Inspiring Davaeno Negosyantes

December 7th, 2009

At the age of eight, Myrna Padilla would dive for a minute or two at the depths of 10 to 15 feet, gathering shellfish and seaweed beneath corals. Whatever sum she earned in selling what she collected, she shares with her mother and saves a little for paper and pencil for school. Hard work and sacrifice are words that are not new to Myrna, who was born to a fisherman father and a housewife mother and was the eldest of the six children. She also worked as a domestic helper overseas for 15 years, until she had to undergo a throat and thyroid surgery. Myrna decided to come back home to the Philippines to have her surgery. She also settled to stay home for good. Then, Myrna started her own business. Today, she is recognized as the Founder and President of Mynd Consulting and Management Services, a major player in the BPO industry in Mindanao.

Myrna is one of the nine small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) who will be recognized at the GO NEGOSYO SA DAVAO CARAVAN on Dec. 4, 2009 at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Convention Hall, Quirino Ave., Davao City.

Go Negosyo will be recognizing the “Most Inspiring Davaoeño Entrepreneurs” who serve as inspiration not only to Davaoeños but also to all Filipinos. They are entrepreneurs who excel in business, and are role models who continue to serve the local community and provide employment in the area.

Another inspiring Davaoeño negosyante is Engr. Remegio Salanatin. His father worked as a panday, sustaining a family with 10 children. When he was in grade school, Remegio already learned to live on his own. He worked his way through school until he finished his degree in engineering. Remegio graduated as Salutatorian in high school, as Valedictorian in college, and ranked second place in the Civil Engineering board exams. A year after graduation, he started R.G. Salanatin Construction. To date, Remegio’s company is on top of numerous projects covering commercial and industrial buildings and infrastructure.

Jonathan Suy also has a story to tell. ABFI Incorporated is the poultry business that his father entrusted to him. He and his father used to be a contract breeder and hatchery for a major corporation. When Jonathan realized that the partnership was not profitable anymore, he decided to run their own game. Now, their business supplies chicken to all major supermarkets in Mindanao. Jonathan is also engaged in a paper recycling business, called Jomaray Pulp Packing Industries, which manufactures environment-friendly packaging materials for agricultural and food products and for industrial accessories. This business supports the campaign for a clean and green environment, and provides income opportunity for garbage collectors and households in the area.

The next inspiring entrepreneur is also a good leader. Loreta Baroro is the General Manager of the Philippine Diesel Calibration Cooperative — the first in its kind in the Philippines. The Cooperative started with 16 members, under the leadership of Loreta. They used to work for a calibration company; some lasted for 10 years and others even reached 30. As the group retired from their work, they decided to start the cooperative, enduring their first six months of operation with no steady salary. After five years, their assets reached seven million pesos as of last year.

Katakus Foundation’s Executive Director, Betty More, is also a recognized leader and entrepreneur. The foundation started as a women development institute for unemployed women in farms and households. With financial assistance worth Php 5,000 and mentorship from DEVLINK, a non-government organization producing handmade paper, the foundation focused on making quality handmade paper and paper crafts. Under Betty’s leadership, the foundation was able to explore the use of Durian husks as raw materials in their production. At present, the Katakus Foundation continues to equip their beneficiaries with the right tools in order to make them more self-sufficient.

Manuel Paul Villanueva was in college preparing to be a doctor, when he explored his passion in entrepreneurship. He took up BS Biology in order to follow the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who were both doctors. His mother was also a nurse. But then, he discovered his passion for business and in earning money. Manuel started putting up food businesses during college. He enjoyed marketing, waking up early, preparing materials and goods for delivery, and collecting profit. Today, the business is now a reputable home-grown restaurant. Banoks (short for “barbequeng manok”) is popular for superbly marinated chicken barbeque.

A well-known Davaoeño entrepreneur, Ferdinand Marañon loves to travel, to innovate and to think. To him, these are the things that keep him going. Being the President and CEO of his very own company, Ferdinand easily gets bored, especially when he’s not doing anything. Born to a family of sugar farmers, he retired from his work as a marketing manager and went into sugar farming. When a friend offered a plan to set up a trading company, he accepted it and one business led to the next. Presently, Sagrex Foods Inc. processes and exports high quality food products made from fresh Philippine native bananas.

Ricardo Talaboc never dreamt of calling himself an entrepreneur. A mathematics teacher for over 17 years, little did he know his tinkering with raw materials used for constructing his home would be the beginning of Woodworks Kiln-Dried Furniture. His furniture business was a sideline during the whole time he was a professor at the University of Mindanao, but by 2001, he decided to go full-time and diligently studied how to improve his products. With the support of government agencies like the Department of Science and Technology, not only has Ricardo been able to elevate his business classification from micro to small scale, but he is now also considered an expert in his field, and provides consultancy advice for other entrepreneurs in the furniture industry.

Last, but most definitely not the least, is the story of multi-awarded orchid grower Salvacion Leuenberger. Her business is known in the whole of Davao as a business that is born out of passion and love for a simple hobby. Before she found her true calling in growing orchids, Salvacion worked as a practicing accountant. A CPA with a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Salvacion took a course in basic orchid-growing before buying plants for her business. Today, her SUL Orchid farm in Tugbok is a 12-hectare property with a whole stretch of Orchid varieties.

Go Negosyo Caravan sa Davao is presented by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, in cooperation with the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, City Government of Davao, Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council, Department of Trade and Industry, Landbank, National Livelihood and Development Corporation, and the Department of Education.

The event is also supported by PLDT SME Nation, Smart, Nokia, RFM Corp., Citi and Citi Foundation, Insular Life, Pagcor, Rexona, Crème Silk, Alo Youth, Vitwater, San Miguel Corp., Philweb, Profoods, Splash, and BPI Family Savings Bank.