Ms. Sharon B. Manangdang is a 33-year-old mother of two kids from Mabaca, Tanudan, Kalinga. After getting married in 2014, she opened her small sari-sari store on the first floor of their house, converting a small window into a display area for her products. Ms. Manangdang operated her small business with only P2,000.00 as capital. With a little amount in hand, she started her small venture selling the necessities and commodities needed by the community, from kitchen condiments to biscuits and canned goods. Although the store business was doing well, the difficult situation in their community demands additional income sources to sustain their day-to-day expenses. Ms. Sharon’s husband then decided to cultivate their small upland farm for additional income.
Before DTI’s intervention, the small store business gained a PHP 300.00 daily average in terms of sales. Despite the meager amount, it was sufficient to finance the daily expenses of the family.
In 2015, Mrs. Manandang observed that more small businesses were emerging and opening within the community. With the new competitions appearing is the pressure for the mother of two to step up her game and come up with a new means to stay in the competition. To put in place relevant changes, she sacrificed a portion of her savings to be added to the store’s capital. The amount was used to purchase items to supplement the inventory of goods offered. However, it was still inadequate to address the needs and requests of her customers from the locality.
Despite the struggles and challenges, Ms. Manangdang remained optimistic about her business because it is the only main source of income to sustain the needs of her family and it was a venture that she started from nothing.
Guided by the learnings and reminders of all the struggles she has overcome thus far, she tried to save enough money by controlling their family expenses to buy additional goods for her store. In addition to capital, she also tried to introduce a new approach to determining the needs of her clients. She established a better engagement with them by asking about her client’s demands and requests.
In 2020, Mrs. Manangdang was one of the profiled and interviewed business owners by the DTI Kalinga office when they visited the Mabaca community to conduct an LSP-NSB Profiling. Per the evaluation of the business counselor, she was chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the program. Through NSB, she was granted PHP 8,000.00 worth of livelihood kit, comprising of additional inventory of goods to refurbish the mini store’s stocks.
The livelihood kit did not only augment the inventory of Mrs. Manangdang’s business, but it also poured an extra dose of courage for her to improve her business. Surprisingly, after two months, the daily sales of her store increased to almost PHP 5,000.00 and she became more motivated to add more goods and products. According to Mrs. Manangdang, she even reaches the PHP 10,000 daily sale mark when there are big events and occasions within the community.
Seeing how hard work pays off, she persevered in operating her business until she earned an adequate amount for the expansion of her business. By God’s grace, she was able to expand her store in front of their house and added goods like dry goods, agri-products, and motorcycle parts. “I feel contented in my business because slowly, I am adding more variety for my clients to choose from, and I am aspiring for more”, she explained.
Ms. Manangdang invested in additional equipment like a refrigerator and a chest-type freezer for soft drinks and frozen foods and maintained a good inventory of supplies. Also, aside from expanding her store, a newly built house was built as a product of years of sweat and prayers.
Currently, she has invested in additional product lines such as kitchenware and utensil, agricultural supplies, and dry goods. “I am very motivated because of my family, and I have two kids who need finances in their future education, and I want to invest for that”, she emphasized.
“Reaching this far is not easy. It takes a lot of sacrifices, dedication, and patience. It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. I am grateful. I did not borrow any money from others nor applied for loans because I am afraid of the challenges.”
“I am deeply thankful to DTI Kalinga for granting me the livelihood kit which made me motivated to pursue my business. Through your assistance, I will forever cherish the real flavor of success.”
By: Kevin E. Racraquin, NC Tabuk City - CAR