Lady Reigns In Nipa, Duck Raising Business
Raising nine children was not easy for Zenaida and Teofilo Avellaneda of Baler, Aurora. They knew that to provide for their family needs they must double their efforts and look for other ways to augment their meager income.

Zeny engaged into a beauty product dealership and buy and sell of fruits at the same time. Teofilo, on the other hand, worked as a contractual employee in a government agency and got engaged into hog raising also.

Experiencing the kind of life that they previously had, their children volunteered to help in providing additional income for the family by selling "balot" after their classes.

Still not enough for their daily expenses, the couple also tried securing loans with high interest rates especially in times of urgent need.

In 2003, Zeny decided to try a new business- the buy and sell of nipa (palm roofing). Things went well into Zeny’s business. However, she needed an additional capital for her to purchase more materials. So, she sought the help of Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. in Baler, Aurora.

As she got connected to ASKI, at first she was given P5,000 loan which she used to expand the buy and sell of nipa (palm roof).

The business turned-out to be good. In fact, she was able to secure a regular customers like the Provincial Government of Aurora, Sen. Edgardo J. Angara as well as resort owners in the province. The products were being distributed in cooperatives and poor communities in the province and were used in making cottages.

She earned P10,000 to P15,000 monthly in this profitable venture.

Inspired to earn more, Zeny established a range of diversified businesses including a sari-sari (commodity retail) store and a duck egg production business. She had 455 ducks laying eggs daily.

Together with Teofilo who has joined ASKI too as client of the Alalay sa Magsasaka Program, the couple has succeeded to realize their dream of providing all nine children with continuing education until college.

Five of the nine children have already earned their respective college degrees civil engineering, commerce, food technology, information technology and computer science.

In 2010, more blessings poured on to Zeny as she received the Microentrepreneur of the Year award from Citi. She was given P100,000 cash prize which she invested in duck raising. She now has 1,800 ducks, giving her an average daily eggs of 500.

Zeny’s success in her business gave her the opportunity to be nominated and awarded as the Microentrepreneur of the Year by Citi in 2010.

"All these blessings started to flow when I availed of the loan from ASKI which I used to invest wisely," shares Zeny.

She is quick to add that her relationship with ASKI is not just bound by access to funds but by a deep sense of trust and integrity founded on many years of trials, persistence and successes.

She is not only focused on her business; she also devotes her time in fulfilling her duties as a community health worker.

With her present success, Zeny has continued the construction of their own house since they were living with her mother-in-law. According to Zeny, there are many opportunities around, someone must only take the risk and give their best shot.

It is no doubt that Zeny can achieve her dreams as she is now enjoying the fruits of her hard work. Fearing failure will lead to nothing, risking while praying will turn to good things.
"All these blessings started to flow when I availed of the loan from ASKI which I used to invest wisely"
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