAN Women Entrepreneur award and ASEAN Priority Integration Sectors Excellence Awards for Healthcare 2015; Outstanding Young Entrepreneur 2015 in South Luzon by the PCCI; and one of the Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur of Go Negosyo Filipina Summit 2016. She is also a motivational speaker for APEC, Go Negosyo, PCCI and DTI. Currently, Ms Quintana is working on her book about her entrepreneurship journey to inspire more Filipina to venture into business.

UPBEAT Merchandise

UPBEAT MERCHANDISE is the very first distributor and retailer of UP merchandise   allowed to make use the official logo of the University of the Philippines Los Baños in all its merchandise like shirts, jackets, caps, umbrellas, etc. The company   is owned by Mr. Jan Excel M. Cabling, the business started on February 2011 and is running for more than five years now. Their mission is to be the preferred brand for UP products in every UP units if given a chance.  In September 2015, Negosyo Center was launched in Los Baños in time for its 400th years’ celebration, UPBEAT Merchandise   was one of the few businesses who were given the opportunity to showcase their products inside the Negosyo Center Office.  Having their products exposed through the clients and visitors of the Negosyo Center,   Mr. Cabling said that it brought their business closer to Los Baños community and helped increase their market range. It also allowed them to be visible to other communities whenever they visited Los Baños (delegates from other provinces). By the help of Negosyo Center, they were able to market their merchandise not only to students of UPLB but also employees from government and private institutions of different provinces. 

At present, they were able to open a branch in UP Diliman. They also started to introduce a wide range of UP products aside from shirts and jackets. They also established student distributors from different UP Campuses to reach UP Communities aside from UPLB and UP Diliman.  He shared that during downfall of any business, the entrepreneur must identify the problem well and determine the factors affecting the situation. It must be discussed with the team and strategize for a solution. Implement the plan and create methods to avoid the same problem(s) in the future.  Mr. Cabling pointed out that any business must have original concept or idea and be strong in handling money and spend according to the needs. Be consistent in doing products excellently. Be resilient and do not be easily threatened by the struggles of the business.   His final words are “There are no mistakes in business, only lessons learned.”  

Contact Details:

Mr. Jan Excel M. Cabling Raymundo

Gate, Umali Subd., Batong Malake, Los Baños, Laguna

 09178449126

Oryspa Spa Solutions' Sherill Ramos Quintana

Having earnest desire to share and learn, teaching is her first job and continued this in different capacities in the different sectors she has served. She has extensive research and advocacy work including preparation of information, education and communication materials and the conduct of awareness campaign activities, facilitation of workshops and trainings, assessments and preparation of reports of IEC activities. She has served on trainings, workshops and research activities in different capacities as interviewer, facilitator, and trainer.

This she did before being an entrepreneur and established KUTITAP Aromatherapy Crafts, which started as a manufacturing and exporting company in 2000. Believing in its corporate mission to promote alternative livelihood both for institutions and communities, she has conducted livelihood trainings for IRRI, Cahbriba Foundation, DTI, ABS-CBN, Panasonic Inc., Robinson’s Mall, Landbank and communities in towns of Famy, Rizal, Calamba, and Los Baños, Laguna and in Dasmariñas, Cavite and Banahaw and at Dauis, Bohol thru ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation and Globe Telecom. She honed skills in financial management by joining Manulife in 2008 and attended various seminars on financial management and a graduate student of the University of the Philippines Los Banos.

She is an APEC speaker, a plenary speaker for Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries, a DTI and UP-ISSI motivational speaker, a Go Negosyo mentor, and a business speaker/panellist for Franchise Asia, and a motivational speaker to Myanmarese SMEs to the recently concluded Myanmar Franchise Conference, volunteer mentor of CALABARZON entrepreneurs of the DTI and SMED Council. Gallup USA strengths based coach and facilitator. She is the Director for South Luzon and member of the Philippine Franchise Association, member of Philippine Retailers Association and the Founding Executive Director of Green Living Advocacy Movement (GLAM) Philippines, an association of Entrepreneurs that promotes wellness and green operations.

