How ex-farmer became rich with 'nata de frutas'

Posted at 01/25/14 8:55 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A former farmer is now earning millions by selling fruit juices and “nata de fruta,” or fruit-flavored jelly made from coconut water.

The 66-year-old Quirino Cruz now owns a mansion and hectares of land in Bulacan, but he said life hasn’t always been comfortable.

Because of the lack of finances, Cruz failed to graduate elementary and only finished fourth grade.

“Ako ‘yung batang pasaway, hindi ako nakapag-aral at ulila ako sa ina,” he said on “My Puhunan.”

Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

Despite being challenged in reading and writing skills, Cruz aspired to be an entrepreneur and began selling junk and scrap metal.

His first foray into entrepreneurship was unsuccessful, but this did not stop him from reaching his goal of providing for his family.

Through the help of his chemist sister-in-law, Cruz ventured into producing fruit juices. He borrowed P35,000 to start his business.

“Nag-umpisa kami sa kaldero tapos mga chiller, timba timba lang gamit namin,” he shared.

From juices, his business expanded to the distribution of nata de fruta and ingredients of halo-halo like nata de coco, kaong, langka, monggo, and macapuno.

Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

His small business with 100 employees now earns millions and packs 14,000 sachets of nata de fruta daily.

He was also able to branch out into a trucking and packing business.

Aside from his businesses, Cruz is also a proud owner of a poultry and piggery farm in his estate.

Cruz attributes his success to his hard work and determination to help not only his family, but his community in Bulacan.

“Galing tayo sa hirap pero nagsikap talaga ako kasi para sa pamilya at para sa mga taong katulong namin sa hanapbuhay,” he said.