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Last time, I showcased the entrepreneurs that Go Negosyo met in Bukidnon as we kicked off our 2011 SME Caravan with the help of the DTI. Region X was just the start of our journey around the country in our quest to spread entrepreneurial education and mindset change even in the remotest provinces of the Philippines. After Bukidnon, we headed to Region IV — in the province of Oriental Mindoro.
With the assistance of DTI, led by DTI CESO IV regional director Joel Varela and DTI provincial director for Oriental Mindoro Oscar Agbay, we were able to share inspiration and entrepreneurial know-how with more than 300 locals who took part in the forum and the Negosem (Negosyo Seminar) that were held at the Filipiniana Hotel in Calapan City. Of course, spreading the entrepreneurial advocacy would not be possible if not for our Go Negosyo Angelpreneurs and advocates Paolo Tibig and Ed Pilapil, who shared their expertise on mindset change and spotting opportunities as well as marketing and product development. We are also grateful to Vice Governor Humerlito “Bonz” Dolor for welcoming Go Negosyo to the island of Oriental Mindoro.
During our visit, we took the opportunity to get to know some of the negosyantes in Calapan City and three other neighboring towns in the region, who are great examples to those who dream of overcoming poverty by starting their own negosyo.
Merlita Bolus was already a negosyante selling RTW in the public market when she thought of doing something to increase the family income. Proud of the suman sa lihiya that she cooks for her family, Merl decided to turn her hobby into a negosyo, which is now known as Merl’s Native Delicacies. She started out with just one kilo of bigas and gradually, the quantity increased as more and more people discovered it. Today, Merl’s Native Delicacies is considered one of the most popular pasalubongs from the region. Her products are also now available in Tagaytay and all over Metro Manila.
For Merl, the constant improvement of her products and their packaging are big factors in her success. She also noted that negosyantes need to be strong and must take criticism positively and use it to their advantage. Despite what she has achieved, Merl hopes the blessings in her negosyo will continue in the future so she can also help more people in her community.
One of the main products of Mindoro is banana. That’s why it is no surprise that a number of negosyantes have made a good living from bananas. John Glen Santos, owner of John-Nette’s Banana Chips, is one of them. He saw this opportunity and set up a negosyo that showcases the best that the region has to offer. John has been making banana chips for more than 30 years now and his products have become one of the must-buys when visiting the island.
He revealed that many of his buyers or customers were referrals by those who’d already tasted his products. And apart from hard work, the secret of their success lies in the quality of their products, which has never changed since they started in negosyo. It is the reason why fans keep coming back for more.
Aside from their own outlet in Pinamalayan that also sells other delicacies from local entrepreneurs, John-Nette’s Banana Chips are distributed in other provinces and Metro Manila.
Another successful negosyante in Oriental Mindoro is Maria Dulce Pasacsac. She manages Aling Idang’s Meatshop, a family negosyo established by her grandmother in 1945. As the third generation to manage the negosyo, Maria is implementing more ways to keep up with the times like the promotion of their own line of processed meat, as well as ensuring the quality of their products while keeping it affordable for consumers.
She’s also proud of the fact that their prices are about P20 lower than that of other stores. Maria explains they can keep their prices lower because the meats come from their own piggery and farm, so they can also guarantee that it’s fresh and safe. It is their family’s way of serving their community, which has supported their negosyo for more than 65 years.
Just like Maria, Duane Delicana of J. Karlo Noodles got a little help from his grandparents in putting up his negosyo, a company that manufactures fresh miki noodles, the main ingredient in the Ilonggo specialty La Paz Batchoy. His grandfather, who started producing fresh noodles in Iloilo in the ’90s, taught him the special recipe and secrets to making the perfect noodles.
When he moved to Oriental Mindoro in 1997, Duane decided to establish his own noodle factory. Today, J. Karlo is one of the major suppliers of fresh miki noodles in the region. And because of their thriving negosyo, he is also able to provide more employment to his own kababayans.
In a province known for its rice fields and lush greenery, many locals naturally resort to farming, but not Jaime and Teresita Ulip. The couple saw a different opportunity, and so they put up the Ulip Welding Shop because they realized that their community needed one. Eventually, the welding shop also became a manufacturer of farm implements like hand tractors and animal-drawn plows.
The couple revealed they felt it was the perfect negosyo because it answers the need of local farmers for more affordable and accessible farming equipment. They are happy to be of service to others and help farmers improve their livelihood, especially during the harvest season, which is from January to March.
Another inspiring entrepreneur we had the privilege of meeting in Oriental Mindoro is Ding Landicho, owner of the Mindoro Butterfly Kingdom. This butterfly enthusiast and nature lover started his negosyo with the intention of educating people about the different species of butterflies that can be found in the province, as well as to help reproduce the butterflies and prevent them from getting extinct.
Eventually, he discovered that his passion and hobby could also be a lucrative negosyo. Today, the Mindoro Butterfly Kingdom is one of the favorite destinations of tourists and nature lovers alike. Ding also has a store where butterfly souvenirs and collector’s items like framed butterflies, key chains, bookmarks and many other items are sold. Aside from souvenirs, his shop also sells live butterflies that can be used for weddings, debut parties, funerals, and other special occasions. Part of his advocacy is to promote the use of butterflies, which are a great alternative to using balloons that are harmful to the environment.
Contact me at email@example.com or my Joey Concepcion Facebook account. Visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the top-rating entrep show Go Negosyo: Kaya Mo! on GMA News TV every Saturday and Sunday at 8-8:30 a.m. Get daily Go Negosyo Text Tips on your mobile phone by sending GONEGO to 2910. Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/gonegosyoofficial.