Hundreds of homes wrecked, trees uprooted, farms destroyed, vessel ships washed ashore, dead bodies strewn and dirt and debris scattered all over. One might think that this is a scene from a disaster movie, but this scenario is far from motion picture. This was the scenario people have seen, heard of and experienced. It was a scene fresh from the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
From an outsider’s point of view, one can sense the need for urgency and help but for those who have experienced the wrath knows that it is more than that. The hope of surviving this tragic event is a dimming light as days pass by.
Faced with one of life’s hardest challenges, Marivic Quiero, a mother of two from Palo, Leyte, knew that the situation will worsen day by day. She knew that the only way to survive the aftermath of destruction: the impulsive looting, the impending famine, and the inevitable despair; is to join the “great escape” of the survivors to Manila.
Despite grieving for their loss of her brother and sister-in-law, they all fled ground zero with the hope of starting anew in the city. The university where her son Paolo studies, welcomed them in their care and provided them with their essential needs.
But Marivic knew that the donations and help that they are getting will not be enough to support their stay in the city. Since they have nothing to begin with, it was a great challenge. Anxiety slowly develops in their hearts and fear slowly shows its signs. But her faith kept her moving forward. She knew well that with God, they can survive the challenge and overcome their fears and anxieties.
March of 2014, months after the typhoon Yolanda, Marivic saw the advertisement of Go Negosyo regarding its 6thFilipina Entrepreneurship Summit. Even without the registration fee at hand, she has firmly decided to attend the summit. She shares, “I think this is what I need to stop crying and worrying; to be exposed in an atmosphere of successes, be motivated and be inspired to rise again just by listening to the empowered women entrepreneurs’ journeys.”
And so it happened. It was an answered prayer for Marivic when she attended the Go Negosyo summit. More than being an audience, she was blessed to meet the Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation President and CEO, Alice Eduardo who willingly offered help to her. After months of despair, her attendance to the Go Negosyo Filipina Summit has brought answers to their problems.
She was in tears as she shares her story to the crowd of more than 7,000 aspiring entrepreneurs and students. But before the forum ended, her tears have turned into tears of joy. She was full of hope. She was offered with the opportunity to be one of the food suppliers for her workers in the construction sites. Alice Eduardo had given her the capital including kitchen equipment and utensils.
She knew that this is a big opportunity and a blessing for the whole family who wants to move on from the adversities that they faced. She has found a mentor in Alice Eduardo who unselfishly provided them with their needs for the business and some personal matters. Marivic also found mentors in Go Negosyo’s founding trustee, Joey Concepcion and executive director, Ramon Lopez who have also given her advices on how to start their business.
Unfortunately, they have to stop the operation of their food business due to several problems. But Marivic did not give up. Her determination towards having a business has led her to the idea to restore their pharmaceutical business which was destroyed by the typhoon. She sought the guidance of Alice and got a supportive feedback. They travelled back to Tacloban, with all the materials they need which was also donated by Alice. This will be the start of their new life and new beginning.
Today, their pharmaceutical business continues to flourish. They are now distributing to different hospitals in the area and nearby cities.
Looking back at the trials they have faced, Marivic said that if she has just lost her faith and determination, she might have given up early on. But backed up by God’s love and kindness and the guidance of Alice Eduardo and the Go Negosyo team led by Joey Concepcion, she was equipped to embark on the entrepreneurial journey.
Lastly, Marivic shares, “Our story does not end here, there will be more… the best and great things are yet to come, making us more than just survivors but victors of life.”