“Nag-umpisa po ako sa maliit na puhunan, sa patingi tinging pagbebenta hanggang sa unti unti ko pong napatayo itong pinangarap kong tindahan.”


This is how Amerissa Puyat, a mother of three children, married to Michael Puyat started to share her life-changing story. Her family is currently residing at barangay Sinnamar Norte, San Mateo, Isabela. She is an active parent leader of Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program under Set 5.

Way back 2003, during her pregnancy on her third child; the drive to take a leap for a better life came to pass as she decided to venture into a small business. During that time, her husband’s income as a bus driver of Astro Liner is not enough to suffice their daily needs, she pondered on ways to cope with their current situation and meet the necessities of her pregnancy.

With a starting capital of P 3,000.00 borrowed from the employer of her husband as an advance salary, she started a sari-sari store comprising of basic items such as sugar, lard, salt, condiments and the like. As she is determined to expand her sari-sari store, she set aside a portion of her income as her savings for capital build-up. After 2 years of fortitude and positive attitude towards life, she was able to raise additional capital for her sari-sari store.

Life is not always a bed of feathers as it was on 2006 that her husband lost his job. This unexpected event almost shook her faith. Instead of dwelling on the negative side of life, she opted to make the best out of the worst and strived harder to improve her means of living. After a challenging year, fortunately her husband was able to land a job as a bus driver in the same company.

Through the years, as a fruit of her labor, she was able to improve their house, acquire some basic household appliances such as small television and a refrigerator for her sari-sari store, put up a loading station and ventured on rice retailing.

When she became member of SEA-K, the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the DSWD equipped her with new strategies. Through the social preparation and capacity building activities that she undertook, she was able to grasp further knowledge and skills in sustaining and improving her current business. Most of all, she felt empowered as she and her group will about to venture on vegetable production.

Aling Amerissa dreams that someday her small store of hope will transform into an enterprise of success. She knows that it is a long way to go and that trials and hindrances may come along her way but with great determination and a strong will, she knows that she can make it happen soon. ### By: MELISEN A. TAQUIQUI, PDO II, San Mateo, Isabela