Currently, she is studied at the University of the Philippines Open University on line program on New Enterprise Management. Also attending the Certified Franchise Executive Program of the Asian Institute of Management and will graduate this year 2016. The founder and Franchisor of ORYSPA, the first and number 1 maker of rice bran based spa products in the country.

And she has launched her first book the ORYSPA journey last July 23, 2016 entitled: A Small Entrepreneur’s Journey.

Baloc Sewing Project of Philippine Frontline Ministry Inc.

The Philippine Frontline Ministry Inc.  has started their Ministry at Sitio Baloc, Bgry. San Ignacio, San Pablo City, Laguna in the year 2009. Since then, its pastoral staff has initiated several livelihood projects that will address the needs of its members and residents of Sitio Baloc  (the City dumpsite) for alternative opportunities other than scavenging or manually processing wastes of the dumpsite.  But in the year 2012, by a City Ordinance the dumpsite was closed and scavenging is prohibited.  The displaced scavengers have been introduced to quilting business, taking advantage of the acquired sewing skills they had entered into a sewing contract for sailor uniforms and other sporting apparels.  This will not only provide alternative source of income but also uplift the morals of local residents by decreasing instance of scavenging in the near dumpsite.

One identified client is the Aquarian Marine Supply, Inc. the company has been providing uniforms to sailors and other sporting apparel. The said company considers contract sewing with the Baloc sewers for their products.  Product list of Aquarian Marine Supply, Inc. includes coverall, gala chef uniform, stewards scrub suit, polo, parka jacket, pants, polo shirts, uniform supplier, aprons, polo shirts, t shirts, chef jackets, toque, and hand gloves.

Having known of the DTI-Laguna Shared Service Facility Program, the ministry  submitted their project proposal. The requested equipment is essential in establishment of the operations of sewers of Sitio Baloc. The client requires large number or orders per contract. The group would like to take advantage of this opportunity to provide livelihood and uplift morals of the resident of Sitio Baloc. In order for the sewing  contract to establish and fully operate, tools and equipment are needed in the production.  It would also  empower the beneficiaries to sustain their  sewing activities, also to deliver high quality work based on customers need thus leading competition in the market.  The facility was established on December 2014.

At present, the Baloc Sewing Project has an on-going construction for  a new  100 square meter building factory worth P1.5 million.  From the 6 sewers in 2014,  they were now 26 sewers though some of these are on-call sewers earning P350.00 a day, an amount more than the standard wage in the city.  The sewers are generally housewives with ages of 20 to 58 years old, but the young ones, four of them are college students who were scholars of the ministry, but opted to work part time to earn more.

Their biggest order comes from an exporter of T-shirts,  the Faces Apparel who is a Chinese/American company has an on-going order of 2,000 pieces of T-shirts for export and local markets.  The next job order will be a 5,000 pieces T-shirts as  guaranteed contract but  it will be on a 5,000 to 10,000 pieces on the coming months.  With the factory and production expansion, the Project Manager had plan for subcontracting sewers to other barangays in order to support the livelihood of other women-sewers and as part of their ministry work.

The Ministry as well as the sewers were very grateful with the additional sewing equipment provided to them, as because of these that they were able to close orders for sewing jobs.

Contact Details:

Name of the beneficiary:        SSF on Baloc Sewing Project

                                                (Philippine Frontline Ministry Inc.

