RUFA A. GERUNDIO, 53, is one of the trained entrepreneurs supported by the Pagtambayayong Foundation, Inc. (PFI) community-based projects in Sitio Riverside, Duljo Fatima, Cebu City. Married to Martiliano A. Gerundio who is a fisherman, Tessie, as she is fondly called, is a native from Lawis, Inabanga, Bohol. At the age of 12, she was brought by her elder sister who lives in Cebu at that time and her entrepreneurial spirit even at a young age had already started. She was one of those illegal sidewalk vendors in the city by the time of the Marcos regime where they had to run from the policemen so that their unsold goods will not be seized. She had been a fish vendor for years and when she got married, she had to find ways in order to sustain for a living. To have an additional income, she joined several trainings sponsored by PFI and developed her skills in many things. However, their income is still inadequate for a family of five children.
“It was in 1990 that my family migrated to Cebu. I started raising pigs since then and continue until now. We started from that which gave us a net income of Php700. We used the initial income to venture into fresh fish vending. My husband and I worked hard to augment our capital. From Php700 we were able to gain Php2,000. We did not stop there because we realized that our children is growing up and will be in high school soon. Our meager income cannot suffice the educational needs of our children. So, we decided to venture into selling dried fish. We obtained a place at the Tabuan market in Cebu and started selling dried fish. Thanks God, our business grew and we were able to send our children to school.”
“In 2009, I was diagnosed with a heart disease. Our capital investments were depleted. I could not work anymore because of my health condition but I did not lose hope because I want my children to succeed. Then, I met Maam Leila of Pagtambayayong Foundation. She visited us in our house and told me if I am interested to attend a training on hog raising and many other things. I expressed my interest to be trained and so I attended those trainings. These had greatly helped our family because it enhanced my skills and our family business.
Today, we are back to business! Our family now has a place to sell the dried fish in the Tabuan market. PFI has helped me put up my business again. I was able to loan Php12,000 which is payable for 6 months. I paid back PFI in four months. Because of the skills I’ve learned from the training, while selling dried fish, I also weave floor mats as additional income for the family. Back home in Duljo, my husband is also starting a quail raising business which we just started. All these has greatly helped our family. All my children were able to go to school and three of them already acquired employment. The other one is helping me in the business.”
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