Success is like catching fish. It requires time, effort, and patience.
For Magdalena Dela Cruz, this is the formula for success.
Lapu-Lapu or grouper is one of the most expensive fish in the Philippines. When caught and served on the table, these are considered “lucky.”
However, Magdalena, a fish supplier in Alaminos City, Pangasinan, believes that this kind of luck should also be accompanied with perseverance and determination to bear fruit.
Magdalena began selling fresh fish when she was a teenager in Alaminos City, where she also met her husband, a fisherman.
Together,they decided to purchase fish directly from other fishermen in Sitio Inansuana, Brgy. Lucap and sell their fresh catch to frequent buyers in the area. With the help of their four children who strengthened their business, the couple has widened their reach to Manila, where they found a customer who exports fresh Lapu-Lapu to Hongkong.
For Magdalena, selling fresh fish like Lapu-Lapu is one of the greatest opportunities she ever had, especially now that the price of fresh grouper ranges from P1,000 to P2,500 per kilo, due to the higher demand for fresh fish in neighboring Asian countries like Hongkong.
To grow their business as a fish supplier to one of the many fish dealers in Parañaque City, the Dela Cruz family sought the help of CARD Bank, a microfinance-oriented rural bank that provides business loans and other social development services, befitting their clients’ businesses and family needs. Through CARD Bank, Magdalena loaned P150,000 as working capital for her business.
CARD Bank has been with Magdalena for 14 years, something she has always been thankful for, especially when COVID-19 hit the Philippines in 2020. There is no doubt that the pandemic brought about certain challenges to her business. The imposed community quarantines, for example, greatly affected their travel from Pangasinan to supply fresh fish to dealers in Manila. This resulted in difficulties in paying for their weekly dues.
Gratefully, the consideration they received from CARD Bank after announcing a moratorium on their loans greatly helpedMagdalena and her family recover during the onset of the pandemic.
ForMagdalena, they were given another chance to revive their business and to cope with the effects of the pandemic. She knows that as long as CARD Bank remains as the backbone of their business, she can always get back on her feet, no matter what uncertainty may come.
She added, “success does not come from luck but from hard work and remaining hopeful, no matter what.”*