On June 14, 2017, Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Manny Valencia, Joel Yala and Rey Lapid – 3 inspiring men who’ve kept a balance between being negosyantes and fathers as well.
Before being a full-time entrepreneur, Joel Yala was once a construction worker, a tricycle driver and an ordinary employee. His wife, Marissa, was also an employee before they decided to quit their jobs and start their own business. The idea of Chocovron started when Joel was grocery shopping with his wife and was fascinated by all things coated in chocolate. He then thought of producing a similar product and called it Chocovron in 2003. Joel shares that starting Chocovron was definitely not easy. He had to make the products “mano-mano” with his wife while his taste testers were his neighbours and co-workers. Joel would place his Chocovrons at the locker for people to taste in the factory where he was working at and perform an inventory every break time. “Sobrang sacrifice talaga pero mahal ko ginagawa ko” Joel said. In late 2004, Joel decided to get a DTI permit to make his business official. DTI called for a meeting since they were intrigued with the product, they were soon asked “willing ba kayo lumaki yung business”? Today, Chocovron is importing their products to the United States and Canada and has market exhibits in Thailand, China and Hongkong. From the small enterprise, Chocovron now employs 50 employees, all hailing from Surigao – the same province of Joel and Marissa since it has been their mission to help improve the lives of fellow Surigaonon. Everyday, they are producing a total of 5000 packs of Polvoron of different variants; from the class chocovron to the flavoured polvoron (cookies and cream, milk), nutrivon (sugar free, ampalaya, malunggay). What makes men different from women in his experience in business? “Stricto ako, weakness ng mga babae mga sale lagi may distraction, pag lalake, naka lista dire diretso kung ano sadya” Joel says.
Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Manny Valencia, Joel Yala and Rey Lapid – 3 inspiring men who’ve kept a balance between being negosyantes and fathers as well.
At an early age of 12, Rey Lapid was already about getting down to business. Rey’s father used to work at a public market and he would always come along especially during summer, “Gusto kong binibigyang halaga ang oras” he said. Rey noticed that whenever people would buy meat, “Very observant ako, pinapatanggal yung balat. Sayang yung balat kaya inipon and tinabi ko yung tirang balat” Rey said. From there his dad started making chicharron to be sold at the public market. In 1974 Rey started his own business, R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbeque, at a small stall in Quiapo. Rey and his wife sold chicken barbeque, longganisa, tocino and his best selling chicharron. Today, Lapid owns more than a 100 branches of R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbeque around the country. He even owns 2 resort hotels in Laguna and managed to put up a six-story mansion for his family. Rey plans to re-name his famous chicharron to “Manila Fries”.
In a business, it is inevitable for entrepreneurs to encounter obstacles. Manny shared that his biggest challenge was when he had little to no capital but this didn’t stop him because of his strong faith in the Lord, “naniniwala naman tayo na may plano si God. Nagpray talaga ako. Based on Romans 31. Sumipa bigla yung business, nabayarn ko yung 3 milion na utang. Yung resto na pinapagawa ko natapos. Tiwala lang talaga and sundin and instruction ni Lord”. Joel recalled, “nung ilang months na chocovron, na hold up ako. Parang sabotage kasi alam niya pwesto ko. Natrauma ako, 1 week di ako makatulog. Tinutukan kasi ako ng baril. Inicip ko Lord pano mga anak ko. Mula nun, di ako nagpakita 1 week sa trabaho. Sinabi ko sa misis ko na itigil to kasi baka dito pako mamatay. Pero parang may bumulong sakin na ituloy padin. Icipin mo we started sa 35 sqm ngayon may factory na”. As for Rey, he went to America because he was invited by a friend to venture into a restaurant business. “I became so aggressive. May gusto mag partner sakin from USA. I became too excited, pumayag ako kaagd. Malaking good obstacle is opening up restaurant in san Francisco. Pagdating ko dun, nag invest ako. Ako tuloy nag operate lahat mag isa. Operated for 3 years ako lang mag isa. With that good experience, marami akong nalaman na tama at mali. Bumalik ako ng Pilipinas pero wala akong nabalik sa Pilipinas. Bago ko sinarado yung resto, nag trabaho ako dun bago umuwi para magka pera. Nung naka ipon nako, umuwi ako. I had to start from zero again. My wife was continuing my business for me here”.
How to balance being a father and a negosyante? All 3 answered that it was important to keep a good relationship with your wife and children. “Dapat may time sa asawa at pamilya. Ingatan ang relasyon sa pamilya, hindi yung puro negosyo tapos mapapabayaan yung pamilya” Manny said. As for their children, they make sure to train their children well before letting them in the business. “Tumutulong mga anak ko sa business, pero binabayaran ko sila parang empleyado” Joel said. “Mga anak ko very independent. Sabi ko subukan mo muna yung business natin dito, pag ayaw mo dun ka mag abroad” Rey told his children. “May bilin na sila ang mamana ng business, pero pinapa pasok ko muna sila sa ibang companya para makita and makasunod sa mga policy ng isang company” Manny shared.
As the segment came to an end, the 3 fathers left a few pieces of advice in how to be a father and negosyante at the same time. “May tatay din tayo sa langit na nakakakita satin at tutulungan tayo”, “Umasa sa taas pero wag kakalimutan nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa” and “Always keep a balance between negosyo and family”.