Business Stories

More Entrepreneurs in the Philippines!

Last September 9, I attended the ASEAN Business Awards Philippines.

It’s a body that recognizes businesses that contributes to our country on our trade with the South East Asian region economy.

I mean, they give awards to companies that boosts our economy, helping our country be at par with our neighbours in the SEA region. You get it, yeah? Read that twice if you have to. Haha.

When I got the invite a few weeks back, I was super excited to attend.
Imagine, business awards? I was thinking, the best businesses going up head to head against each other? Who’s doing better? Who’s earning more? All of that! I was excited. Super!

So the big day arrived. This is how I looked. Oha.


2014 ASEAN Business Awards

Sharp, Smart, Sleek; In short, gwapo.  (Well at least that’s what my girlfriend said. Teehee.)

Event happened at New World Hotel, Makati. First thing I noticed was that the place was beefed up with security personnels – this was because Pres.Noynoy was to deliver keynote.

So after the registration, I went inside the room: Boy I was in awe.


Frank the Pug

The room was filled with guys in suit and ties, like the Men In Black head quarters – except in this room, everyone was talking about business, money, economy and more numbers… and nothing about illegal aliens from intergalactic universes trying to enter the earth. There was no sign of frank the pug too.

At first, I felt like I was in heaven. Business + Businessmen + Business awards = I knew I was in the right place and the right group!

Then it sinked in. Everyone knew each other. They all knew each other. Then it hit me.

I didn’t know anyone! Haha. Funny, but I kinda felt small.

I felt “out of place”  – I felt like a puppy in a “big dogs only” room.

As I walked to a cocktail table, observing people around me, I had a “realization moment” – I was in a room with the best people in business. In the industry that I love. Feeling small is normal, because I am small. My businesses are small compared to these giants, and it’s okay. It inspired me, that one day, “I’ll be one of the big dogs too.” 🙂

So after all that going through my head, I saw a familiar face at the far end of the room. Good heavens.


with Steve Tamayo of Tamayo’s Catering

My good friend, Steve Tamayo. That feeling of “whew. sa wakas. may kakilala din ako

What a relief. Thank God for good, amazing, super humble and awesome business friends.

Talking to this guy is always music to my ears. He is so successful but he never stops learning and working. He was there observing the food, the set tables, the ambiance, the waiters, everything that he can learn from. So I decided to stand beside him while the program started.

Mr.Manny Pangilinan started the event with an opening note, after a few videos the finalists were announced.

Large Enterprises Finalists:
    This ready-to-wear company has 500 stores all over the country and carries the brands such as PENSHOPPE, OXYGEN, FORME, MEMOREGATTA & TYLER. Mr.Bernie Liu, the CEO runs this. He’s a member of the Truly Rich Club. I always buy from Regatta. 🙂 

    This port management company that started in the Philippines has been cited by Asian Development Bank as one of the top 5 maritime terminal operators in the world. They operate in 11 locations in the globe, Philippines, Brazil, Poland, Australia, Madagascar, Japan, Indonesia, Mauritius, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, United States of America. The CEO Enrique Razon also happens to be the 4th richest person in the country. (Forbes 2014)

    This tobacco company whose factory includes tobacco processing and cigratte making lies in a 9 Hectare propert in Malolos, Bulacan.

  After World War Two, the husband and wife team of Isoceles and Leonora Pascual, both Chemistry graduates from UP decided develop inexpensive drugs for the Filipinos who were still recovering from the war. Almost 70 years after, the company is ranked in the top 10 pharmaceutical groups and 2nd largest among Filipino owned pharmaceutical companies with over 600 employees.

   This I.T. company is an outsourcing provider of strategic information technology solutions and services ranging from applications development, business process outsourcing and other related services such as program management through its onsite/offshore outsourcing model.

    The Cebu based company is the largest dried fruit producer and the standard bearer of world class processed fruit products from the Philippine Islands. Dried mangoes anyone?

SME Finalists
   Everyone knows about Belo, right? Sometimes I feel like they bought all the billboards along EDSA. This company’s message is very simple. They pioneer the latest surgical & non-surgical procedures to make all their clients beautiful. So ikaw, nagpa-belo ka na ba? Ako hindi pa. Hindi ko pa kailangan. Haha.

