IRON WILL: The RWR Steel Fabrication Story
Being an Overseas Filipino Worker is not easy. Apart from the challenges and trials that may come, loneliness is another worst enemy that an OFW has to win every day.
That was in 1984 when my father, Engr. Eduardo Rufin, a mechanical engineer decided to work abroad. As a father, he just wants to give his family a better future. He worked as a Millwright Operator in Egypt.Knowing that being an OFW will not be forever, his father, my grandfather asked him if they can start a business, a machine shop which my father agreed. He saved money for the capital of the business. In 1986, my father decided to go back here in the Philippines. With the money he earned abroad, together with my grandfather, they started the business.
The machine shop started with the rented a small space at Lizares Extension near Libertad Market. An additional machine like the “lathe” used for shaping a piece of material, such as wood or metal was also added.
The shop continued to expand. From Lizares Extension the shop transferred to Lopez Jaena St. beside the South Ceres Terminal to accommodate much bigger and more machines. They were employing 6 workers at that time, all were our relatives. They named the business Cente Machine Shop, after my grandfather’s name “Vicente”. The shop was managed by my grandfather because my father started working at the Technological University of the Philippines – Visayas as a full-time professor. Our house is just beside the shop, I grew up in a noisy, greasy and rusty surroundings, but it doesn’t matter because it just shows that the shop is doing well and earning.
In 1998, the shop was forced to transfer to a new location due to conflict with the landowner in Lopez Jaena. The new location worked adversely to the business. Some customers were lost, the 6 workers were brought down to 3 and some machines has to go to cover some overhead expense. The location is not good than the previous one. Before Circumferential road, Barangay Alijis was so far from the civilization and population in the community were small and people were passing by that place during those times.
L-R: Vicente Rufin +,Engr. Eduardo Rufin+ and my brother Warren Rufin
They never gave up; the shop still continues to operate.
Last August 2012, my father passed away because of heart failure and due to old age, my grandfather can’t manage the shop well. My elder brother, Warren has to quit his job as a salesman and he start working in the shop. He was trained in the operation of the shop so that he can help my grandfather in managing it.
After 2 years, my grandfather passed away due to complications, so my brother took over the business completely. Now, my brother manages the shop and he decided to change the name from Cente Machine Shop to RWR Steel Fabrication because the shop now is more into fabrication works. The shop is still accepting services of machining jobs, steel and iron works, lathe machine works, Engineering designs, repairs and fabrication of steel gates, window grills, dog cages and etc. One of the main customers of the shop are the sugar central, if it’s milling season the shop earns well.
Engr. Eduardo Rufin and the contributor,
If someone needed a training in basic machining and welding we can help them. They can have the training for free and we can give them certification. My brother is part of the working hands. He is the one who do the designs, fabrication, buying of materials, delivery and installation.
Today, there are only 2 workers left; one of them is my uncle. If there are many projects to work my brother will just outsource workers. Any business has its ups and downs. And it takes an iron will to pursue and surmount any obstacles if one would really succeed in business. RWR Steel Fabrication has been through a lot, yet it still standing firm and strong even up to this time.
Contact Details: Tel.#: (034) 7086840 mobile #: (0927) 774 1206
Contributor: Julie Grace F. Rufin, a graduate of Technological University of the Philippines Visayas with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering. Currently affiliated in UNO-R as a part-time teacher at the College of Engineering and plans to put up her business in the near future.