The pandemic brings unexpected twists and turns in our lives this year. It leads to immeasurable loss of lives and livelihood. But despite the crisis, stories of quintessential Filipino resilience and survival emerge in different corners of the archipelago.
In this new #NegosyoWarrior column, PXXXT will present the stories of such Pinoys who are trying to hurdle the storm brought by the pandemic by opening up their own business. Their venture may be small, but it is rich with stories of hope that will inspire others to continue dreaming for a brighter future despite this year of extraordinary challenges.
Meet Gherry Fullece, a 28-year old bread-winner and former Manager of a Jollibee store in Muntinlupa, who, despite being retrenched from his work due to pandemic, has managed to weather this setback and start anew by opening his own small pizza and homemade siomai business— the Pizzeria Locale and Tapcharap Homemade Siomai and Chili Oil.
What prompted you to open your own small business?
I was a former manager of a well known fast-food chain here in the Philippines [Jollibee]. This pandemic hits so much the economy of our country that is why our company decided to implement cost-cutting measures by terminating redundant positions. Unfortunately, my position was included. With all the learnings from my previous company, I decided to have my own business.
How did you set up your business? How much was your starting capital?
I first invested my savings in my first business, the Tapcharap Homemade Siomai. After that, I prepared a capital of 10,000 which comes from my profit from Tapcharap to open another business— the Pizzeria Locale.
How did you source your ingredients and materials?
I looked for a quality and trustworthy supplier in the Facebook marketplace.
How are your businesses doing so far?
Despite this pandemic, Pizzeria Locale and Tapcharap are doing well especially the delivery sales.
What was your initial reaction when you learned that you will lose your job due to pandemic? How did you muster the courage to move on from it and start a business?
When I learned that my position is part of the redundancy I feel so bad because I thought that my former company was my way of life, I gave my dedication and hard work to prove myself to the company but we really cannot tell what might happen. Just like others, I had depression and anxiety attacks because I am the breadwinner of the family and I have lots of bills to pay.
I muster the courage to start a new business because I cannot stay the whole day without doing anything and I believe that with all the learnings and skills I learned from my former company I can be more equipped to handle a business that is why I am forever grateful to JOLLIBEE.
What is your hope of the future? Are you looking for another job now?
Since it has been my dream to have my own business, right now I can say that finding a new job is not part of my option. I will give my 100% focus and attention to my business because I believe that someday this will lead to my success.
What is your message to those who also have lost their job due to pandemic and now are thinking of ways on how to survive?
My message to all who also lost their job is not to lose your faith! God gave us trials to make our life meaningful. As I browse my Facebook I saw a Bible verse Matthew 6:8 “Your Father knows what you need even before you ask Him” and I hold on to that verse.
I believe that everything happens according to Gods’ plan. I asked God to help me survive this pandemic and He gave me my new bread and butter the Pizzeria Locale and Tapcharap Homemade Siomai and Chili Oil.
Pizzeria Locale and Tapcharap Homemade Siomai and Chili Oil are located in Southville 3, Poblacion Muntinlupa. You can order through their Facebook Page Pizzeria Locale or call 09167703884.