Thirty-three years old MALA, married to a funeral parlor owner and has 4 adorable children was born in Concepcion, Sta. Monica, Tarlac. She is the eldest of two children. Her father died when she was little. Her mother is a beautician who manages a sari-sari store in their barangay. From her, Mala learned how to value her humble beginnings, and to be grateful to those who had helped her (Utang na Loob).
Her long-cherished dream of becoming a flight stewardess did not materialize because she got married at the age of 23. In 1990, her husband brought her to San Isidro, Tarlac, three months after their wedding. Later, they were able to buy the house that they used to rent.
Losing a father early in life was not easy for Mala. She was forced to help her mother in tending their sari-sari store, and to be a beautician like the latter. She also became a Sales Distributor of Avon products, put up her own beauty parlor, and sold anything of value, just to make ends meet. Her mother's diligence and hard work, and flexible work schedule, had inspired her to become an entrepreneur.
When she got married, she focused all her efforts in managing her beauty parlor. Unfortunately, the beautician whom she used to trust, fooled her. Because of this, she helped her husband in managing his funeral parlor. She also opened a rent-a-gown/barong business, just beside their house.
She used to buy some pieces of barong in Tarlac and sold these to clients of their funeral parlor. Her customers are increasing in number.
To cater to their various needs, she has been renting gowns, barongs, and other clothes for graduations, weddings, baptisms, and other special occasions. Whatever is left unsold, she sells to clients of their funeral parlor, who are often in need of suitable clothes for their dead loved ones.
Aside from Mala's rent-a-gown store, she also opened a food catering and flower arrangement business. Among her many microenterprises, only her Avon business went bankrupt. Because of this sad experience, she learned that it is not good to be so kind or, to be too trusting of others. However, she also realized that one's meticulousness over trivial matters threatens customers.
In doing business, she always looks up to God for guidance. She is honest to herself and others. She refrains from doing something that would hurt others.
Her husband did not really want her to engage in microenterprises. He wanted her to take care of him and their children. So, she had to hire an Assistant to tend her rent-a-gown shop. If she has to do food catering and flower arrangement, she usually does them at home, together with her househelpers.
She firmly believes that a good entrepreneur must be amiable, patient, and considerate. She must know how to deal with every type of customer.
She is contented with her life now, for she has been blessed with beautiful children and a faithful husband. She only wishes that all her children will stay healthy and strong always.
Her participation in the microenterprise program of a rural bank in their municipality, has given her the opportunity to socialize with fellow members, widen her social networks, and widened her clientele. Also, it has enabled her to help others in need, and to be of service to them.
*This is my entry to the Filipina Writing Project
Advocating for Change and Social Transformation
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. Article 25, Universal Declaration of human Rights
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