Mr. Edmundo G. Mercado

                                                Project Manager

Address:                                  Brgy. Sto. Niño, San Pablo City

Contact No:                             09054014220

Casile Guinting Upland Multipurpose Cooperative

In the event of the growing market for coffee in City of Cabuyao, Laguna, the establishment of Shared Service Facility equipment including Coffee Packaging Machine, Dosing Coffee Grinder and Espresso Machine for Casile-Guinting Upland Multi-purpose Cooperative at Brgy. Casile, City of Cabuyao, Laguna which is ten to fifteen (10-15) minutes from Tagaytay, greatly enhanced the way they venture in the coffee industry. The cooperative has 107 members in total having 47 male and 60 female members. Before, they served their coffee in the traditional manner, serving it hot from a kettle plain and simple. With added equipment for their Coffee Shop (formerly known as “Agri-Kapehan” or “Cafe Liberica”), they have improved the way they handle and serve coffee from harvesting to roasting. Trainings on how to handle and maintain equipment and brewing, like Good Manufacturing Practices and Barista Training, has given farmers and future Baristas of their cooperative, a better chance for a greater profit for their hard earned labor. Now their coffee can be served with better taste and quality, a sophisticated look and enjoyed by a larger market, mostly for those who wants to take a break from traveling their way to the uplands of Tagaytay, suiting their tag line “From soil to cup”.

A Heavy Duty Ginger Extractor Machine was also procured by the Share Services Facility Project to help the cooperative in improving their ginger tea or “Salabat” giving them better quality produce that is shared by the members and market.

Due to these equipment higher employment, intensified production capacity, wider range of market and higher income are generated by the Casile-Guinting Upland Multi-purpose Cooperative.

Contact Details:

Mr. Juanito DS Andal Jr.

Brgy. Casile, Cabuyao City, Laguna

09257203713

Ai-She Footwear

How the Business Started

The Municipality of Liliw, Laguna is known for its footwear industry as it is the predominant business enterprise in the municipality since 1930s. However, despite of being surrounded by footwear makers, the couple, Ferdinand and Corazon did not engage in said business until 2006. Ferdinand has worked as seaman for 16 years and Corazon was a registered Nurse, who worked for several years at the Provincial Hospital of Laguna. In 2006, the footwear making business of Corazon’s cousin closed down due to poor business, and its designer, a friend of Corazon, encouraged her to engage in the business. Corazon immediately saw an opportunity and she invested P50,000.00 to start the business and she hired two male footwear makers aside from her designer friend. She initially supplied her products to footwear stores in Liliw, and after a few months, she rented a stall along the Gat Tayaw Street . The business had a slow progress and its break came through in mid- 2006 when the Department of Trade and Industry ( DTI ) Laguna invited Corazon to participate in trade fairs and exhibits in the Province of Laguna and in Manila. She got good sales from the trade fairs and received volume orders during exhibits from various shoe retailers in Manila and other places. Because of her constant participation in trade fairs and exhibits, Corazon developed her marketing skills and she offered her products to stores in gasoline stations along the main highway from Manila to South Luzon. Soon enough, her shoes and slippers became one of the regular products at the stores in the gasoline stations. In late 2006, she also started supplying a shoe store in LandMark Department Store in Makati City. In 2007, Ai-she Footwear was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine ( a monthly magazine on business and entrepreneurship with national circulation ). This enabled Corazon to get more wholesale customers from Manila and as far as Visayas and Mindanao. Hence, the business had a steady growth, and in 2008, Corazon and Ferdie decided to resign from their jobs and concentrate on the business.

Enhancing capability of the entrepreneur

In late 2009, DTI endorsed Ai-she Footwear to CESO (Canadian Executive Service Organization) as Corazon and Ferdie were already getting overwhelmed on the initial success of their business. The couple was optimistic that their business will further grow but they did not know how to prepare a business plan to pursue it. In January 2010, Corazon participated in the training seminar on business planning that was conducted by DTI Region 4A through the CESO program. After the seminar the participants were required to submit a copy of their own business plan. She was assisted by one of the staff of DTI-Laguna in crafting the Ai-She Footwear Business Plan. The main objective of the business plan was how to increase production as orders for the products kept on coming. The main plans that were drafted are the following- to transfer to a bigger production area in order to hire more workers and increase production, designate or hire a Quality Control Officer, and improve raw materials and inventory management. To further capacitate Ai-She Footwear another CESO Volunteer Adviser was dispatched to give consultancy on business management. Corazon learned financial/ cash flow/ inventory management from the VA, business recording on excel system, and in refining her business plan. Because of the these training and consultancy assistance, Corazon and Ferdie were able to institute proper monitoring of sales and expenses, reduce wastage in raw materials by as much as 10%, and improve their knowledge and skills in managing their business. In late 2010, the couple was able to save some money to build a 3- storey factory building in Liliw. Their business operation improved further as they were able to expand their production and market. Having the need to expand the production, the production facility was transferred to another barangay which was far from the residential area and is an ideal location for a footwear factory. The couple was able to close the deal, wherein they paid PhP 1.5 Million as down payment and they are amortizing PhP 133,333 per month until November 2012 to fully pay the property worth PhP 4 Million. They have also built a 3- storey office- storage building in said property, worth PhP 1.8 Million. The new factory building is more spacious and well ventilated, which gives now a better working condition for the workers.

