“Follow the instructions but stray when you need to; a failure is an option and a learning experience; do not be afraid to try something new and difficult…” These are some reminders that Raquel H. Mamaril was enumerating while demonstrating how she does her business production. Reminders that sooner became a guide of living her life, a perfect metaphor of her craft—baking.

While others bake to relieve stress, to unwind, or just to express themselves, Raquel does it to help her family get through their day-to-day expenses. Not to mention that she is the only one supporting her family now that her husband needs medical maintenance and cannot manage to help her provide for their four children’s educational needs.

Using her small oven, she can bake a minimum of four cakes and brownies a day which she sells around her neighborhood. Though her products were loved by many customers, the number of pastries that she could produce has been limited by the capacity of her poor small oven. So, when she heard about the program of DSWD SLP, she immediately submitted the requirements for her application. And since that day, she has never missed to pray and hope that sooner she will be qualified.

This hope soared when she was validated and assessed for livelihood assistance. Finally, her prayers and hopes were realized in April 2021. She got her seed capital fund amounting to Php 15,000.00, which she used as an investment for her baking business. She bought a new oven that could carry a bigger capacity of pastries to mass-produce. From four cakes and brownies a day to twenty pieces of cakes, not including the brownies and banana cakes, undeniably, her baking business has thrived fruitfully.

Since she had received the livelihood assistance, her sales drastically increased. Her baked goods have grown in popularity among her neighborhood and community, all thanks to her energy-efficient oven. If not for it, she will not be able to increase the production of her business. Obtaining the livelihood assistance marked a turning point in her life not just because of her business’ increase in production but also because of the additional customers it brought who order a personalized cake on every important occasion.

With her sufficient continuous income, providing for her husband’s medical maintenance, her children’s educational needs, and other daily expenses and bills is no longer a struggle. Now, she could even save at least Php 500.00 a week depending on her weekly income. Her business has given her a stable source of income despite the pandemic. As her baking production continues to increase and progress, she lets her children learn and be of help to her.

Raquel is thankful to DSWD SLP for when things seem to fall apart, its aid has been her courage. And just like the cakes and pastries she has been enjoyingly baking, her life experiences have gone from half-baked and sometimes even burnt. But at the end of painstakingly learning from her mistakes, she finally gets what she wants, a perfectly baked good life.

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