“Aw-awanak met lang, from the start per dia- ak” (I started from nothing, zero, I started on per day basis). Dona humbly admits that she started from zero, before reaping the success that she has now. She continues, “Although I tried to work for an NGO before, pay is still very little. Here in La Trinidad we live on vegetable trade, vegetables are mostly our source of income, so I might just as well do business in vegetable trading. Although sometimes we lose, the vegetable price changes almost every hour, typhoons come and damage the farmers’ vegetables, we expect a lot would be arriving but only few would arrive, and sometimes it’s all good, the weather is fine, the vegetable is good but the price is just low. However, we still strive, that’s why we need to be focused and hands on when you are in this business, she confides.“
She now owns a stall at La Trinidad Vegetable Trading post and has been in the business of vegetable trade for more than 10 years. She is very hands-on when it comes to her business and by virtue of her diligence she has acquired a Tamaraw FX, a truck, a house and lot and has expanded trade to Urdaneta, Pangasinan.
Mrs. Donabel “Dona” Albino, is one of the most valued clients of Jaime V. Ongpin Microfinance Foundation Inc. She started in 2005 with an initial loan of 5,000 pesos. She spent her first 5,000 pesos to buy vegetables for re-selling. From her initial loan she now reached her 29th cycle of 79,000. She is one of the few clients who unfailingly met payment dues.
She is a role model, not only because she handles her financial obligations well but because she knows how to extend help to others. She has been financing small-time farmers, assisting those who are affected by typhoons by providing additional capital. She extends help to children of farmers studying in the city – provides for their tuition and other needs when the farmer still can’t send them money since harvest is still a few months away. In turn, these farmers sell to her their produce and pay her when they are able to. She also employs four people in her stall at trading post and another two at Urdaneta.
She dreams of expanding her business someday, by looking into different outlets and acquiring another stall for vegetable trading at Nueva Vizcaya.