Jobs generation of Ai-she Footwear

Ai-she is now employing a total of 50 workers in the factory mostly women. In the selling area, 4 women are working. Most of the workers are married and have children of about 4 each.

Ai-she also sub-contracts sewing and crocheting jobs with 7 women in the neighborhood, who earn about PhP 500 each per week.

With the success of the footwear business of the couple, they are not only earning for their family of four but they also provide livelihood to some people in their community. Their workers are now assured of steady income to support the daily needs of their family.

Looking to being Successful

Ferdie and Corazon are still overwhelmed with the fast development in their business and fortune. They feel that they are still dreaming as they can’t believe that their business is now located in a 6,000 sqm lot. They said that people in Liliw thought they have won the lotto as their fortune had rose quickly. Corazon said that their business luck came from their openness to get assistance from organizations and people who have knowledge and skills on business development. DTI, for one, opened doors for them to find buyers of their products, and to get assistance from CESO – partner of DTI for capability enhancement and consultancy for entrepreneurs like the Ai-She Footwear it had helped them in planning for their business expansion and in improving their capacity in managing their business.

Today, Ai-She Footwear has been a regular exhibitor on every trade fairs at the national and international fairs organized by the DTI.

Hosefelito O. Fines : On Keeping Going

You want to start a business.
You want motivation; an inspiration. You want assistance.
DTI can help. They will help.
Just ask and keep going.

I am talking to you.

You are here and you want to start a business and begin with a sense of what it should be look like; progressive, accomplished, perfect.

It is so exciting that you wake up and bounce out of bed and full of hope and energy and you settle down to work for what you were thinking the other night; to start a business.

In your mind’s eye you have such a vibrant idea of what you want your business, like a masterpiece, looks like. You work hard and toil harder than even you could have envisioned then you take a step back from what you’ve done and realize things aren’t’ the way you’d hoped. Let us put it more brutally, it is terrible and you are disgusted by what you have achieved and the only thing you can think about is the terrible gap between what you wanted to do and what you have actually done. It seems your taste is well ahead of your abilities.

You failed. You run away in distress and maybe into the arms of someone who loves you or perhaps you choose to sit alone where you contemplate your own profound mediocrity. You are now looking at yourself and thinking that you are no better than that spider in the tree who works hard to build his web and become successful at the end of the day. You are so sad. You’ve gone back to bed. The problem is, going back to bed is too easy. Despair is cheap. Someone also failed but unlike you he did not stop. He just keep going. Yes, he just keep going.

This is his story.

We don’t often dwell on this – and may never discuss it with others – but when it comes to responding to the challenges we face around our businesses or careers, many of us have voices in our heads. We have a murmuring stream of thoughts inside of our minds that constantly comment on our aspirations and achievements. Like him, He has experienced adversities like being part a broken family when his father left him with no financial stability leaving his mother to take over all their needs. A challenge not only shapes his identity but also contours the structure of doing business in his community in Nasugbu, Batangas.
I know sometimes, the voices are warm and encouraging – urging us to find more strength or to give an initiative of another go: ‘You’re nearly there, stick with it”. Yet sometimes, you might argue, the voices are harsher and more condemnatory; their tone is defeatist and punitive, panic-ridden and humiliating leaving you to just go back to bed. But these voices can be chosen by you. You have a choice. Choose the former. When he knew that he has no money to live and let alone pay for his studies, he has chosen the former voice and became a young hustler of resourcefulness. Imagine those days when he was still fixing the toys of his friends during his childhood era just to compensate his family’s daily needs which helped him to acquire that vital skill of perseverance which you will need after failure. The truth is, a failure at one point, does not essentially mean to define our future neither our life.

