We were assigned to join our site visit for Go Negosyo of the Department of Trade and Industry. We were set to assembly by 7 A.M. so I had to rise up early. I know I'm really usually early, but I have to make it there by 7 A.M. Fortunately, I was able to wake up early, and yes, was able to come to the assembly are, Negosyo Center on time.
We were provided with a Starex Van for the transportation, for free, courtesy of DTI.
Our first stop is in Mananum Bago, Medina, Misamis Oriental. It's MABFARMCO! A cooperative organized by Women in the Barangay. They've been existing since 2001 but was only recently able to start this buko pie making operation.
I got excited when I learned what was their product! I am really a fan of buko pie. I first fell in love with buko pies when my girl friend brought me one from Nueva Ecija, I think? (I hope I'm right). And yeah, it was so yummy! I wanted to eat buko pie more often. But it's not available here in Cagayan de Oro. At least not to my knowledge. So when I was told that our first stop is the place of production of buko pie, there's this exhilarating feeling inside me. Haha!
We arrived at the first destination around a few minutes after ten o'clock in the morning. We actually hungry. As we entered the premises, the women of MABFARMCO are already working on their craft.
|The busy ladies behind the buko pie of MABFARMCO!
We were also welcomed by the Cooperative with the Barangay Captain of Mananum Bag-o.
|The Barangay Captain who has been the father of the Cooperative, providing aid in ways he can to improve the cooperative's operation. He's also there when we had our visit.
My colleagues started the inquisition. They've asked questions regarding the different aspects of operation from the women and from the Barangay Captain. Amazingly, ideas are flowing.
Of course, in every trip, someone has to take pictures, you can see in the photos I captured someone is also, actually, taking pictures. Haha selfies should never be missing in every stop. haha
The inquisition continues, questions here and there, pictures every where, we checked every part of the site. We were also informed, that they follow strict compliance of sanitation, and operational quality control to pass the examination of BFAD so they could also get a wider market once they got certification from the BFAD.
Go on ladies, don't bother us. We'd love watching you prepare your yummy buko pies. We'd love to know how you prepare them.
Of course, it's buko pie. Expect buko! haha this is the first of the process, extracting the buko meat from its shell. These ladies are really wearing their mask while in the operation, to avoid contamination and well, compliance to the requirements.
Someone volunteered to take a picture with me on it. Thanks sir Alvin! You felt the need to volunteer so I could also be seen in the documentation! Haha
Once the buko is extracted, it will be cooked here, with some mixes so it will become the buko filling of the pie. This was not yet cooked, it was just placed in the pan.
These bright minds here are discussing business strategies and processes to improve the cooperative's operation. I am amazed at how they've intricately examined the process and tried to give some inputs on improving their business operation. Well, that's what we are there for. We are consultants, and we ought to give some inputs. Good job guys!
I am also delighted to have seen this. It's simple! Their Vision and Mission!
Let me translate (feeling english expert)
VISION: "A God-fearing community united. Peaceful, progressive, enduring and honestly abiding with the law."
MISSION: "Strengthening the cooperative through constant evaluation by the members. Making projects intended for the growth/development of the cooperative and its members, through the use of latest technologies for an enduring farming and business."
And these are the boxes for their finish products. Medina's choice, Buko Pie!
Making of the dough to be filled with buko. Contains flour and butter! I don't know the mix. But I was told it's made of flour and butter, and I don't know what else. haha
And these are the finish products. These were already chilled. The buko pie tastes better, according to them, when it's chilled. So they want us to experience eating what they're making.
Thanks Ates for the generosity. We've enjoyed your buko pie.
These oven and other equipments are provided by the government through the Department of Trade and Industry. The DTI is looking on other ways to improve and actually provided assistance in procuring for these types of businesses the equipments they needed but that they can't afford to acquire on their own.
|These are the cooked filling of the buko pie.
The ideas of these bright minds couldn't run out. So our guide had to stop the discussion and yeah, we have to head to the next stop.
We left thinking about the pressing concern of this cooperative. They are proud to advertise that their product is 100% no preservatives! However, because of that, their product can only live up to 3 days according to Department of Science and Technology (DOST). But with an insider note, if refrigerated, the product could actually last up to 7 days.
The real issue is, if they want to penetrate a larger market. But to do so, would be to require a product with a longer life. Not just 3 days. Considering that they are far from the City of Cagayan de Oro where malls are thriving.
Hmmm, now I'm still thinking of ways to address the concern..
Our next destination is.....
The next stop! Yes, the handicraft bags, purse, wallets, chair cover, etc.
We've met the dynamic, and full of enthusiasm, 76-year old lady. She ushered us into their home and their facility where they weave, and make their products.
These are some of their products, those are actually by product of the weaving. So nothing will go to waste, they create a bag out of the excess or wastes of the weaving operation.
Some works of art of the owner, very artistic good for decorations and souvenirs.
These are their weaving equipment. Production area.