   For more than 10 years, this company has been transforming natural materials (like shells/barks/forest wood) into impressive works of art that serves as furnitures.


   Is the first graphic advertising and printing needs company in the whole Visayas/Mindanao region, capturing the market early and setting the standards high in printing.

   This company provides trainings on Emergency Medical Services with International and Local Certification. They saw the need for quality and innovative community health and safety education, emergency and rescue services in the Philippines, thus the birth of CHEERS.

Started manufacturing rattan furnitures and products to serve the European market 20 years ago, The company has now grown into manufacturing furnitures using a unique combination of mixed natural materials, producing eclectic masterpieces. They now serve 12 countries around the globe.


   A major educational manufacturer and distributor with 40 years industry experience. Providing new age media content to schools and educators, allowing the children and our youth to learn and grow in a new age digital learning environment. 

  An I.T. solutions company that primarily focuses on delivering Enterprise Solutions and “Oracle E-Business Suite” implementation and support. 

  A company that manufactures and retails personal care products made from natural, usually plant based and locally sourced materials. They do have pet care products too! 

  A common name you see in malls, a photo studio service company that promises experience. I love this line that I saw in their site, “Wherever you are in the Philippines, there is a Great Image studio near you.”

  We all have tasted their fruit shakes. If you haven’t then you’re missing half of your life, get out there will ya? they have 700 stores across the country! Wild! Did you know that the fruitas group also owns jamaican patties? They do they do! 🙂

Vintel Logistics or more known by their brand, VCargo, is one of the fastest growing express and logistics company in the Philippines.

Winners as follows:
GOLDEN ABC INC. – ASEAN Centricity Award, Large Enterprises
POINTWEST TECHNOLOGIES CORP. – Innovation Award, Large Enterprises

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Pres.Noynoy Aquino giving his keynote

Another highlight of the event was the keynote of Pres.Aquino, It was my first time to hear him talk, live. His one big message was very simple, “Better businesses in the Philippines” – Business registration in the Philippines used to take 45 days, in his term it’s now done in 30minutes. He also talked about out country being open for business, and a 2015 ASEAN integration.

All in all, the event was awesome. I got to talk to some of the winners, got to meet new friends, and most of all I was inspired.

I was inspired to scale up my business, to serve more people, to give more jobs, and to make the Philippines a better place to do business in.

PLDTSME3PLDT SME NATION thank you for making this happen! Thank you for making business easier in the Philippines. May we have more Entrepreneurs in the Philippines!

For Comments/Questions/Tips & Advice/Mentoring – Anything about business, marketing, sales or kahit pa love life.  Harhar. 

You can write them here as a comment, OR
Mobile: +639176274550


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As they call the winners

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Paulo Tibig, VCargo

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Bernie Liu, Golden ABC

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Cool plate with wine holder!!!


Pres.Aquino giving his keynote


Large enterprises finalists


of course.. ehem, with the girlfriend. 🙂


Edwin of Nerison’s Cassava Cake

Nerison’s Cassava Cake

Cassava Cake – A filipino staple food. Often debated, is it “Kakanin” or “Cake?”

I’d say both. 🙂

In my whole life, I have never eaten Cassava Cake. Im not a big fan of Filipino kakanins, I don’t eat kutsinta, I don’t eat biko, and all those other kakanins. Don’t hate me, I just don’t like the taste, texture, etc.

I met Edwin Nerison October 2013 in Shangri-la Mactan, Cebu. It was a financial conference, a gathering of the best minds and people with different stories. Edwin was one of them.

Edwin Nerison is from Cavite – The place of Emilio Aguinaldo, Marian Rivera, Island Cove and of course, Nerison’s Cassava Cake.

Nerison’s Casava Cake is known to most Cavitenos as Pasalubong, Merienda or Regalo.


Humble beginnings


Before the 12-branch strong successful business – Nerison’s Cassava cake had humble beginnings.

Edwin Nerison grew up with little money and old clothes.
His classmates had robot toys, he had baking and cooking tools. Edwin had to work for his Aunt’s Sari-sari store and Cassava Cake store.

