Entrepreneur credits success to optimism
- Ehda Dagooc () - August 24, 2011 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines -    Success in business sometimes does not mean bigger company, fatter profits, for some—fulfillment in what they do--just to meet the daily needs for family is a priceless triumph in life.

Sevelina B. To-ong, a 46-year-old mother is one of them. This courageous woman stands out in their community in Barangay Labogon, Mandaue City, whose business started out with a Bananacue streetside stall with P500 capital, and now she becomes a budding entrepreneur in real estate, basic commodity retail (Sari-Sari Store) and barbeque business.

Her inspiring story caught the attention of her community, as she is one of the top 23 contestants for the Search for 2011 WINNERS (Women in Need, Now Entrepreneurs and Role-models), a noble project of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) to recognize ordinary women who excel in business in their respective communities.

Sevelina sees life with eyes full of optimism. Thus, fate opened up to her easily, having been able to start her own bananacue stall out of P500 capital borrowed from a bestfriend.

Her good disposition in life, although clouded with financial difficulties and domestic problems, brought her to where she is now—sending off her three daughters to prestigious schools, with four-year degree courses—all by herself.

Just like other women with lesser educational attainment, she also tried her luck to earn monthly income from a rattan company. However, she believed that what she earned being a daily-earner is not worth her labor and self-worth.

Seeing her children grow, she can only afford to send them to public school. Sending them to college she thought, was a “far-fetched” dream.

“Swerte-swerte ang kinabuhi. Nag tuo ko kanunay nga ang akong swerte naa gayud sa negosyo,” said Sevelina, who now owns a small property for rent, and three room-for-rent, and a permanent store of basic commodities and barbecue, out from P500 capital in 1994.

The “Inday Bels” Sari-Sari Store, and barbeque stall located barangay Labogon, Mandaue City, afforded Sevelina to send her eldest daughter, Cheryl to college, now a licensed nurse working abroad. Her second daughter Mary Shiela is also getting a nursing course, while the youngest, Nerissa May is currently taking up education course.

She said being in business is making her “happy”, and she could not imagine herself doing another thing. “Ganahan ra ko sa akong gibuhat karon. Naay pressure, pero happy rako,” she said adding that she is determined to grow her business more, whether into real estate or expanding her Sari-Sari Store.

She is also willing to share her “success story” to women, who, like her in the past, struggled from self-worth, and financial difficulties. She said “losing hope” is a dead-end. As long as there is strength, and will-power opportunities will come easily.

Sevelina is truly a mirror of a successful, yet ordinary woman-entrepreneur, whose main capital is not the amount of money, but the main ingredient to her fulfillment is her positive outlook towards life, perseverance, hard-work, and fierce devotion to what she does.  (FREEMAN)

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