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Success Story: "Hitting the Cornerstone of Success"

Helen A. Binguit with products

Ms. Helen A. Binguit is a 68-year-old, former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who was based in Hong Kong for 14 years. In 2009, she decided to return to the Philippines for good after more than a decade in a foreign land.

Helen’s arrival signified a new beginning for her. With grit and motivation from her family, she set foot in the world of entrepreneurship. Her goal is to have a business that can support her family's needs and wants especially since local employment may not be as lucrative as her previous stint abroad.

In 2010, she started selling snacks at the Bulanao Public Market and the Dagupan Public Market. She introduced carrot hot cake and carrot juice to the public market. Admittedly and naturally, a carrot in a pancake and a carrot made into a drink is the least expected menu in the area. After all, carrots are usually grown in mountainous and cold areas—and the vegetables’ transition into a drink and a snack in a community that is used to having it as a usual pansahog raised some eyebrows. But after a few weeks and months, the eyebrow-raising snack grew popular with the locals. Just as the saying goes, the carrot juice and carrot pancakes were sold like hot pancakes.  

After a year in the business, she took the risk and applied for a loan at the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP). Her approved loan amounting to PHP 500,000.00 was used to improve her business and expand her market. The risk paid off, and she was able to return the loaned amount after four years.

Yearning for more, Helen visited the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and inquired about capability-building trainings that she can avail herself of. “Kayat ko ti agadal pay ti dadduma nga mabalin i-negosyo”, she said. Despite her age, she did not want to stop learning. As part of the DTI programs, she was invited to the Wine Processing Training and she didn’t waste her time and effort. She applied immediately her learning to business.

 

 

Binguit Food Products

Binguit Food Products a

Helen started a wine processing center beside her house. She also planted additional bugnay trees to yield more production. From bugnay, she started fermenting different types of fruits to convert them into wines. All of these, she did while maintaining her carrot hotcake and juice business in the market. Helen’s identity as an entrepreneur was established in Kalinga. Every market day, people were constantly asking and looking for other food products like peanut butter, chili paste, chili powder, and vinegar. Noticing the demands, she played on the idea of including other processed foods in her product list.

As to DTI interventions, Helen was endorsed as a participant under the One Town One Product Next Gen (OTOP NEXT GEN) where she was assisted in the upgrading of labels and packaging. She was also tapped as a participant during the Good Manufacturing Practices Awareness Training conducted by the FDA-CAR, as her stepping stone for the FDA licensing accreditation, which is mandatory for all food processors.

One time, she found herself praying “Lord, uray maka-urnong nak lang ti one million, agsardeng nakun ti business ta bumaket nakon.” This prayer became her daily motivation in selling out her products in the market.

Her prayer was answered when she checked her savings at the bank and already reached Php 1,000,000.00 in just seven months of selling her products on the public market. The ultimate goal of her savings is to still help other people and she generously lends her savings to her co-vendors in the public market and is paid monthly with minimal interest.

Helen is a wonderful example of someone who is full of perseverance and willingness to learn. A showing that age is just a number. She didn’t mind her age in pursuing her business, and through the training she attended, she aimed of putting more products on her display table in the public market. She continued her perseverance and passion by adding new products which were requested by her regular customers.

One time, she was interviewed for the possibility of going back to Hong Kong but she said, “Haan kon kailangan nga agsubli ijay ta adda ditoy iti mas mayat nga pagsayaatan. Okay nakon ditoy business ko nga rinugyak.”

Driven by patience and faith, she is now holding an estimated daily sale of Php 30,000.00 and regularly receives bulk orders from the big groceries of Tabuk City, and more local vendors from Baguio City became her resellers.

“All our dreams can come true if we dare to pursue them. Also, in business, you cannot succeed if you don’t put faith and passion into yourself. I am very thankful to the DTI Kalinga because of their assistance and support of my business. Habang kayak pay ti aglako ken agaramid ti products ko, ipapatik latta.”

 

By: BC Kevin E. Racraquin / 

NC Tabuk City 

 

 

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