Mrs. Maria Gloria Guifaya of Maria’s Native Bibingka

With enthusiasm and pleasure, Mrs. Maria Gloria Guifaya of Maria’s Native Bibingka shared her success story on putting up her native rice cake business locally known as “bibingka” using a small amount of capital and conventional oven.

Also known as “Aling Maria” by her clients, Mrs. Guifaya has been leading their family business since 1995. With an initial capital of ₱50.00, she was able to purchase glutinous rice, sugar, and coconut as ingredients for bibingka. Her cooking materials back then were only firewood and clay oven, which was inherited from her mother. Moreover, the firm was then located in a distant area from the road system which was barely accessible to prospect clients, thus it mainly catered their neighborhood. These limitations did not hinder them to pursue the business, rather these became their inspirations to aim higher and strive harder each day.

Years passed, Aling Maria was then introduced to DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). Skeptic at first, Aling Maria later took the courage to extend her willingness to utilize DOST’s assistance which enabled her to acquire upgraded baking equipment and tools which lead to the improvement of the firm’s production. DOST also provided series of Trainings and Seminars, assistance in Packaging and Labeling, and Consultancy for Agricultural and Manufacturing Productivity Improvement (CAMPI). Aling Maria expressed her eagerness to learn and considered suggestions in improving her firm. She developed the habit of attending seminars and trade fairs because she considers these as avenues for learning and development. She also acknowledges the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Agriculture (DA) for allowing her to participate in such activities.

Later on, they were able to transfer in a strategic location beside Naguilian bridge and invested on a more attractive display area and improved production center. This location has also paved the way for an increased product promotion since this has been the access road of travelers within Luzon.

Through her hard work, perseverance, and goal of improvement of life status, she attained a continuous increase in sales and a drastic increase in demand. She was also able to link with other food producers and catered these food products, seizing the opportunity of being a pasalubong center-like display and selling area. And with her exceptional entrepreneurial skills, Aling Maria was awarded as Outstanding Agricultural Entrepreneur for Cagayan Valley Region in the recently concluded Gawad Saka 2017 Search for Outstanding Agricultural Achievers,.

To date, Maria’s Native Bibingka has been well-known for serving delicious, fresh, and affordable bibingka. With its soft and chewy texture, along with its sweet and tasty toppings which consist of sugar, caramelized coconut milk, and cheese, this has been an all-time favorite pasalubong from Naguilian, Isabela.

With Aling Maria’s success, she never fails to look back as to how she started the business with her family and how the business developed in the succeeding years. She recognizes the organizations and people who made an impact in her business, especially the government agencies, and hopes that other entrepreneurs realize that these agencies can be their key in their entrepreneurial journey. Aling Maria continues to touch lives with her unwavering humility and inspire others with her remarkable story of success.

 

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