“If it seems like are more financially stable now, it is because my husband and I are hardworking people, trustworthy and have complete trust in God. You cannot just dream it. You have to work for that dream to make it happen,” Leonia shares with a smile. Leonida and her husband, Allan, always knew they’d make their living in the meat industry. After all, their relatives had piggeries, raised poultry and owned meat shops. They started with Allan working in a relative’s meat shop where he earned a weekly salary of PhP300. There he honed his skills till the time they were could afford to buy their first pigs to fatten and sell themselves. Three years after their first Project Dungganon loan release in 1989, they were able to put up their very own meat shop in the town’s pubic market. Addressing their customers’ needs, they began selling carabao (domesticated water buffalo) and cow meat. Savings and loans were used to purchase a tricycle, two used Ford Fiera’s used for deliveries, and a motorcycle. Leonida’s discipline in saving served as a buffer for the couple when Allan met a motorcycle accident in 2006. After a full recovery, the couple continued to grow their business and clientele. They invested in a small sugarcane farm and purchased a 1.5 hectare property to build their home, a far cry from the five square meter shanty they lived in early on in their marriage. Leonida’s long-term goals are building homes for each of her children and seeing to it that they save!

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