Diana dropped out of school as she had to feed her family as a higher priority. She and her husband raised 2 kids, until her husband left her in mid-life. Running out of options, she tried to grab what was available for her. She got a job in a t-shirt business, sewing and sketching patterns. After 2 years, she worked as a waitress and food handler. While working, she would cook finger foods and sell it to friends and co-workers. Yet money was tight. It couldn’t provide for her kids. She decided to try her luck abroad. She left her 2 kids with a friend in Manila.
Like all overseas Filipino workers, working abroad brought tuition money for Diana’s kids and food on the table. She was able to buy the nicer things in life that she liked while sending some money back home. Looking back, Diana thinks that the nicest experience in her life was the love she received from her employers in Japan. They treated her so well in a way that Diana hadn’t experienced before. It was all good while it lasted. To Diana’s credit, she maintained close communication with her children though far away until she decided to go home for good.
Diana got back to being a waitress while cooking and selling food as a sideline. Her food business provided for her family. She cooked delicious food that attracted many loyal customers. Then it happened. Her daughter started to resent her. Somehow, Diana neglected her. She no longer gave her the time and love that she so desperately wanted from her mother. She learned a valuable lesson during those years. Time spent with her children is worth more than any other.
A friend invited her to Bible study one day. She heard how the sacrificing love of Jesus was a gift for her too. She decided to trust Christ and follow Him. Knowing more about God shifted her perspective, changed her values, and re-oriented her priorities in life.
One day Diana decided to attend a business training being taught by DBA Philippines. In her 50s, she believed that she should keep learning. In class, she learned how to generate new business ideas, how to ensure good cash flow, and how to make more profit. She made a business plan that matches her skills and work experience—cooking and selling food items. She realized that she can make money in ways that can help people and honor God.
Nowadays Diana plans to do packed meals and make food delicacies such as ube jam, achara, etc. The photo above shows her selling hard mangos (the kids love them). She aims to succeed in her food business so she can help her daughter and grandchildren. She has this “never say die” attitude. If it will grow her food business, she’s willing to try it, plan it, and sell it.