2002 Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards: Profile of Winners


National Citibank Microentrepreneur of the Year

Mrs. Josephine Alima

Address:  La Paz, Cabatuan, Isabela
MFI: First Isabela Cooperative Bank, Inc. (FICO Bank)
Business: Peanut biscuit making

Josephine Alima manufactures Alima Peanut Biscuits in Isabela and sells them in nearby provinces.  When Josephine began baking the cookies in year 2000, she had no employees and just rented an oven in a nearby bakery.  Today, Alima Peanut Biscuits are manufactured in a complete mini-bakery operation that employs over two dozen workers.


Luzon Citibank Microentrepreneur of the Year

Mrs. Lucila Cruzada

Address:  Nasugbu, Batangas
MFI:  TSPI Development Corporation
Business:  Wholesaling/retailing of house clothes

Lucila Cruzada makes and retails house clothes in Nasugbu, Batangas.  She began her business when her husband was taken ill and could no longer work.  What began as a buy and sell operation eventually grew into a small clothing manufacturing enterprise that provides employment to more than 10 people.  Lucila’s careful attention to the quality of her products has paid off.

Luzon Runner-Up

Mrs. Juanita Aquino

Address:  #52 De Regla Compound, Karuhatan, Valenzuela City
MFI:  Opportunity Microfinance Bank (OMB)
Business:  Gloves making

Cotton recycling and glove-making are Juanita Aquino’s main businesses.  Aided by a loan from Opportunity Microfinance Bank, Juanita’s ventures are thriving.  Not only has she improved her family’s financial situation, but she has also been able to create a small cotton recycling industry in their area that provides employment to her neighbors.


Visayas Citibank Microentrepreneur of the Year

Mrs. Emma Morales

Address:  Bigallon St., Manapla Proper, Negros Occidental
MFI:  Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc.
Business:  Sari-sari store, hog raising, motorcycle shop

Emma Morales and her husband used to be farm hands in Manapla, Negros Occidental, each earning only P8.00 a day.  Determined to pull her family out of poverty, Emma opened a small convenience store in her home.  With the help of Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Emma’s small convenience store has expanded and moved to a prime location on a main road.  Emma has purchased the lot where her store stands and has put up an eatery and a motorcycle shop.


Visayas Runner-Up

Mrs. Emilia Montinola

Address:  San Carlos Public Market, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental
MFI:  New Rural Bank of Victorias, Inc.
Business:  Wholesaling/retailing of vegetables

Emilia Montinola is a vegetable wholesaler and retailer in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.  When she began her vegetable venture, she sold her wares on the pavement.  Loans from the Rural Bank of Victorias helped expand the enterprise.  She has three stalls in the public market.  She also has a truck that allows her to bring vegetables to nearby towns where she sells them wholesale.

Mindanao Citibank Microentrepreneur of the Year

Mrs. Ponciana Escuadro

Address:  Polomolok, South Cotabato
MFI:  Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay, Inc.
Business:  Manufacturing of nata de coco

Ponciana Escuadro is a nata de coco grower in Polomolok, South Cotabato.  Her high grade nata de coco has met the quality standards of Dole Philippines.  Loans from Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay, Inc. have helped her increase production and meet Dole’s supply requirements.  Ponciana believes in taking care of her employees.  All her employees are paid at least minimum wage, and have SSS and Philhealth coverage.

Mindanao Runner-Up

Mrs. Victoria Lim

Address:  Balilahan, Mabua, Tandag, Surigao del Sur
MFI:  Cantilan Bank, Inc.
Business:  Chicharon and pop rice distributor

Victoria Lim makes snack food items like crispy macaroni and popped rice in Tandag, Surigao del Sur.  Her business has helped her send six children to school.  She sells her products in nearby towns.  With a loan from the Cantilan Bank, she has been able to buy the lot where her shop stands, and a truck for making deliveries.


Citi Special Achievement Awardee

Mrs. Felicidad Kalalo

Address:  Brgy. Balian, Pangil, Laguna
MFI: Ahon Sa Hirap, Inc, Inc.
Business: Sewing Show & Piggery Owner, Furniture Manufacturer

Felicidad Kalalo is a prime example of a diversified microentrepreneur. Fely’s first experience as a businesswoman was in 1994, when she operated a small rolling store along the streets of Laguna. Through determination, courage and hard work, and with the help of loans from Ahon Sa Hirap, Inc., Fely now has a sewing shop, a furniture manufacturing business, a piggery and poultry, and two passenger tricycles.