Carving Small Dreams Into Big Success
At the age of 15, Maricel Quiap of Baler, Aurora got married to Bernard Quiap. Their early marriage gave many challenges to them.

To earn for a living, the couple turned into fish and bread vending. She recalls, "My husband and I worked together. We helped each other for survival. I vend fishes while he sells bread."

Noting the determination of the young couple, Bernard's father gave him an old 'tistisan' and a chance to start-up a business that offers wood cutting services. In 2000, the business yielded a meager monthly net income of P3,000.

Their willingness to improve the business sent Mace to Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. office in Baler and became a client in 2003. She availed her first loan of P5,000 and purchased woods to be used for her business- a furniture making offering wide array of furniture from chairs, tables, sala sets, dining sets, cabinets, beds and custom-made doors, door frames and window frames.

After a year round hard work, the business grew and they were able to acquire high-end equipment for their shop. "It was in 2004 when we had our unexpected blessings which we shared with others," Mace said.

Earning P50,000 on a monthly basis and with the help of two workers, she was able to put up a computer shop with nine units of computer, a two boarding house with six rooms and four lots at 200 square meters each, to name a few.

"We really strive hard to provide for our needs; to have food on our table, to have a comfortable bed at night and a place that we can call home. We are thankful that we are now reaping what we have sowed," Mace proudly shares.

Aside from being a hard working wife, Mace is a loving mother to her three children. She wants only the best for her kids and for their future. "They are the reason of my existence. I worked hard for them, to provide them with good education which I never had when I was a kid," shares Mace.

Mace was deprived with good education as a child but she never gave up her dreams. Even at the age of 34, Mace pursued her high school and she is currently taking up Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.
"I really want to educate myself because I know how to be an uneducated.

Whenever my children ask me with their school home works and I cannot answer them back, I cannot help myself but cry," Mace relates.

With all the hardship she has been through, Mace remains tougher and never backed down. Instead, she took it positively.

Mace's persistence never wavered. Her business plans led her to succeed. Aside from the main businesses, she plans for house extension to be converted into a computer shop. Souvenir shop is also one of the projects the couple wants to achieve this year. The remaining three lots she acquired is ready to be a rental boarding house provided for the students within the community. "I am truly blessed by the Lord who gave me the grace and blessings," Mace said.

She is also thankful to ASKI for helping her in growing the business and in developing her spiritual being. "I owe everything to ASKI who helped me financially and spiritually. Because of ASKI, I was able to learn everything about my business through the trainings they are providing. I was also given a chance to become an inspiration to my co-ASKI clients through the awards given to me by the various award giving bodies," she said.

Asked what advice she can give to others like her, "As an entrepreneur, one must stay strong, never give up easily and should have a good relationship with other people," says Mace.

For this exemplary couple business tandem, Mace and Bernard were awarded the Outstanding Partnership of a Husband and Wife in Business in the Microentrepreneur of the Year award in 2007. This special citation was the first award given by MOTY organizers.

Mace and Bernardís tandem is a business founded on teamwork, discipline, determination, and goodwill that brought them to success.
"We really strive hard to provide for our needs; to have food on our table, to have a comfortable bed at night and a place that we can call home. We are thankful that we are now reaping what we have sowed"
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