Most Filipinos look forward to All Souls’ Day to remember their loved ones who passed on to the next life.
But aside from taking a time off and spend time with his family to do so, Felipe “Banjo” Dianoy Jr. gets ready for All Souls’ Day or Undas for another reason: to earn extra income.
After receiving P2,000 from Valenzuela City Congressman Win Gatchalian’s Angat Kabuhayan Project last Monday, Banjo immediately used the capital to start a small candle-making business.
“Nagulat na lang po ako at binigyan ako ng puhunan. Ang sabi lang po sa akin, ibalik ko lang ‘yung puhunan at lahat ng kikitain, sa akin na po,” Banjo recalled.
Angat Kabuhayan Project is a part of Gatchalian’s livelihood program WinTayo sa Kabuhayan that financially aids residents of Valenzuela City’s first district to expand their small businesses or help them earn extra income.
Banjo has been supporting his family with the salary he makes as part of the maintenance staff in Gatchalian’s district office along MacArthur Highway in Malinta.
While tidying up the rooms in Gatchalian’s Malinta office, the 30-year-old janitor overheard the plan of congressman’s team to hold a Candle-Making Training Seminar last month.
A former worker at a candle-making factory for six months in 2008, Banjo immediately volunteered to be one of the trainers that helped make the workshop happen at the Convention Center on October 9.
He was one of the trainers who taught about 72 members of volunteer group Win Mothers’ Club and residents in Valenzuela City’s first district to make candles.
The veteran lawmaker made him one of the beneficiaries to Angat Kabuhayan Project to thank Banjo for his initiative to share his knowledge and empower others by teaching them how to earn extra income.
“’Yung kinikikita ko lang bilang maintenance, talagang sakto lang sa pangangailangan namin. At least, ngayon may mapagkukuhanan kami at makakapag-ipon pa ako,” Banjo explained.
The 30-year-old janitor couldn’t hide his excitement as his candle-making trade has begun to look promising with a bulk of orders for candles to commemorate All Souls’ Day.
“Nag-umpisa pa lamang ako pero marami nang um-order sa mga kasamahan ko. Magsasabi na rin ako sa mga kapit-bahay ko,” Banjo said.
“Iniisip ko na rin kung paano ko ito mapapalago dahil pagkatapos ng Undas, pwede pa rin akong magbenta ng kandila na pang Pasko naman,” he added. (Camille Nepomuceno)