Victoleros helping out on their own

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Victoleros helping out on their own
Chito Victolero

MANILA, Philippines — For 18 years, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero and his wife Lore Jean have run a successful sportswear business in their hometown of Sta. Maria, Bulacan, supplying jerseys to teams in the PBA, UAAP, NCAA and PBA D-League, among others. The family outfit is still going strong but in this time of crisis, the Victoleros are transforming their operations into a maker of medical suits and PPEs for health care workers, first responders and frontliners.

“It’s time to give back,” said Victolero who coached Magnolia to the 2018 Governors Cup title and took the Hotshots to the last two Philippine Cup finals. “Grabe ang tulong ng San Miguel Group sa mga nangangailangan sa panahong ito, sina Boss RSA (San Miguel Corp. president Ramon S. Ang) at Boss ECJ (San Miguel Corp. chairman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.) all-out ang suporta nila. Sa family business namin, it’s our small way of helping out. Tigil lahat ng negosyo ngayon kaya oras nang tumulong sa taong-bayan na naghihirap. Hangga’t kaya namin makatulong, tutulong kami. Namimigay din kami ng PPEs sa mga kapitbahay, kaibigan at community.”

Victolero’s outfit is called Chlomars Enterprises. Chlomars stands for Chito, Lore and their first-born Cielo Marie. Among its past and present customers are Magnolia, San Miguel Beer, Alaska, TNT, La Salle, FEU, Marinero, Mapua, JRU, Arellano and San Sebastian. Before the crisis, Chlomars had the capacity of churning out 100 uniforms a day with 50 workers, including 25 to 30 sewers. The workforce also listed cutters and printers. Since the lockdown, Victolero said he’s mobilizing about 10 sewers who live close by and work at home.

So far, Victolero said Chlomars has donated some 100 medical suits and 100 fabric face masks to health care centers and small hospitals around Sta. Maria. PBA commissioner Willie Marcial reached out the other day to order 400 medical gowns in line with the pro league’s campaign to provide essentials to frontliners. Magnolia player Marc Pingris also called to order 25 gowns to give away. Victolero said he’s accepting orders with no profit in mind. “Lahat binibigay namin at cost,” he said. “Non-profit ito, tulong sa kababayan natin. Kulang-kulang mga PPEs at medical suits kaya we thought of making them, using our stock materials. Yung mga PPEs are made of fabric with lining and washable. Medyo hirap kami ngayon sa materials but we’re trying our best to source.”

Victolero said when the PBA decided to suspend the Philippine Cup and all team practices, he brought his family home to Sta. Maria. “Lockdown kaming lahat,” he said. “Paglumabas kami to distribute gowns and PPEs, observe namin health protocols. Wala kaming COVID cases sa Sta. Maria. Ang LGU namin nakatutok sa bayan, tumutulong at ‘di nagpapabaya.” Victolero and his wife are staying safely home with their children Cielo Marie, 18, a first year Industrial Engineering student at La Salle Taft and two boys who study at La Salle Greenhills. “We’re all doing our share to help out,” he said. “Maliit na tulong lang ang kaya namin but we’re doing our best.”

Victolero said he communicates with the Hotshots via their viber group. “Just before Holy Week, kinumusta ko silang lahat,” he said. “Everyone was given a training program to follow at home. Ginagawa nila, yun lang mahirap i-maximize kasi limited ang facilities sa bahay. Alam naman nila ang consequences kung lumaki sila during this lockdown. They’re all professionals. Pag-resume ng season, dapat handa kaming lahat to play 100 percent.”


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