You still don’t agree and still choose to cover your body with your mattress in your bed? Here’s more.

Being successful is, after all, to a critical degree a matter of confidence, a faith that there is no reason why success would not be ours. He has shown much confidence when he ventured his first entrepreneurial experience of renting out his old books for students in his university which made him able to pay his tuition without any scholarship or rebates. It’s humbling to recognize this achievement he had when he was in college of making profit out of him being resourceful which have been the result not of superior talent or technical know-how, but merely that strange buoyancy of the soul we call confidence.

Part of mastering a business or even our carreer we can love involves coming to terms with our inner voices. We need to audit the voices, and edit some of the less helpful ones out. Like when he decided to choose a life in entrepreneurship. This was the time when he needed to tease out what voices characteristically operate in his minds, what they are telling him and where they are likely to have come from; to become successful without compromising the physical distance it will be brought to his family as a consequence of accepting and continue studying abroad in Hawaii.

We may have different opinion at this point, but when he became a degree holder of BS Business Administration and had chance to study more in Brigham Young University in Hawaii he turned down this half a million worth per semester scholarship grant and decided to start his own business instead. For this, it helps to remind ourselves that we have a choice about the voices we entertain. We should strive to ensure that the way in which we speak to ourselves becomes more conscious, less the result of accident and that we have henceforth planned for the tone we use in response to the challenges we’re confronted with. Like the dilemma he had of whether or not to continue his studies or start a business what is important is that he never stop going and continue choosing while being conscious and responsible in his every actions.

While you are still on your bed after your first failure, it’s easy that you could be sarcastic at this point. We know, because we hear it so often, that maybe he had that choice and its due to his fanatical pride and we live in a crazily materialistic society where practicality is more dominant than perseverance and taking risks. But this is far from being true. The motivation is in fact, in general, more emotional and touching; He decided not to go in Hawaii to help build a business that could not only help his family but also a mission to help his community in Nasugbu. At first, the enraged is real coming from his family which was clouded more when he lost his first hard earned Php 10,000.00 money on his first swam to business. He failed but he really wanted to move on.

He has the confidence, perseverance and initiative. What is more is that he is honest in himself that he cannot do more without assistance of the people around him. That he cannot become successful without more trainings, knowledge and opportunities.

This is where Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in his region in Batangas and their programs entered in his life.

Now, you are finally listening.

When he went out and started different small ventures like selling Ice, Perfume, Pulvoron and others, he already knew that failing is part of the learning process. We often think of being a success primarily in status and financial terms. But being a success just means doing anything well, and there are so many different goals we might actually choose to be successful at, once we break away from the dominant status ideals of our societies. He knows that he is not good at everything, he just wanted to become a good entrepreneur and the trade fair in MAMARAKA sa Nasugbu headed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in partnership of the Local Government Unit literally saved his dreams on becoming one.

A book reader and a doer, this man pursued his dream of becoming an entrepreneur by actively attending seminars of the DTI and not stopping despite failing and persecutions from his community that he cannot do well and he must stop dreaming of owning a business and instead become more practical and realistic that being an employee of an existing business is the easier door than owning a business.

You should not miss this line because this is what he did; The first rule of anything to become successful in life in general is to forgive yourself for the horror of the first rounds of trying.

Don’t hurry. Do a little bit every day.

With a proper philosophical perspective on the needs of customers, DTI helped him to establish a business that helped him to see new market opportunities, rather than merely being left to fiddle with margins of his “self-owned-no-DTI-assistance” ventures.

