Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ex-cargador led 10 outstanding Bulacan businessman awards

Ambrosio Cruz, a former cargador in Divisoria

MALOLOS CITY—A former cargador in Divisoria who transformed his town into a first class municipality, and a Business Administration graduate who turned Lugaw Republic into a booming franchise led the 2012 Most Outstanding Bulacan Businessman (MOBB) awards.

Eight others were feted in the awards given by the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here on Tuesday night, February 26.

The awardees are Ambrosio Cruz Jr., the former mayor of Guiguinto town, Bienvenido Cruz Jr., Engineer Francis Miguel, Marcelino Garcia Jr., Leonardo Cruz Jr.,  Gina Estrella, Elvira Dela Rosa, Ervine Pangwi and Ramon and Maura Manuel.

Gigi Simbulan, president of the BCCI said 10 awardees are the province’s emerging business champions.

“All of them are champions, they are now only successful, they are leading, empowering and inspiring,” Simbulan said noting humble beginnings of the awardees.

She said that as a high school and college student, former Mayor Cruz worked as a cargador in Divisoria where his late mother maintained a store to sustain her 10 children.

After graduating from the University of the East, Cruz worked as an assistance chief accountant, then moved to Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation in 1971 where he later became a district manager.

Ten years later, Cruz resigned from Shell and established his own company and returned to Guiguinto, his hometown; and was elected mayor in 1998.

Cruz’s election started the transformation of the town from a fourth class to a first class municipality.

But even before he entered politics, Cruz acquired a 100 hectare property in Barangay Sta. Rita in 1992 and turned it to a first class subdivision with resort and hotel.

For his part, Bienvenido started investing on a franchise in 2005 after working abroad for seven years.

After a year in the franchise system, Bienvenido decided to establish his own franchise and called it the “Lugaw Republic,” which is now know as the “Pambansang  Lugaw” and was given the  Most Outstanding Food Franchise during the 2011 Top Brand awards.

Lugaw Republic now have 128 outlets in Luzon, 12 of which are managed by Bienvenido’s family.

Simbulan also spoke highly of other awardees.

She said that Miguel completed his Computer Engineering course from Adamson University and has worked with telecommunications giants in the country, but in 2005, he started working on multi-level marketing.

In 2005, Miguel established a networking marketing company Alliance in Motion Global Inc, (AIM) Global selling innovate products from the United States.
In 2011, AIM Global achieved P1.3-Billion in sales and further increase it to P1.7-B in 2012.

On the other hands, Garcia tried sending Filipinos to work abroad after the success of his liquefied petroleum gas business.

But the good heart in him bled when real life dramas of his recruited Overseas Filipino Workers in Lebanon unfold before his eyes.

He also learned the social costs of being a parent away from children, and decided to fold up operations of his recruitment agency.
In 2004, Garcia consolidated his assets and invested in four Mini-Stop branches in the province, while expanding his LPG distribution business.

Equally dramatic is the life Estrella whose father died when she was five and live with her mother who cannot read or write.

She struggled to finish college and went to work to Taiwan with her boyfriend.

Years  later they established their cellphone business in Greenhills but was robbed twice.

Estrella returned to her hometown in Balagtas and started her merchandising business.

According to Simbulan, Estrella’s life story and entrepreneurial skills is fit for a tele-serye.

So are the lives of Leonardo Cruz Jr., who formulated Hagibis EF a popular brand with cockfighting aficionados, Elvira Dela Rosa of Mavis Bakery, Ervine Pangwi of Santino Metal Industries,  and Ramon and Maura Manuel of Earjon Garments which directly exporting products to Canada and the United States.  Dino Balabo