PINOY ENTREPRENEUR: FE EDROSO, SHINING LIKE GOLD
Just like the gold purified by fire so is our life. At times, we need to go through the process of hardship to reveal and discover the inner power and treasure we have inside.
Let me tell you a story of an entrepreneur who achieved success in business after experiencing difficulties in life. This is the story of my Aunt, Mrs. Fe Edroso as she narrated to me.
Mrs. Fe Edroso in her travels abroad
Let me start by telling you my humble beginnings and why I was able to dream big to achieve success.
“My mother was widowed on her first marriage. Being a widow with three kids, her father-in-law and her mother decided to arrange her marriage with her first husband’s cousin so there would be someone to help her raised her kids. Her second husband was my father. A retired World War II soldier and was then working at a milling company in town.
While they thought that having my mother marry for the second time would help her to have an easy life, it turned out to be the opposite. .
Mrs. Fe Edroso in some of her trips abroad
My father was strict and violent. I and my siblings would say that he was a terrible father one could ever have. I could vividly recall the pain each time he beated us whenever we commit mistakes. He won’t allow us to go to our neighbors’ houses, go to church or stroll around and go to barrio fiestas. Each time he knew that we left the house without his knowledge, we would prepare ourselves for his iron fist. He would let us do things which a pillar of the home should be doing. We would wake up early to fetch water using large containers on a deep well pump several distances away from home; tie our carabao; walk few kilometers to the river to do the laundry and finish all household chores.
Our father also sent us to school but never gave us any allowance. He won’t even want us to ask from our mother, and once he knew that our mother would give us the money he would beat our mother and us. As a sign of rebellion, my other siblings decided to flee from home but he would always catch them and beat them as a consequence.
Going to school empty handed was always difficult, so I thought of ways to earn a few bucks. At the age of 8, I learned how to cook bukayo (coconut sweet delicacy) and other kakanin to sell to my classmates and my teachers. This has been my daily routine just to sustain my studies because I was also afraid to ask money from my mother because of the consequence once my father would knew about it.
Eventually, as my father aged and realizing maybe how terrible he was, my father started to soften.
Our store and eatery…
When I was taking up my college degree at the University of San Agustin in Iloilo, when I met my first and last boyfriend who became my husband later on. I only needed a semester to graduate when I got pregnant. I got married at an early age. I was forsaken by my father.
My husband had me finished my studies. Starting a family just like in business was never easy, especially if you have a baby to feed and your income was not that good. I was 24, when I was diagnosed to have a serious reproductive health problems which led to several operations that cost a lot. This was a great challenge to us. But through our prayers, I was healed.
To help my husband for our family’s needs. I put up a sari-sari store at home while working as an accounting clerk for a company.My husband was working then as a company driver in a rural bank within the city.
That was in 1985 when the company I worked with closed.Jobless…and with little savings at hand, I started into a fertilizer business which I named DFJ General Merchandize. Sugar Industry has been very good in the city and I saw the opportunity to venture into this business to cater the needs of small and big planters.
Our Fertilizer business now…
My starting years were a struggle. The demands on fertilizers were high, but my financial resources were limited. Being a neofight, no suppliers would grant me a credit line. Plus, I have to hire for a trucking service for the hauling of fertilizers from my suppliers in Bacolod City to Sagay City.
Years passed and our fertilizer business has been growing. We were able to purchase a truck on our own. Eventually, I have known various suppliers which gave me 30-day credit term. I always ensure to pay my dues promptly to protect my name which lead them to increase my credit term for 45 days.
DFJ Gen. Mdse. and my little store was doing well. My husband resigned from his job to help me with our business. We decided to purchase an additional truck so we can have them rented to various planters in the city during the milling season. Since he has been fond of machines and mechanical works, there he saw a great opportunity to enter into “Cars Buy and Sell” business. He would travel to Cebu, Cagayan, Davao and Luzon to buy trucks. He would just hire mechanics to help him modify those trucks so it would be ready to be sold out to those interested buyers. From then on, trucks have been his passion and our trucking business has been very good. We even reach to 13 trucks.
When the Motorpool of the city was transferred nearby, I saw again a new opportunity. I decided to cook food for lunch and snacks and my sister would have those delivered to the employees in various offices. This business has also been good, but I have to close it to give more time to my ventures which generated bigger income.
In 2003, we were able to buy several properties near the then proposed new location of the Local Government Offices: the New Government Center of Sagay, Balay Kauswagan, City Health Office and Sagay City Motorpool.
There, I saw a new opportunity coming. Near that place, we constructed and transferred to our new house and beside it was our new store the EDROSO Store and Eatery. We accepted caterings and orders. My Son Jake also opened his carwash named PITSTOP a few blocks away fronting the Balay Kauswagan. But my son has to left for America to be with his wife and to practice his nursing profession, the management of PITSTOP was also left to us.
With my husband by my side, all went light and easy. He would always be my consultant on every decision I made. However, he was diagnosed with Renal Failure few years ago and passed away due to complications.
Losing a husband has been very hard on my part. All my life, I was used to having him always by my side. Everything was left to me. But no matter how hard it is, I have to be strong for my son and his family. I have to go on for some people have also been depending on me. Up to now, our business is still going strong. As long as I am physically well, I would still continue to chase after the opportunities and allow myself to be further refined just a gold.
Contributor: Aileen Casandra Carascal graduated from Colegio San Agustin – Bacolod with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Management Accounting.Currently connected with BDO Unibank, Inc. as an Accounting Assistant. She is pursuing her Masters in Business Administration at La Consolacion College – Bacolod.