How ex-house helper became rich by selling candles
MANILA – A former house helper and tailor was able to buy a 3-storey home and put her children through college by manufacturing and selling candles.
On ABS-CBN’s “My Puhunan,” Alice Alonzo said she started her candle business with a capital of P35,000, which she was able to save through tailoring.
|Eastern Candles owner Alice Alonzo. Photo from My Puhunan's Facebook page|
“Naka-ipon ako ng P35,000. ‘Yung patubog lang muna, tapos ‘yung mga kapatid ko itutubog ang kandila, pinuputol naman ng mister ko ng tamang sukat tapos tinatasahan namin,” she said.
What started as a small family business became Eastern Candles, which now produces 3,000 candles daily. Eastern Candles are manufactured in a factory in Morong, Rizal.
“Noong nag-umpisa ako dito, ang bubong lona lang,” Alonzo said.
Using machines made from recycled parts and materials from junk shops, Alonzo is able to show Filipino ingenuity through unique candle designs.
Alonzo shared that plain candles made for P35 can be sold for P50 to P60 each, while colored candles made for P40 can be sold for P80 to P100 each.
Some candles are also customized into various shapes and designs.
|Photo from My Puhunan's Facebook page|
Alonzo, who hails from Sorsogon, said she draws inspiration from her days of being a house helper.
“Nag-umpisa ako sa pagiging katulong, so naranasan ko ‘yung na-insulto. Pero gaya ng isang kandila, nagliwanag ako. ‘Yun siguro ang [inspirasyon] ko na habang sinisindihan ko ang kandila, nakikita ko ang sarili ko na nag-umpisa sa madilim na buhay na nagugutom tapos ngayon maliwanag na siya,” she said.
She hopes to inspire other women who are struggling in their lives, noting that dreams can be attained through hard work, patience and kindness.
“Ang buhay ko ngayon ay dapat tingalain ng mga nanay na reklamo ng reklamo, magsumikap lang sila. Ako pinagdaanan ko pero hindi ako nagreklamo basta alam kong may pangarap ako,” said Alonzo.
“Hindi kayo dapat mawalan ng pag-asa, sabi nga weather weather lang. Magsumikap lang sila basta ilagay lang nila sa sarili nila ‘yung huwag aapak ng kapwa. Paghirapan nila ang lahat ng kikitain nila at alam ko may biyaya ang Diyos na ibibigay sa kanila,” she added.
To share her skills in candle-making, Alonzo met a caretaker from Manila North Cemetery, Jessie Villanueva, through “My Puhunan.”
Alonzo taught Villanueva techniques, and provided him with candle molds, wicks, and 28 kilos of wax, which can make around 500 candles. From these, Villanueva can earn as much as P7,500.