“Beating the odds: Winning over difficulties through Christ”
A human life is like a song. Just like every song our life has its unique tunes. It may be soft, may be loud and jumpy, and sometimes disturbing. Our life also has its own rhythm; it may be fast or slow, upbeat or serene. But most importantly, every song has a wonderful story that conveys a meaningful message in the lyrics. Songs become more interesting and pleasant to hear when played with accompanying instruments. Just like a person’s life which becomes more meaningful when shared with loved ones, community and especially with God. This is very much related to the story of Angelita Dagoc, 60 years old and a resident of Abuno, Pajac, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu. The Dagoc family is religious, happy and persevering in spite of the challenges they face. Angelita has three children. The eldest is 28 year-old daughter with Down’s syndrome. The second is a graduate of Information Technology while the youngest is currently in grade 10. Angelita claims that rearing a child with a special condition is not easy. There are joyful times but she doesn’t deny the fact that her child is moody and her tantrums will not cease until her wants are satisfied. Nevertheless, she considers her child a blessing to her by the Almighty and the gift that motivates her to keep going on and determined to attain success not only for herself but for her family. Mr. and Mrs. Dagoc put up a lumber business right after their marriage in 1988. The business also sold home furniture and home decors. The couple was generous enough to let their clients buy their products on a pay later scheme. However, the business did not last long after their supplier took a big sum of money as cash advance and never returned to supply their shop. Even their valued clients betrayed them. They never came back to settle their remaining accounts that led to the downfall of the business. With a savings of P50, 000.00, the couple thought of something to make use of it productively. Fernando, the husband, then decided to be the third Dagoc’s Generation of guitar makers. With the cash on hand and two workers, “Ferangeli Guitar” was established in January 1998. Their guitars are made of the Philippines national tree, “narra” and locally supplied from Cebu City under Cebu Enterprises. The name Ferangeli is the combination of Mr. Fernando and Mrs. Angelita’s name and is also the name of their first born. Few years after, the business was able to employ more workers but is still striving to stay afloat because of some difficulties. One of her problem is that most of her guitar makers and painters are married and they constantly ask for cash advances especially on Wednesdays. Sometimes, the wives go to the store and also borrow money on the same day that made Angelita wonder why most of them borrow during Wednesdays. At first, she thought that, maybe, they need the money to for their daily needs and other necessities but she later on discovered that her employees are members of the TSKI Organization and make payments on Wednesday. A Field Coordinator of TSKI came to her store to transact some business with her employees and she got interested with the program after listening to him. After knowing about TSKI and proper orientation, she decided to become a member of OKEY Loan program and availed bigger amounts which she used as additional capital for business. After some time, Angelita and Fernando decided to diversify. With the loan she put up a little store selling mainly souvenir items while her husband availed a loan under the same program to add a substantial amount for producing guitars. The couple is consistently active in the program and has a good payment record. Angelita sells souvenir items such as ukulele, wood workings and many more. A problem she encounters however is that the sales of their items are not consistent. For one thing demand for guitars is only seasonal. Luckily, her son who is a graduate of Information Technology made an advertisement, website and other online transactions that made them visible to the public. Ferangeli became known to the Asian countries. At first, they only supplied Davao, Cagayan, Manila and Bohol but at present, their business is able to reach Hawaii, Fiji and Tahiti. Also. Ferangeli Guitars was chosen by the Department of Trade and Industry to avail trainings and seminars to represent Region 7. Because of the success in business, they were able to buy a Multicab, Motorcycle and Computer last 2013 that became a great help in transporting their products and communicating with their valued clients. Ferangeli can approximately reach an annual sale of two million pesos profiting more or less one million pesos, in which 40% of which is re-invested in the business while 60% is saved for the educational, medical and other needs of her family. If songs have titles, Dagoc’s story of struggle, challenges and survival would also have one. Just like a song that has a central point in which the lyrics dances through, for this Family of faith, strength and character; it would be God as the center and “BEATING THE ODDS: WINNING OVER DIFFICULTIES THROUGH CHRIST“would be its title. The family is a God-fearing and devoted one. During Sundays, the family attends masses and Ferangeli is always present. Despite the condition of her child, Angelita is confident that her family will be able to fight all the challenges that come their way. They know that God will never allow problems that they could not handle as a family. They believe that with God all will be well and that His plan will always be for their good.