Formerly living in a squatter area, Virgie Malipol is now a proud owner of 3 stores, a restaurant, and a mansion house in Tagaytay. All these achievements are concrete manifestation of her dream to attain a better life for her family. Uncontented from just a mere housewife who waits for the monthly income from her working husband in Olongapo, Virgie, 23, ventured into making and selling buko pies and tarts in Tagaytay while tending their first-born baby
I desire to personally raise my child because it was our first born but I need something more to keep myself busy, she told Karen Davila of ABS-CBN’s “My Puhunan.” To begin her quest for a better quality of life she made up her mind to acquire information and expertise, Virgie attended baking lessons, taking notes and remembering the processes involved to begin a business with pastries.
Ensaymada and donuts which she passed on to her mother’s store for disposal were her initial food products. And while her aspiration to free her family from the clutches of poverty was getting sharper, she decided to bake more, even coming up with her own improved recipe for the buko pie.(pie baked from young coconut meat).
At the day’s end, she would find herself weak, weary and drowsy, but she would console herself and take a good rest at every opportunity.
In the long run her buko pie rakes in a good return. Students and employees in the schools where her children were enrolled relished with delight the buko pie recipes available in their canteens. With a constant demand for the food product, her children’s tuition fees were answered by it.
Now Virgie’s buko pie has attained some sort of popularity. Orders kept coming and sales steadily went rising, from 5,000 to 10,000 then to 20,000. She said the sales would not slow down. However, at that period in time what was foremost in her mind was to save enough for her children’s needs.
Virgie expands home business
At long last she decided to expand business by opening up a store selling her masterpieces buko pies and tarts in Tagaytay. The stores with the signed “Amira’s Buko Tarts” and her restaurant named “The Banquet” are living testimonies of a housewife’s struggle to find her place in the sun.
“Pag mahirap ka hindi ka kasali...Pag mayaman ka, in ka. Ganyan yung tumanim sa utak ko," (When you’re poor, you’re out and not a member, but when you are rich, you are in. That was planted in my brain), she said.
Back when they first started, Virgie was producing around 200 pieces of buko tarts per day. Now, Amira's is selling more than 3,000 pieces every day.
"Kung ano yung talent mo, ano yung gusto mong gawin, yoon ang gawin mong negosyo," (If people would like buying a thing and you would enjoy doing it as well, make that your business, Virgie advised)
Virgie said, having experienced poverty first hand, she wanted to help people who shared the same struggle she did.
Karen Davila, as part of her TV program, My Puhunan, took Virgie to meet Gina Rabi, a widow with 2 kids.
Gina, soon after her husband’s death, struggled to find a way out of poverty, plunging deeper into debt as days pass by.
She establish a bakery with the money she got from selling her house, but failed because of dishonest employees. With her shop closed, Gina told Karen that she wanted to give up on life.
"Maski sampung piso, hindi ka makautang dito. Magka-miracle sana," (Here nobody would lend you even P10, I hope a miracle happens,Gina said).
Indeed, a miracle happens to Gina’s wish. It was granted.
Virgie gave her sacks of flour and cash to help jump start her bakery again. She even taught Gina how to bake "pandesal" and ensaymada.
"Wag kayong mawawalan ng pag-asa. Hangga't malakas pa tayo, may magagawa tayo," (Don’t lose hope. While still alive, we can do something, Virgie told Gina.)
Having heard Gina’s story, Virgie advised Gina to be more hands-on with her business.
"Pag may ginagawa mga tao mo, dapat nandoon ka din eh. Hindi pwedeng papabayaan mo sila sa gusto nilang gawin," (Where your workers are you must be there. Don’t let them do their whims and caprices, she added.)
"Dapat may alam ka rin sa kanilang ginagawa para kahit iwan ka nila, kaya mo pa ring gawin. Wag ka magsisimula ng hindi mo alam ang pagsisimulan mo," (You must know the things they’re doing so that even without them you can do the work. Don’t start if you don’t know how, Virgie advised.)
With a wide smile,Gina told Karen, "parang mas nakikita ko na ngayon na aasenso ako." (It’s as if I’m seeing success now.)