Lydia Padua of Polangui, Albay has vegetable buying and selling outlets spread all over the four towns (Oas, Libon, Nabua and Polangui)and Libon City of Albay. She loves every minute spent in the business which typically starts at three o’clock in the morning. “Waking up and being at work before the break of dawn is nothing compared to the many sacrifices I have gone through. I believe that the road to success is paved with many trials and hardships to overcome. But when you reach your destination, you can bask in pure joy that only comes from a journey well-lived,” shares Lydia.
Lydia grew up to a life of trading. Her mother sold vegetables and raised Lydia with income from the business. When she got married and started a family, it was natural for Lydia to turn to vegetable selling to help support the family. Her husband, Joselito, was initially against the idea because he is left to take care of the children when Lydia leaves for the market. The house was filled with anger and heated argument for some time. Joselito relented and accepted the idea when Lydia started to bring a steady flow of earnings from vegetable selling.
Business was moving along and providing enough income for the family until one day when Lydia received the news about Joselito’s accident.
In serious condition, he was treated for a month in the hospital. He recovered but not before Lydia disposed of all the family’s possessions including the house and savings to pay for the medical treatment. In desperate search for business capital, Lydia heard about SEDP from a friend. She borrowed an initial loan of One Thousand Pesos (PhP1,000) and sold plenty of vegetables. Receiving a steady source of additional working capital from loans availed at SEDP, she kept selling vegetables and expanding her reach to other towns and a city over the years.
“Wherever I sell, I develop a loyal following of customers. I give customers my full attention. If there is any complaint about the quality of vegetables, I promptly resolve it to ensure that every customer leaves satisfied,” shares Lydia.
Lydia only allowed herself to be temporarily diverted from vegetable trading to engage in other businesses such as rice farming, and hog and poultry raising. With help from her now supportive husband, higher earnings flow throughout the year from a diversified range of family businesses. Out of these earnings, the couple bought and now live in their own house and lot, one of the seven children has finished college, and there is money being saved for old age and emergencies. Lydia adds, “I sell vegetables to provide a good and adequate life for my family. This is my simple dream. Every night, I thank God for the many blessings that help make my dream come true.”