It is due to lack of financial support from her family that she failed to finish and complete her General Radio and Communication course/degree rather, Eliza Usman tried her luck working in a children’s garment factory from where she met her husband Mr. Augusto Usman who is a polio victim employed in the same company as a tailor. Mrs. Usman was assigned in the Trimming Department with a limited skill in sewing. However, there were times that she is being pulled out and utilized in other department should there be lack of workers during rush production which led to the enhancement of her skills in sewing.
As fate would have it, the factory closed down and all they have got from six years of loyal service was a meager amount of severance pay. The import business of the garments factory succumbed to the extremely cheap production costs of China. Enterprising by heart, and out of job, the couple used their separation pay to start a small tailoring shop. This enabled them to have income while staying at home to manage their household.
Her nameless shop, referred to by her loyal clientele and friends simply as Patahian ni Aling Liza(Tailoring Shop of Aling Liza), is now a decade old and has become bigger in terms of regular customers. She is now a regular supplier of bags, backpacks and belts to one of the biggest malls in the Philippines and other markets in Pampanga. But the road to this undertaking had not been a bed of roses for her, especially in the matter of loans.
“I have loaned with another lenders before but they exacted a very high interest rate especially when the pay-back term was long. For 36 months, the amount of interest was over half the amount of the principal,”Aling Liza shared.
Nevertheless, she needed fresh capital to infuse into her burgeoning business. Seeing the promise of good business, Aling Liza decided to join the Pagasa Philippines Lending Company in Mexico Branchand now graduated to Small Business Loan to further supply the needed capital on her business. Neighbors are also glad whenever there are orders, since they too are given jobs from teens up to 72 years old as trimmers. She then creates and promotes income generating activity in the society.
“It’s a good thing Pagasa is now in our midst because their lending rates are not burdensome. What’s more, I can pay them on a weekly basis from my collections in my produced bags and belts and not worry anymore. Before I know it, everything’s paid up,” said Aling Liza, during her break time in the afternoon inside her shop.
From a lowly factory worker, Liza now enjoys not only fiscal independence but also more free time. On top of it, she is able to spend more time with her family and sew some bags on the side. In between tending her family’s needs, she finishes at least fifty bags per day with the support of her husband and three regular employees as trimmers and sewers.
“I decided to save my money now for the college education of my three children. It’s very difficult then when I was still a struggling employee especially when it rains. The drizzle causes painful muscle spasms when we get wet after a day-long work behind the machines. I’m glad that phase of my life belongs to the past,” she said, giving off a cheerful smile.
The couple is blessed with three children; Arvin 19 who is now on his 3rd year of Mechanical Engineering, Archie on his 4th year in high school and Arcel who is in grade 8.