Life wasn’t easy for Edwin growing up, he didn’t enjoy what most had. It was 1996, when Edwin graduated from College, finishing BS Accountancy. Determined, Edwin got hired by Metro Drug Inc. immediately.

3 years later, Edwin got retrenched due to a company merger. He then worked for SCA Hygiene Corporation as a Sales Representative. (from Accounting to Sales!) He was selling bathroom and facial tissues, adult diapers, table napkins, etc.

Despite the commissions, company car, a fat paycheck.. Edwin resigned after 6 months. He quit his job because of health reasons (stress is something you don’t want on your menu) plus the 4 bosses he had to answer to every time he didn’t make his sales quota.

Edwin shared that his main reason of resigning are the BIG DREAMS he had in his heart:
– to succeed in life
– to have more free time
– to earn more so he could give more

It was this time when he tracks back at his life and thinks to himself,

“What now Edwin?”

Growing up with little in his pocket, Edwin knew how hard was it to be poor.

This planted a dream, a goal, a mission; to be wealthy.
“and I can only achieved that if I’m in business.”
said Edwin.


Edwin learned baking cassava cakes when he was 13 years old, He was helping her Auntie who was in the cassava cake business. Now Edwin has 12 Nerison’s Cassava Cake branches.

The 12 branches that Edwin enjoys now are all product of hard work. It wasn’t easy, as he recalled. FEAR – The common problem in all starting businesses, the common problem in all starting businessmen and women. Fear hinders you from being great, from achieving your full potential.

“I knew how to bake delicious cassava cake, it’s in my blood. I was doing it since I was 13 years old”

Edwin knew he lacked entrepreneurial skills. Edwin lacked capital to start a business. More than all of that, Edwin was afraid to jump into business because he might end up loosing all his hard-earned money/savings. Edwin was also afraid that people will laugh at him if ever he fails.

But overcoming the “FEAR” was his goal. Edwin’s BIG DREAMS were his motivation to overcome all his fears!

You, have you been wanting to start a business? but you’re afraid of losing money, people laughing at you? – Use your big dreams to overcome your FEARS!

Edwin overcame his fears but problems just kept knocking on his doors.

-How to effectively sell and market the Cassava Cake
-Hiring the right people
-Where to get a steady and reliable source of raw materials
-Finding a strategic location for his store
-And a lot more.

But not any of these stopped Edwin from pursuing his dreams, he was determined, he was goal oriented. These are all traits that are essential to businessman.

Not long enough, Edwin’s was able to put up his very first store. It was the year 2000 at Molino in Bacoor, Cavite.
Edwin’s hard work and dedication to the business, he was able to earn extra money to PUT UP 1 NEW STORE EVERY YEAR! Talk about aggressive expansion!

The income of all stores were used to expand the business. Edwin didn’t borrow from any lending institutions like banks, credit company, or bumbay.

Now, Edwin has been in business for 14 years, He already developed a system that works for the cassava cake business. In managing 12 stores, a commercial complex, Edwin has still time for his family, serving the poor and finding new business opportunities.


Edwin with his wife and son, they live in Cavite, Philippines

Edwin with his wife and son, they live in Cavite, Philippines


Edwin serving Cassava Cake at Anawim home for the abandoned elderly in Montalban, Rizal

I asked Edwin, What advice can you give to those who want to go into business but lack funds?

Here is Edwin’s reply:

Dream big but start small. When I started my cassava cake business, I had very little savings in the bank. It was not enough to start the business, so I went to my brother and asked him if he wanted to partner with me on the business. He said yes and so we started the business with an industrial partnership. The capital infusion from my brother and skills on my part. What is my point? First develop your talent, skills and then create business ideas. For funding requirements which is the crucial part in putting up a business, If you are man or woman of integrity use (OPM) others people money (utang muna tapos bayad pag kumita), use what available resources you have and be resourceful.

“I want to help more, I cannot help others if I myself is helpless so I decided to go into business so that I can earn more, because if I earn more I can help more.”
Edwin Nerison


Edwin, kung cake ka, anong klaseng cake ka?
Syempre cassava cake. Love ko to!

Kung sugar ka, white kaba or brown? 
Brown sugar!

