Filipinos are used to celebrating milestones together as a family or as a community but due to health protocols during the pandemic, a lot of these celebrations were disallowed or limited to a gathering of a few people. Consequently, businesses that capitalize on these celebrations struggled.

Mang Jose Graphics-Borongan, a shop owned by Edilberto Cardona, Jr., is popular among schools and offices in Eastern Samar as a designer and supplier of office uniforms, customized items, and sports jersey.

 

May mga graphic designers at artists ako kaya bawat produkto or order sa amin ay sinisugurado naming na personalized at walang katulad. Kaya sa amin ulit bumabalik ang amin mga naging customers,” he said.

 

Edilberto also shared how some of his big projects were cancelled as a result of the community quarantine. “May malaking order sana kami para sa Eastern Samar Basketball League na di na natuloy ng dahil sa pandemya. Kami sana ang gagawa ng mga uniforms ng mga players,” he added.

 

The abrupt cancellation of the project coupled with the increasing overhead costs challenged Edilberto to find other ways to supplement his shop’s income.

 

Naisip ko wala ng magpapagawa ng jerseys ngayon kaya dapat magkaron ako ng kapalit na produkto. Sinubukan kong gumawa ng face mask at uniform ng health workers para magkaroon ng ibang mapagkukunan ng pampasweldo sa mga tao ko,” he added.

 

On the lookout for additional funding to sustain his new business venture, a friend recommended the Bayanihan CARES program.

 

“P3 beneficiary din ako ng SBCorp kaya medyo alam ko kung paano mag-apply ng loan sa kanila. Malaking tulong talaga yung nakuha kong loan.”

 

Now with more stable operations, Edilberto was also able to settle other expenses that accumulated during the community quarantine.

 

Ang pinakamahalaga ay nakapagbayad ako ng sweldo ng mga tao at napabalik ko na din yung mga tao ko na naka-floating. Ngayon unti-unti nang bumabalik ang mga dati naming customers. Maaaring di pa tulad ng dati pero sigurado akong nakakabalik din ang lahat sa dati.”