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Candles for Success

Candles are often symbols of prayers. A lit candle signifies that our prayers will reach the Supreme Being as we offer Him our faith and we let Him know the deepest desires of our hearts. Quite literally, candles brought success to one family in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Praides Donio works as a candle delivery man who distributes candles to different stores in the municipality of Buug and other nearby towns. In the morning, he gets up early to deliver the candles on time and finish all deliveries by the end of the day. At night, he returns home with a minimal remuneration for his whole day work. The only consolation he gets is seeing his wife and only child as he calls the night. As early as now, Praides and his wife, Neresa, already worries for their child’s college education. It is their biggest concern since the program, 4Ps, to which they belong does not cover tertiary education. It is when they knew they had to do something.

One day, an opportunity came, his employer left to another town and left two sacks of paraffin wax that they use to make candles. As per the Social Worker in-charged of his family, Faith Mag-aso, they could use this as an opportunity to start a candle business. After all, Praides has already acquired the skills in candle making and Neresa has knowledge in handling finances from attending Financial Literacy programs during Family Development Sessions (FDS).

The idea lit up their hope. If this will work, they might just have a strong foundation that would support them as they try to stand on their own. They took the advice and talked to the employer if they can use the paraffin wax to start a venture. Fortunately, the employer agreed to it and allowed them to use it and pay when profit rolls in.

From the two sacks of paraffin wax, they were able to gain 15,000 pesos from which 10,000 was deducted and returned to the former employer. The remaining 5,000 was used as return capital for their business. Every profit is rolled back in to the business as additional capital. Gradually, they started earning big amounts that sustained their daily necessities. Today, the business runs for seven years already and counting. Approximately, they earn anywhere from 6,000 to 16,000 pesos net per week. The former candle delivery man is now an owner of a business and he now hired someone else to work for him as a delivery man.

They renovated their house to a sturdier one that is made of concrete and strong materials. They also acquired several appliances and motorcycle units, a few of which are used in their business. 

Since then, the business expanded to a few other ventures. As a passive income-generating strategy, the couple decided to purchase a billiard table which the neighbors pay for when they want to play. They also opened a sari-sari store as another source of income. Truly, they have maximized every opportunity there is to get out of poverty.

With action, our prayers will truly yield answers. The take-away message that the Donio family wants to convey is that prayers need to be accompanied by real action. No matter how many candles you light up, if you do not work for it, your prayers will just vanish along with the smoke that your candles produce. 

This post was written by:

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