The everlasting pledge

To Winifredo and Araceli Balenzuela of Legazpi City, devotion to one another is not only key to a blissful marriage but also to a successful livelihood.

In the Philippines, mornings are made even more special with a cup of warm taho. While many ask for an extra spoonful of arnibal to make their taho a bit sweeter, in Legazpi City, the love of a couple magtataho is the ingredient that makes their product the sweetest.

Wilfredo Banzuela would never be seen alone selling his taho. His wife, Araceli, would always be his daily companion wherever he goes. Their devotion to one another started in 2002 when Wilfredo saw Araceli for the first time and fell in love. In a span of one week, he already asked for her hand in marriage. They then got married the same year.

However, only a year after their wedding, their marriage was already put to the test. Winifredo met a severe accident; he fell from a tree resulting to a serious health issue. Despite what happened, Araceli remained by his side. This experience made their relationship grow stronger.

To the couple, their devotion to one another is key to their lasting relationship. This is also the same devotion they show to their livelihood, which inspires a lot of people in their community.

Microentrepreneurs like them turn to microfinance institutions that support their financial needs. Araceli began to be a client of CARD Bank, Inc. (A microfinance-oriented rural bank) in 2014.  Seeing the benefits of becoming a client of the bank, Winifredo followed suit in 2018. Both availed loans in CARD Bank, Inc., MF-Sikap 1 for Araceli, a type of loan used for business that can reach up to PhP 150,000, and a cellphone loan for Winifredo. Because the loans have an affordable interest and flexible payment, they were able to manage the funds they use as capital of their business.

The support they got strengthened their commitment to the bank. According to their Account Officer (AO), the staff in-charge of their group known as “centers”, the couple never missed their weekly center meetings, whether it was shining or raining. Center meetings are the gathering of clients from the same barangay every week to make transactions such as weekly payments and withdrawal. During these meetings, the clients also attend a learning session on business management, health, and other development-oriented topics known as “Credit with Education.” To the Balenzuelas, this day is special to them as it gives them rest.

The way the couple view the important factor in their marriage mirrors the way they manage their business: commitment and loyalty pave the way to success.

CARD Bank, Inc. has a total number of three million clients served all around the Philippines as of April 2022. To know about CARD Bank, Inc.’s products and services, visit their official Facebook page @CARDBankOfficial.