Get up and find your business mission. DTI helped him to scent his mission by exposing him to different activities which radiated into him after. At the end of the day, He focused on doing perfumes formerly known as “Fine Scents” which is locally now known and popular as Fino d’Fine French Fragrances. A self-experimented perfume business, DTI helped him to present his products on various trade fairs and assisted him in marketing strategies and even in distribution and packaging skills.
For the next time you dwell on trying again a business, your business mission is about having a plan; and reducing the amount of times that, because one has no clear goal, one gets swept along by the plans of others. Clear illustration is when he wanted to create a perfume with a mission to produce a local perfume line with an international scent that can be exported or even outmaneuver the mainstream of the said industry in the future.

DTI can help you to find your mission.

You should remember that it is different from an ambition. As they say, an ambition starts with what you want while a mission centers around what others need. People with missions like him may well end up making money and having status, but that isn’t what led him to the mission in the first place. The search for a mission required himself to ask: among all the problems facing humanity, what are the ones that properly interest me? This made him to trim down goals of making scents for a lesser price without compromising its quality.

The challenge is around focus. When he was selling on a home-based business platform with a start-up capital of Php 5 000.00, DTI helped him to focus on his products by inviting him to MAMARAKA sa Nasugbu. After he asked for the assistance of DTI to that particular activity, a trade fair program, he joined and opened his first booth along with some bottles for trial testing. Because of armed knowledge and trainings from the DTI by teaching him to choose a specific target, he is now aware of how much energy it will take to reach it and how to deal with it.

As he clearly put it in an interview: “It was one of the greatest financial success that happened to me early in my life as it was my first time to touch, let alone earn 25,000.00 in just one day!, My hype level was to the max seeing all of my perfume bottles fly off the display so fast and my cash box filling up to the brim that I even went out to the nearest booth to buy a tote bag where I could put my sales in, I remember that night where I only see lights as people come by to try my product and fall in love with it, it was the first day that I’ve felt that all my decision early on is right and that I am really chasing a tangible goals and not just an imaginary dream of greatness, I literally felt like I was the king of the world that time. Mamaraka has helped me not just financially but it has done something so great within me it confirmed my long dream that I could be an entrepreneur and that I could produce something that people would want and love, it made me feel that dropping my scholarship in Brigham Young University was the right decision, it made me feel that I could be a great father and a provider. It has given me that small boost, that last leap of faith, that confirmation that everything was right and in order and I was one step closer to my dream. I will never forget Mamaraka and Sir Jhun Ortizo who manned the event singlehandedly and has done an exceptional work with it. I finished the 1 week season with almost a hundred thousand in total sales.”

He has since then became very dynamic in attending MAMARAKA and testing out different concept and strategies for 5 years now with the help of DTI.

By actively mentioning MAMARAKA and DTI as his starting point of being an entrepreneur in whatever speaking activities he is being invited to give a speech or thank you comments after receiving honors such as being the President and CEO of PriMa Center for Creative Excellence and Chief Executive Strategist of Finesupport J.H Fines SME Consulting Group, delegate of APEC Summit for young entrepreneur or awards such as being one of the top outstanding young entrepreneur in 2015 organized by Go Negosyo and USAID, and Startup entrepreneur of the year organized by organized by Philippine Academy for creating enterprise’s entrepreneur academy awards. These skills and aptitudes made him hi distinctive zone: that’s where his mission lies. Like what other writers say, A mission isn’t a mission because it is grand, but because it is precise.

It is alright. Being confused about starting a business or career choice is perfectly normal. You may become anxious about making the wrong choice, but it is better than making no choice at all. Fear is normal but let neither of these scupper our chances to succeed forever. This paradox of choice stemming from too many options should not be hindrance to success in life.

Know yourself. Say it, I know this is the oldest philosophical recommendation but still has a particular relevance to careers and business. Keep a timetable and stick to it. Work with hope work like this for days, months, years and even decades and eventually one day, the result will catch up with your taste, with what you have in your mind. You might even be a little proud of yourself and who knows maybe the rest of the community will be a little bit too like the accolades to the man that I am referring to you the whole time: the scent magnate of Nasugbu, Mr. Hosefelito O. Fines.

Like him we just have to keep faith, work one day at a time – and we’ll get there. Just keep going.

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