For 24-year-old Myra Coral, a student from Concepcion Uno, Marikina City, looking for a source of income to help her parents with the household expenses has not been easy. Applying in job fairs brought initial hope but then, with each passing day with no contact from the companies she has applied to, her routine has ended up in despair.
“Lagi lang akong nag-aapply sa mga job fairs pero hindi naman ako matanggap sa mga kompanyang inapplyan ko,” narrates Myra.
A lack of income was also experienced by Clariza Talusig, a 42-year-old housewife from Concepcion Dos, Marikina City. Being a housewife, Clariza and her two children in high school are dependent on the measly income her husband brings in for the family.
“Bus driver lang ang asawa ko. Tapos may dalawa akong anak na nasa high school. Kaya laging kapos,” shares Clariza.
Fortunately, news of a skills training program to be implemented by One Meralco Foundation at the Marikina Livelihood Training Center (MLTC) broke, prompting Myra and Clariza to simply give it a try.
“Sinabihan ako ng taga-livelihood center sa amin na lumahok sa gaganaping pagsasanay ng One Meralco Foundation sa may amin. Naisipan kong pumunta at subukan ito,” recounts Myra. “Nabalitaan ko na may livelihood training daw ang One Meralco Foundation sa center namin. Pinuntahan ko dahil wala namang mawawala sa akin kung subukan ko iyon,” says Clariza.
August 16, 2011 was the day of the livelihood training, the day which brought Myra, Clariza and 48 other residents of Marikina to the mezzanine floor of MLTC, together in their pursuit to learn how to generate income from making a household care staple ñ soap and its variants.
During the day-long activity, these eager recipients listened to trainers sourced by the foundation, followed their instructions and mixed different ingredients to make dishwashing liquid, fabric conditioner and powdered detergent soap.
“Madali lang pala gumawa ng mga fabric conditioner, dishwashing liquid at detergent soap. Mura pati yung mga ingredients nito,” gushes Myra. “Hindi ko agad naisip pero may pera pala sa sabon,” she exclaims.
“Nang natuto akong gumawa ng dishwashing liquid, fabric conditioner at powdered laundry soap sa tulong ng One Meralco Foundation, nagkaroon po ako ng extra income para sa pamilya ko. Weekly ako ay kumikita ng Php 750. Malaking tulong na rin ito para sa aming pamilya,” Clariza reveals.
Myra and Clariza, with their willingness to learn and their sheer determination to make a living out of what they learned, were chosen to be part of the core group responsible for the regular production of these household care products. These two enterprising women were even given responsibilities as president and vice-president, respectively, of the group.
Sparkles, the chosen brand for the core groupís products, has gained quite a following from its initial customers.
“Inalok ko yung mga products na ginawa namin sa mga kapitbahay ko, kaibigan at kamag-anak at lahat sila ay bumabalik dahil sa ganda ng produkto,” Clariza discloses.
At present, Sparkles under the headship of Myra has started to venture in producing liquid hand soap and car shampoo, products which were requested by their customers from Meralco.
“Malaki ang aking pasasalamat sa One Meralco Foundation dahil sa kanilang ibinahagi na kasanayan. Sa ngayon, dahil sa kalamaan na nakamit ko, may sarili na akong income at natutulungan ko na ang magulang ko sa panggastos sa bahay. Tumatanggap na rin po ako ng mga orders ng dishwashing liquid, fabric conditioner at powdered detergent soap sa mga restaurant, karinderya at laundry shops sa Concepcion Uno. Sa ngayon ay balak ko rin mag-alok at magdeliver sa aming mga katabing barangay,” Myra shares with an obvious tone of excitement in her voice.