I also happened to spot their certificates and awards. They've had quite a collection of awards and certificates! Proves to established their brand, their quality, their craft!
And this guy right here, can't stop smiling out of amazement! Or out of being full! Haha we've had unlimited supplies of food. LOL!
Another craft that the artists of this establishment has made.
And these are the output of their weaving. Placemats, table cloth, etc. The hats are inherited from the owner's great great grand parents. This establishment showcases culture and heritage!
Another set of products! And hey, spot the upper part, another collection of certificates and awards!
The ladies can't help but open the collection of designer bags and purses. They really are girls! Bags! Yeah! Girls! haha
And they also can't help but climb up the room of the artist and have a picture taken with these finish products! haha
These are also great boxes, containers, and souvenir items, good for gifts and even give aways during special occasions.
More bags! More products! Classic and modern designs!
And we cannot allow leaving here, without actually seeing how they do it. So a man obliged to demonstrate how to weave. Now we're informed it's not that easy, and this would also explain why these items are priced the way they are priced. But if you buy from this establishment itself, you'd enjoy a discount! Yes, still relatively cheaper!
Even Christmas decoration are hand made! Really amazing business!
Then, we'd have to leave. Oh wait! Just to let you know! We've had our lunch there! Thanks Tita Esme for being so hospitable, we've bothered you a lot! Haha we enjoyed the food! The chicken are just awesome! And the "biko", yeah! It's delicious! Thank you so much!
Our next site is the processing plant of another cooperative in Balingasag. Their products are bottled bangus, boneless bangus, etc. They have a fish processing plant! And it's a bright day, so I can't miss taking a picture of the bright blue sky!
This cooperative is composed of women in Balingasag. They've organized themselves into a Women's Federation and was able to create a cooperative and the cooperative has made a fish processing plant. Isn't that amazing?
As we entered the premises, inside the plant was this lady smiling at us as she was doing her job.
I spotted they have a quality control section. Unfortunately, they were not processing fish that day, so we haven't seen an actual process of deboning the "Bangus" (milk fish). But it's amazing that they are very strict with the facility usage and area. BFAD is imposing so much requirements to ensure the quality of the food they produce.
This was the deboning section. Fish would first enter this area.
And yes, more inquisition happened. They were asking about the process, the product, the ingredients, etc.
See, very enthusiastic inquisition session! What's the matter Mr. Doblas? haha
These are the ingredients. Very basic! Carrots, pepper, I'm not sure what that green one is, and yeah, that is salt, oil and msg.
To finally satisfy our interest of seeing how this delicious bottled bangus are prepared, they've demonstrated how they are going to do the "bottling" of these bangus!
Ate did not know I took a picture of her uniform. Good shirt ate! 🙂
The finish products!
Again, it's good that they have good business practice. Organizational structure is displayed in their premises.
Even their mission and vision! Now it's in english! I don't have to translate it! haha
Next stop! Another bottled fish! Sardines! Yeah! This is in Jasaan!
Alright busy buddies, stop the questioning please! I'm hungry once again! hahaha
I can't focus on the questioning when I can see these food! Banana! "Saging!" Waaaah!
And now I'm drooling! haha Camote! (Sweet Potato!)
The new endorser of the sardines!!Hey there Mr. Doblas!
Look who can't wait to devour the food? haha Atty! Wait! haha
It was on that place where we really really really had enough food! haha I mean yeah, we had "ginamos", "saging", "camote"! Ahhh that was heaven! ahahah Puto was also served, fruits! Soft drinks! What can we ask for? Everything's there! Plus we get to taste their product! Spanish sardines?
After we've once again filled our stomach, we headed for another handicraft site. Interesting designs welcomed us in this room.
I love these designs of lamp. These are the designs of a local artist.
Office wares are also available. Artistic handicraft materials are also displayed. Look at these!
The lamp is just amazing! It's great in a living room. Or even in your room! 🙂 Adds to being romantic?
Yeah guys, I know you have so much questions on mind! Go ahead! Fire! Hahaa
These are the ladies actually making the handicrafts! Good job ladies! Awesome products you have here!
We ended up ordering something. I was even thinking of bringing their product in the city! Hmmm, business idea! haha
Generally, we've observed that the common challenge for these enterprises is that they have encountered incidents when they said "No" to a demand just because they can't produce the required order. It's sad, because that could have been a great sale! That could have been a start of a greater business transaction. These establishments have declined mass orders because their production capacity is insufficient, or their manpower is insufficient. That's common to all these businesses. We have to come up with a recommendation to address this common issue.
So, in sum, I am thanking DTI for allowing me to join this site visit/tour! We've enjoyed so much! A lot of fun! And this site visit/tour has encouraged most of us to also be more entrepreneurial. Think about a business that we'd want to start. And think which of these businesses we'd want to help. Quite an experience! I would love to join another tour in another area again, if given another opportunity! I've learned a lot. A fun-filled day and experience! Great job guys! Go Negosyo! 🙂