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"The Fruits of Sacrifices"
Client Name: Nora Bagaforo Address: Malangabang, Concepcion, Iloilo
Malangabang Island is a 45 minute pumpboat ride Island barangay from the mainland of Concepcion, Iloilo. Malangabang is known for its abundance in seafood products and accommodating people. Concepcion is a 3rd class coastal municipality situated in the Northern part of Iloilo province.
Fishing is the primary source of livelihood of the people in Malangabang Island and this has made a way out from poverty for the couple Nora and Jerry.
Nora and Jerry started their Sari-sari store business with the capital of Five Thousand Pesos after they get married in 1989. Half of the amount was Jerry’s savings from his commission as a fish broker and the other Php.2,500.00 was Nora’s wedding gift from her sister. Starting a business with a small amount of capital was indeed hard but the couple faced the challenge. The sari-sari store flourished giving them, the ample amount to invest in buy and sell of fish for dried fish production. Again, their business gained wider patronage and market so it flourished. However, they were able to experience storms of challenges in their business which resulted to bankruptcy. The situation really pricked her heart seeing their two children sacrificing due to lack of food and allowance in schooling but Nora stood her ground believing that the LORD her God will never forsake her.
In 2000, the couple decided to transfer their residence on the other side of the island which is near the shoreline of Malangabang for a brand new start. They were able to purchase a small lot to rise their house. Their transfer was so timely when TSKI entered their community. Believing that everything is God’s answer to her pleas, Nora did not have a second thought of joining TSKI’s PKK Program.
On her 1st cycle she availed a loan of P6,000.00 and she invested the money to put up a sari-sari store beneath their home. It was indeed a blessing, slowly Nora’s business gained wider patronage among the people in the island. In every loan cycle, Nora sees to it that she could invest the money in business. She bought two small pump boats and her husband used it in fishing. She also hired fishermen for the other boats. The fish caught by her husband and other fishermen became the starting point of Nora to again start the dried fish business. From the income of her businesses, she was able to put up two additional fishing vessels and with 11 hired employees. Nora Bagaforo became the supplier of dried fish in Estancia the nearby town of Concepcion. The municipality of Estancia is a two hour travel from Malangabang via pump boat.
Her business gave Nora lots of challenges and hardships but she stood her ground believing that she can survive through the help of her husband, employees and guidance of the LORD her God. One of the unforgettable experiences of Nora in transporting her products to other municipalities was when they were stranded in the middle of the sea for hours because of strong wind and bad weather condition. She thought the wind would bring them to the nearby islands and worst they could not go home. She was thankful when her prayers were answered and the strong wind subsided. When typhoon frank devastated Iloilo in June 2008, they have experienced eating bread during meal times because they could not travel to the mainland to buy rice due to high waves. During these difficult times, Nora’s weapons are her faith and prayers.
A woman with a big heart, Nora is the resource person in their barangay. She is always willing to finance other fishermen without any interest because she wanted to share her blessings with them.
For all these challenges and struggles that Nora experienced, her relationship with God is very firm. She is very active in church activities. Her husband is the President of their church while Nora is the vice Chairman of the Women’s Organization. Her eldest daughter is a scholar taking a Bible course at Iloilo Baptist School.
Now, the fruits of her success could be seen through the things they have acquired such as generator, TV set, refrigerator and the renovation of their house. They have also acquired a parcel of land wherein they put up their bakery after availing a Fifity Thousand Pesos (P 50, 000.00) loan in TSKI’s Micro Enterprise Transition Program (METP). But with all these properties and assets they have acquired, Nora and her family remained simple and humble. They raised their 2 children in simple ways because they wanted them to appreciate the things which should be acquired through perseverance.
Nora is now reaping the fruit of her sacrifices giving glory to God for his never ending blessings. She is the 2010 Micro Entrepreneur of the Year (MOTY) National Awardee, Maunlad Category.