She starts her day by going to the public market and checking out items that she would sell not only in her neighborhood but to the entire community in Atok Trail in Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines. Limay Carrera, 43 years old, a native of the mountain province, remembers the first time she ventured into the business of repacking things from foodstuffs and knickknacks that she could sell to kids at her area and the nearby elementary school.
From being a sole operator doing the buying, packing up to peddling, Limay’s business has now expanded selling anything from toys, dried baby squid, dilis (small dried fish), garlic, onions and pepper and all kinds of canned goods.
Limay was 21 years old when both parents died and had to stop her 3rd year schooling of accountancy. Being the 10th child of 11 brothers and sisters she was exposed on trading business by her family. Over the years, she learned the ropes of the business. By the time she turned 23, she got married and decided to go on her own. However, her married life was not successful. Her husband went with another woman and left with her was their only son, now 21 years old.
With her growing business, Limay needed more capital infusion. It was then that she decided to joinPagasa Philippines Lending Company, Inc. about four years ago. She started from Php5,000 which was granted in September 30, 2010. She is now on her 10th loan amounting to Php21,000 and planning to apply on Small Business Loan after finishing her current loan.
“There were many lenders when I started my business, promising all sorts of schemes and incentives. Borrowing was easy,” Limay shares.
But she was always cautious. Wary of getting into the debt trap, Limay said she scrutinized lending schemes before availing of them.
“It was a wise decision for me to go with Pagasa Philippines Lending Company. Looking back, I made the right decision to partner with them (Pagasa). They have helped me a lot because their loans and savings packages are friendly for poor people like us,” Limay points out.
She says that the staff explains the entire borrowing process to us from the amount we want to borrow and the payment schemes involve, including loan packages that are available. Since she started her business, Limay is proud that the small trading business has been profitable for her.
“Although profit is small, I feel proud to have my small grocery”, she says.
Pagasa has identified Limay as one of the company’s valued client and borrower. They have seen her business grow since she started partnering with Pagasa. She was not also spared from the impact of number of typhoons which that time has a ten thousand pesos loan but was able to recover.
Despite the steady growth in her trading business, Limay’s’ goals are still fairly ambitious, she claims. But at the same time, she feels that her goals have to be high to make it worthwhile to achieve it. Make no mistake; Limay Carrera continues to be upbeat and raring to go. She is involving her son in the business since son is not interested to finish his studies. She believes that managing the same business would only be the greatest treasure she could provide to his son.