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Defying Storms

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By: Mary Rose Javier
Quezon- Success differs from one person to another. While some define success as achieving a thriving career, others associate it with wealth. Yet, for some like Clemen Aday, a 56-year-old from Quezon Province, success goes beyond earning cash. She emphasizes that it is the ability to share hope with other people.

Clemen spent most of her adulthood working hard to make ends meet. She found employment in a coconut factory, where she not only earned a living but also met her life partner. Together, they sold nilupak (a Filipino dessert made from mashed cassava) in local markets.

Their lives began to change when their friend gave them corn seeds to plant. She saw this as an opportunity to start a plantation and did not hesitate to use the remaining back-pay cash from the company she worked at to buy a hectare of land.

At 38, Clemen used all her knowledge in planting to turn her land into a corn field. All her hard work eventually paid off with good sales and high income. However, her golden field once became dark and muddy. She faced a great loss when Typhoon Paeng washed away all her crops. Her months of hard work are put into waste.

“I was very devastated at that time because we lost a significant amount of money. Fortunately, CARD Bank is here to support me in getting back on my feet even though I have no idea how to start over,” she said.

Devastated but determined, Clemen turned to CARD Bank, a microfinance-oriented rural bank, for financial support. The Bank provided her with a PHP 400,000 loan, enabling her to restart her plantation and recover from the loss.

Clemen learned about the financial institution through friends who were attending CARD Bank’s center meetings near a small chapel. Initially skeptical, she was drawn in by the individual responsibility of loans. Her good repayment to her loan led to increasing amounts. Never late with payments, she aimed to inspire others with her financial discipline.

Her discipline allowed her to invest in vehicles for her business and contribute to the community by giving away crops to those in need.

With CARD Bank’s support, Clemen continued running her cornfield, standing strong against adversities.

Clemen’s advice is simple to other aspiring entrepreneurs,”If you want to start something, go for it. Even if you fail, start again. Stay composed and don't be discouraged.”In her journey, success was no just personal; it was about resilience, community, and the willingness to try again.

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