Story and photos by: Emme Rose Santiagudo
LOOKING back to their humble beginnings, the five sisters of the Alba family in Capiz have come a long way from being sari-sari store owners to entrepreneurs who own five different businesses.
Lorena, Lory, Lala, Lyra, and Lily worked their way to success by depending on and helping each other as a family.
The youngest among the five siblings, Lorena shared that everything started with a loan from microfinance company, CARD Bank in Capiz which she used to put up a sari-sari store in their area in New Banica village.
“Nagsimula sa CARD Bank na ang pinakauna ko na loan is P3,000. Ginamit ko yun para pampuhunan sa tindahan,” she said.
Lorena did not expect that her sari-sari store would flourish and when it churned out profit, she did not waste the opportunity to try her luck by putting up a lumber business and a water refilling station. This time, she involved her family, particularly her sisters.
“Lumaki yung tindahan kaya naisipan namin na magkaroon ng water refilling station at lumber business. Kasama ko sa negosyo ang aking pamilya,” she said.
Lorena’s older sister, Lory said they supported their youngest sibling’s ventures in every possible way.
“Sinusuportahan namin kung ano yung kailangan niya, hindi niya sinosolo lang. Kailangan niya din ng support ng family kaya kami na magkakapatid pati na rin yung mga asawa namin ay nagtulong-tulong para mataguyod ang negosyo,” Lory said.
The sisters would fill in for each other in tending to their ventures while their husbands were in charge of the manual labor aspect.
With their continued hard work, the businesses of the Alba family flourished and even expanded into a tricycle repair shop, roofing services, and their very own line of ice cream.
All of these businesses are located in their compound in Brgy. New Banica in Capiz and eventually the family also helped their neighborhood by providing employment.
“Sa negosyo mahirap magumpisa pero pag kasama mo pamilya mo, nawawala na yung hirap, gumagaan,” Lorena said.
Aside from the help of her family, Lorena said they also owe their success to CARD Bank MRI which helped them with their capital and finances and even helped them market their products
“Maraming salamat dahil sa kanila nagumpisa kaming wala, ngayon nataguyod namin dahil sa patnubay nila,” he said.
Genalyn Decillo, CARD Bank director in Western Visayas said that through the years, CARD Bank has been dedicating its efforts to support housewives like Lorena succeed in their own businesses.
“Usually our clients talaga are plain housewives na gusto nilang magkaroon ng sariling negosyo or kung meron man gusto nilang i-improve. Sila yung pina-prioritize natin at talagang sinusubaybayan at ginagabayan kung mag-loan,” she said.
CARD Bank is a microfinance oriented rural bank and a member institution of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (MRI).
In the region, CARD Bank membership has been increasing according to Decilio with now more than 67,000 members as of May this year.
Last June 14-15, 2019, CARD MRI conducted its third Kaunlaran Caravan in Roxas City, Capiz.
The caravan provided free medical check-ups, livelihood training, insurance awareness, financial literacy session for kids, and Social Security System (SSS) registration to Capiz residents.