How buko tarts helped housewife become a millionaire
MANILA, Philippines - Meet Virgie Malipol, a housewife who made her fortune making and selling buko pies and tarts in Tagaytay.
On ABS-CBN's "My Puhunan," Malipol, owner of "Amira's Buko Tarts", shared her journey that began from her very own kitchen.
Malipol was only 23 when she married and started a family of her own. She was urged by her husband, because of her wish to take care of their first child, to stay in Tagaytay while he worked at Olongapo.
"Gusto ko hands-on ako sa anak ko kasi first baby yan eh. Pero ayaw ko naman din na nasa bahay ako at walang ginagawa," she told ABS-CBN's Karen Davila.
So Malipol started sneaking off to baking classes, slowly learning what she needed to in order to start a business with pastries.
To start off, she made "ensaymada" and donuts that she would then sell to her mother, who had a store back then.
"Gabi-gabi talaga akong puyat," she admitted.
But Malipol, determined to raise her family out of poverty, started baking more, even coming up with her own recipe for the buko pie, which Tagaytay was famous for.
And the success of her buko pie paved the way for her children's education.
"Doon sila pumasok sa mga magagandang eskwelahan ayon sa aking mga pangarap. Pero pag pumapasok sila, may dala-dala silang paninda sa mga canteen at yun ang naging tuition nila para sa buong taon," Malipol said.
Her first store
Due to demand from customers, Malipol decided to open her first store, and from then on, never looked back.
"Noong time na yoon, order-order lang," she said.
"Nakikita ko nang pataas ng pataas ang mga sales. Ngayon 5,000, nagiging 10,000 tapos 20,000. Hindi siya bumababa noong panahon na yoon pero ang naisip ko lang talaga ay mag-ipon. Para naman ang aking mga anak, maging maginhawa," Malipol added.
Today, Malipol now has a total of 3 stores, a restaurant named "The Banquet" and a mansion house in Tagaytay, a far cry from her humble beginnings that saw them living in a squatters area.
"Pag mahirap ka hindi ka kasali...Pag mayaman ka, in ka. Ganyan yung tumanim sa utak ko," she said.
Back when they first started, Malipol was making around 200 pieces of buko tarts per day. Now, Amira's is selling more than 3,000 pieces every day.
"Kung ano yung talent mo, ano yung gusto mong gawin, yoon ang gawin mong negosyo," she said.
Malipol also said, having experienced poverty first hand, that she wanted to help people who shared the same struggle she did.
So Davila, as part of My Puhunan, took Malipol to meet Gina Rabi, a widow with 2 kids.
Rabi, ever since her husband died, struggled to find a way out of poverty, plunging deeper into debt as days pass by.
She even tried to put up a bakery with the money she got from selling her house, but failed because her employees kept stealing from them. She decided to close shop.
Rabi told Davila that she wanted to give up on life.
"Maski sampung piso, hindi ka makautang dito. Magka-miracle sana," Rabi said.
And unlike most wishes that fall on deaf ears, Rabi's was heard.
Malipol gave her sacks of flour and cash to help jump start her bakery again. She even taught Malipol how to bake "pandesal" and ensaymada.
"Wag kayong mawawalan ng pag-asa. Hangga't malakas pa tayo, may magagawa tayo," Malipol told Rabi.
But having heard Rabi's story, Malipol also told Rabi to be more hands-on with her business.
"Pag may ginagawa mga tao mo, dapat nandoon ka din eh. Hindi pwedeng papabayaan mo sila sa gusto nilang gawin," she added.
"Dapat may alam ka rin sa kanilang ginagawa para kahit iwan ka nila, kaya mo pa ring gawin. Wag ka magsisimula ng hindi mo alam ang pagsisimulan mo," Malipol advised.
Rabi, with a wide smile on her face, told Davila, "parang mas nakikita ko na ngayon na aasenso ako."