Paano makakatulong sa ekonomiya ng Pilipinas ang cassava cake?
Dahil sa cassava cake nakakapag employed ng trabaho sa mga tao at ang pagkakaroon ng trabaho ng isang individual ay isang dahalin para makatulong sa paglago ng ekonomiya ng isang bansa.

Sa tingin mo ba a kumakain ng cassava cake si batman?
Oo. Dumadaan siya sa store at bibili ng cassava cake tapos uuwi at kakainin sa BatCave.

Kung ang San Remo ay pasta at ang San miguel ay beer, ano naman ang Sanrio?
Sanrio ay si Hello Kitty.


PS. And yes, through Edwin, naka-tikim na ako ng Cassava Cake. I love it!!!! Syempre, Nerison’s eh 🙂

Edwin’s final words for this article:

My cassava cake is delicious, the price is reasonable, best substitute for common cakes in the market and it is a Filipino original, it’s our own product. Atin ito!


Edwin and I are good friends. We learn form each other in business and in life. We’re both students in entrepreneurship, we both strive to be better entrepreneurs, to help and serve more.

We both attend the Feast PICC every Sunday, first session. We have coffee after, talk about business, marketing,etc. Anyone is welcome to join. 🙂



For Comments/Questions/Tips & Advice/Mentoring – Anything about business, marketing, sales or kahit pa love life.  Harhar. 
You can write them here as a comment, OR
Mobile: +639176274550

Molly Eva Adrales Baylon




Molly Baylon is familiar face to those of us who are “kapuso“- this is because you see her everyday in the noon time show, Eat Bulaga. More than the pretty face you see on TV, Molly is also a serial entrepreneur. She has a kiosk in a mini-mall in Quezon City. She also owns an online store that sells clothes, beauty products and even food. She owns a bakery too! With all her success now, Molly would still look back and recall the journey she went through to achieve all that life has given her now.

The struggle

Like most Filipinos, Molly came from a not-so-wealthy family. Coming from a brood of 8 siblings, their family had to face each day with financial challenges. Time came when she decided to help her family and send her siblings to school. So at 14, she joined Eat Bulaga’s Sex Bomb group. That same time, Molly’s older sister who was working in Japan came home with a little seed money for a business venture, and since both Molly’s parents knew how to cook, they considered the food industry, and the most adapt business for their area was a bakery.

A year after struggle to keep the business alive, the bakery closed.
It was a short-lived business venture because Molly’s parents were not bakers and they only had little background on baking. They did not have business mentors in that business and almost everything was a shot in the dark.


This prompted Molly to stop working as a Sexbomb Dancer for Eat Bulaga and work in Dubai. Working abroad wasn’t easy, being away from your family at such young age was not easy at all. So 6 months after singing for a band in a foreign land (the rhyme was inevitable), Molly came back to the Philippines with her savings and offered her parents another shot at the bakery.

They all wanted to open the bakery business again. Learning from their mistakes from the first bakery, Molly’s parents were able to successfully operate and run the new bakery. 9 years down the road, it’s still operational up to now. Thanks to Molly’s hard work.

More Struggle

Then the unexpected happens. Molly’s parents splits-up.
The separation of Molly’s parents broke her world to pieces. Her heart broken. Her goals and dreams derailed. Another trial for the young Molly, another dark phase in her life.


This led Molly to join the EB Babes group (EB = Eat Bulaga.) It was 2009, when her career in front of the crowd and camera was up again. Meeting people form all walks of life, improving her skills and herself in dancing, singing, hosting and relationship building. This was also the time when she met the guy of her dreams, or at least she thought he was. After the trial of seeing your parents go their own paths, Molly’s world shatters again when she broke up with her boyfriend.

Molly considers this heartbreak another tragedy in her life, burying her even more into pain and darkness.

Molly had to move on and accept the harsh reality of love. After the breakup, Molly found herself with so much free time that she wanted to do something productive. This is the time when she asked her sister to teach her how to make Peanut Butter/Pastillas/Yema.

The start of the blessing (business)

She would fondly joke that the first time she would make them, the products tasted salty because of all the tears that went in it. But the opposite happened, Molly’s peanut butter/pastillas/yema were so good that when she brought a few pieces in her Eat Bulaga dressing room, all the members of the EB babes loved it!

