Five minutes away from Pagasa Butuan 1 branch is an eatery cum store owned by Elma Boyles, a Pagasa client since 2012. During the morning, Elma is busy tending to customers coming in to get their breakfast and packed lunch as they hurry to their respective work. At lunch, the store gets busy again with mostly tricycle drivers, and workers getting their affordable lunches.
She hasn’t always owned a store or a tricycle which his husband used every afternoon to earn extra income. Life hasn’t always been so good for them, but her entrepreneurial spirit and a little help from Pagasa for capitalization have done wonders for her and her family.
She was a stay at home mother to two kids. Her husband used to drive padyak (pedal tricycle) around to earn. The limited income they get from the padyak was complemented by what she earned from selling snacks like banana fritters and budbod (a dish made of glutinous rice rolled in banana leaves). She used to go around her barangay selling the snacks to neighbors and shops. The income they got from the padyak and snack selling was barely enough to sustain their family’s needs.
In 2012 she decided to open up a store/eatery. “We started our business, a small one. I only cooked five viands,” she said. Her initial capital was PhP 1000. The venture was partially funded by the first cycle loan she received from Pagasa. When the venture started showing promise, she cooked more viands, and sold packed chips and soft drinks to buff up the income.
From 1000 pesos capitalization to set up the business, she now allocates 2000-2500 a day. From this she earns 500 to 1000 daily which she uses mainly for the family’s consumption (bills, expenses of her daughter who is in Grade 10), savings, and to pay for her loan. She was also able to purchase pigs to raise so she allocates budget for the feeds as well.
The store has become the family’s main source of income. Her husband serves as the cook. Her daughter-in-law helps in the daily operations of the store.
The dream team. Elma’s husband (left) and daughter-in-law help her in managing the store.
Aside from the store/eatery, Pagasa has also helped her and her family acquire some investments. Because of the loan she received from Pagasa, they were able to purchase a motorized tricycle which his husband drives part-time in the afternoon after his cooking duties in the store. They earn extra income from this as well. A single motor has also been purchased which they use when going to the market to purchase supplies for the store. Their house has also been built in 2016 because of the growing income of the business and some allocations from her loan. She spent 40000 for the house to be built. Just in January, her eldest son got married, a celebration that would have not been possible if not for the steady income and cash flow she generates from the business.
“Without Pagasa, I wouldn’t have been able to set up my store, I wouldn’t have a motorcycle and a house. I wouldn’t even have hope,” she said.
Hope for the future
When asked how she was able to manage all the expenses, she said it’s a matter of setting one’s mind to the goal and to veer away from distractions. “Don’t use the money for gambling or for alcohol. When you engage in gambling, you get nothing in return. If you take loan just to finance gambling or your vices, you’ll be in trouble paying up your loan.”
In two years, she hopes to further expand her business. They just transferred the store to a bigger space in February. She hopes to also set up a barbecue stand beside the store. Just last November she renewed for a loan of thirty thousand which she used for the transfer and further expansion of the business. She looks to the future with hope. “In the past our life was difficult. We’re ok now that I am able to take loan from Pagasa. It helps us a lot,” she said.