“A Mother’s way…”
“Mabait sa tao, may tiwala sa sarili at may word of honor,” these are the guiding principles of fifty two - year -old Elsa Maglasang Leyses of Calinan, Davao City. Being the fifth among ten children, Elsa has been exposed to life’s challenges and difficulties. During her childhood days, her mother was a wholesaler of corn, rice and coffee and she used to help her during school holidays and weekends. She learned early on that having a business somehow shielded them from the dire conditions which poverty brings. Elsa married Rico in 1983. After two years of marriage, Rico decided to work abroad for a greener pasture. When he arrived home in 1998 the couple decided to put up a dried fish and vegetable business in Diwalwal, a mining area in Mongkayok, Compostella Valley Province. Business was good. Their four children stayed behind in Davao City because they were enrolled in schools there. Monitoring and guidance of their children was a problem while they were away from them. The couple decided to come back to Davao City in 2007 because their eldest child stopped schooling. Life after Diwalwal became hard. “Minsan mahina ang kita, mahal ang bigas. Madaling araw pa lang pumipila na kami sa NFA. ” Her four children are all boys so their rice consumption is huge. “Ang bahaw ng kapitbahay ay nirerecycle ko para dumami ang kanin namin,” she recall. Despite the challenges Elsa and Rico never gave up. The couple never stopped finding ways to provide for the needs of their family. Elsa was able to get a consignment deal with the canteen of Teacher’s Village in Calinan. There she sells puto cheese and banana cue which really indeed a great help for her family. In 2012, she managed the Ukay-ukay business of her sister. A little later, however her sister decided to end the business. It was an opportune time for Elsa as her second son was already working abroad. He gave her a capital of Twenty Thousand pesos which Elsa used to buy the existing stocks and so continued the business. After learning about TSKI, Elsa did not hesitate to avail a loan. She was indeed thankful because it is the Lord’s answer to her prayers for more capital. Elsa was able to add stocks to the Ukay store. She also vends RTW from Jeda to the employees of establishments nearby. Through the business she was able to send her children to college and help her eldest son’s family. She was also able to buy equipment for the store and technological devices to aid in the schooling of her children. During December, Elsa shares her blessings. She gives out the unsold items in their store. She goes to a village in Marikumkom for gift giving. Her husband partners with her in this undertaking. Her present 7th cycle loan amounting to Fifty Thousand Pesos was used to buy additional goods for the Ukay store. They also opened a stall at the vegetable section of Calinan Market. “Kailangan kapag may utang, ayusin ang pagbayad. Dahil iyan ang susi para makaulit sa character loan.” Elsa abides by this dictum.