Post17E Post17F Post17G

So she started making more for everyone to enjoy,  people from the dressing room and Eat Bulaga set would look forward to Molly’s “baon.” After some time of doing this, a light bulb moment happened. Molly thought of selling them on their Eat Bulaga set. From actors you see on screen to people behind the scenes.  Everyone started placing orders, people from the Eat Bulaga set were all craving fans of “Molly’s Delicacies” – as she would call it.

One fine afternoon, Eat Bulaga was airing live. Molly’s bestfriend Anjo Yllana told her to bring products on stage which led to Vic Sotto promoting her products on TV. This breakthrough made Molly realize that this could be a full pledged business. That there is a bigger market out there. Bigger than the set of Eat Bulaga.

Post17HMolly noticed that a lot of online stores are coming out, she looked into it and decided to put up her own.

Since she’s on TV, it was an advantage and she used it to market her products.

So the online store was born (Instagram : molly_ebbabe_fantasyshop)

Molly recalls, “kaya na broken heart, maybe God gave me that so I’d be redirected into business” – This realization made Molly focus on her growing business.

Molly started with making 10 bottles of peanut butter a week.
Just 2 weeks later, she was making 5 bottles a day!
A week more after, she was making 10 bottles a day.
They reached producing 20/bottles a day.

Molly lives in a condo unit near Eat Bulaga’s venue, this unit was intended for living. Not for baking and food production, her bedroom started to get cramped and her shower started to gush out peanut butter. It was this time when Molly realized she needed a place for production and storage.

  • What’s your height? 5’3
  • What’s your perfume brand? Lanvin Eclat
  • Apple or Samsung? Apple
  • Apple or Orange? Grapes
  • Manila or Maynilad? Quezon City
  • Boracay or Palawan? Splash Island
  • Red or Green? Blue
  • Pnoy or Pinoy? Jose Rizal
  • Pinoy or Foreigner? Pinoy
  • Jap food or Chinese food? Kahit ano basta dadalhin sa condo 🙂

Opportunity is everywhere, you just have to keep an open eye

“It was like magic,” Molly said. She thought of having a place to sell and store her products. The next minute, she saw a space for lease in the same building where Eat Bulaga airs everyday. Talk about magic! So without batting an eyelash, Molly got the space and her business just got a tad bigger.

Molly had a problem. The space was too big for her “homemade delicacies” – A great problem I would like to think.
And so another opportunity fell on her lap – she could sell other products! Molly started selling accessories, beauty products, tshirts, dresses, more food, she started making variants of her pastillas and peanut butter, etc. 

Now, Molly is also selling shoes! Instagram: suellys_ph

Molly’s last few words: Know your heart. Find the area where you will excel- Where you will be happy and where you will be able to give your heart to your customers.

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This is Molly and Me in one of our Shoe-biz meetings. Don’t we all love shoes? 🙂

I always believe that:

In business,
The greater your fall, the higher you’ll bounce back.

In life,
The darker your life is, the stronger the light is.

It’s a universal law.
When a door shuts at you, 11,000 windows open.

I would like to thank Molly for this interview, thank you also to Molly’s Facebook and Instagram account for the photos 🙂

Follow Molly!
Instagram: molly_ebbabe
Instagram: molly_ebbabe_fantasyshop
Instagram: suellys_ph


For Comments/Questions/Tips & Advice/Mentoring – Anything about business, marketing, sales or kahit pa love life.  Harhar. 
You can write them here as a comment, OR
Mobile: +639176274550


More fun facts about Molly!
Vital Statistics? 32-25-36
Pangarap na Vital Stats? 36-24-36 (asa pa ako)
Eat Bulaga or Showtime? EATBULAGA! (baka mawalan ako ng work. 😉 Joke)
Cookies or Cooking? EATING.
Chinito or Chinito? chito miranda (CHINITO)
Rico Yan or Rico J Puno? Wala na ba ibang choices?
Laban or Bawi? Can I call a friend?
Jollibee or Mcdo? Sino crush mo syempre 🙂
Crispy Pata – Toyo, Suka at Sili or Mang tomas? Ketchup!
Choco na gatas or Gatas na choco? Choco Martin pwede?