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All “four” one: Stories of mothers who cooked their way to success

Every afternoon, four mothers, Jenelyn Tunay, Glenda Asigurado, Lydia Asigurado, and Ofelia Isleta of Rizal, Laguna, untiringly prepares various merienda to sell in their store.

One dream binds these mothers, the dream of being successful entrepreneurs.

“Matagal ko na po talagang gusto magkaroon ng negosyo, kaso wala naman po talaga akong pang-kapital”, said Glenda Asigurado, 53.

From being housewives and part-time earners, these mothers who are Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries, grabbed the opportunity to start their own group micro-enterprise through the Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP).

SLP is a capacity-building program of the DSWD that provides suitable income-generating opportunities to identified poor, vulnerable and marginalized program participants to help improve their socio-economic well-being.

Mixing it all up

These four mothers are members of the Kalikasan Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA). With P40,000.00 seed capital fund, they started their Meriendahan store located across the municipal hall of Rizal, Laguna.

Seed capital fund is a modality of SLP that gives participant one-time financial grant for purchasing tools, raw materials and other assets that are essential to start or expand their micro-enterprise.

Jenelyn, president of the Kalikasan SLPA, recalls how their group enterprise started.

“Noong una mahirap, syempre po nagkakapaan po kami sa isa’t isa, syempre hindi naman po ganun kalalim ang pagkakakilala namin sa isa’t isa pero dahil po sa kagustuhan namin na magkaroon ng negosyo, yun po ang nagbuklod sa amin”, she shared.

The meriendahan store earns PhP 500 to PhP 1000 daily.

At first, they sell siopao, nachos, burritos and palamig and they later add banana cue cassava cue at turon for more variety of merienda. Their regular customers are the municipal staff and students from the schools nearby.

Further, Glendalyn Asigurado shared how each of them works in the store to ensure that they get things done.

“Ang maganda rin po kasi sa amin ay talagang hati-hati po kami sa gawain, pag yung isa ay may kailangang gawin na iba, yung iba po muna ang sumasalo ng kanyang gawain, diretso lang po ang gawa, bigayan lang po kami”, she gratefully shared.

Like any start-up business, the group faced challenges not only on the sustainability of the enterprise but also on keeping everyone on the same page.

”Dati po may mga pagkakataon po na may iba pong gustong umalis, ang katwiran nila, marami raw ginagawa. Ang sinasabi ko naman sa kanila, para sa atin din naman ito, tayo rin naman ang makikinabang dito.”, she shared.

In order to keep the fire burning, they vowed to encourage, support and be open to each other.

“Sa totoo lang po, marami pong iba na naiinggit pero hindi na lang po namin pinapakinggan. Sabi po namin sa sarili namin na kaya po namin ito”, Jenelyn shared.

According to the group, prior to being SLP participants, they have no stable source of income.

Adding more “spices”

In order to have additional income, the four mothers decided to start two other enterprises, rice retailing store and hog raising.

“Naisip po namin na mas mapapalago po yung kita namin kung may pag-lalaanan po kami na iba, kaya napag-desisyunan po namin na mag-alaga rin ng baboy”, Jenelyn shared.

Last April, they bought eighteen piglets for their hog enterprise.

In order to monitor their hogs, the group entrusted a fellow Pantawid beneficiary and SLP participant, who is living near the pig den to take care of the hogs.

“Nakakatulong din po kasi ito sa akin kahit papaano, pati sa kanila po, kami-kami naman po talaga ang magtutulungan”, expressed by Myra Panaglima, 41.

The group vowed to give Myra 30% of the profit from selling hogs.

Cherry on the top

“Napakalaking bagay po nito. Hindi ko po akalain na sa pamamagitan po ng SLP mas dumami na po ang aking kakilala, dumami po yung aking kaalaman at hindi ko po lubos maisip na makakatulong na rin po ako sa iba”, Jenelyn tearfully shared.

For them, this is the start of having more fulfilling and fruitful enterprises that will greatly help their respective families.

“Pangarap po namin na mas lumaki pa po itong tindahan namin, mas mapalago pa. Gusto nga po namin na bilhin yung lupa sa may tapat ng munisipyo at maging isang malaking restaurant itong tindahan namin, yun po talaga ang gusto namin”, Lydia Asigurado shared.

With determination and right support, these four mothers are eager to earn more for their families and expand their enterprises.xxx

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