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Breaking steel, bending mirrors: A local glazier’s story of success through challenges



Maribel “Abick” C. Acosta began as a staff at her brother-in-law’s glass and aluminum supply. She now owns her own glass and aluminum company and is a skilled glazier.

Maribel “Abick” C. Acosta, who resides in Gundaway, Cabarroguis, Quirino, is the proprietor of Abick Glass & Aluminum Supplies. The shop gave her a way out of poverty and let her realize her family's dreams. She is as fragile as glass when it comes to her family yet also strong and dependable as aluminum when she set out to become her family’s primary provider.

She spent seven years working as a domestic worker in Dubai before returning in 2013 to be with her family. Abick made a leap into the unknown, considering the lack of employment opportunities in the country. In 2014, she opened a tiny sari-sari shop in the Cabarroguis Municipal Public Market and started supplying ice to kakanin and palamig vendors. According to her, she made about P500.00 per day and earned a minimum of P15,000.00 per month.

When the Cabarroguis Local Government Unit declared that the market would be demolished, Abick's business shut down, placing her and other vendors in a difficult situation.

Adding to her worries the fear that she will lose her store, their main source of income at the moment, leaving her family penniless.

As faith would have it, Abick found a job in her brother-in-law’s glass and aluminum supply shop where she observed the process of making windshields for tricycles. She tried making some on her own and eventually became an expert later on. She had a breakthrough when she launched her own glass and aluminum supply store. She continued to mold and cut glass and aluminum while also producing and selling tricycle windshields to keep and survive her business.

Abick approached Ms. Herminigilda T. Gamet, PESO Manager of Quirino in 2020 and encouraged her to avail for the Starter Kit program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to expand her business. In September 2020, she received the livelihood materials she requested amounting to almost P20,000.00. It was a pile of aluminum rods, the raw materials for her products.

“Saktong-sakto po yung livelihood na ibinigay sa ‘kin kasi nai-taon po na marami akong order ng aluminum-based products,” she saids. She claimed that it impacted her business significantly as her revenue grew as the number clients swelled.

“Ang neto [o sahod] ko po ay umaabot na ng P120,000.00 sa isang buwan,” she added.

Abick’s strongest quality is her tenacity, persevering through the many twists and turns of her business. She proudly disclosed that her largest project amounted to P210,000.00 for a residential project in Dibibi, Cabarroguis, Quirino.

Other than her family, her workers also benefitted from her livelihood. During the interview, she proudly mentioned that she had helped one of her employees build her home from her salaries.

Looking forward, she intends to expand her business at San Leonardo, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya, which will be managed by her nephew. She plans to invest P60,000.00 in it and hopes to be as successful as her main branch.

She remarked that with her growing business, she was able to fulfill her long-term goal. She was also able to buy additional raw materials, bought and built their own house, and purchase her dream van.

“Malaking tulong ang naibigay sa akin ng DOLE sa negosyo ko at alam ko na hindi lang ako ang natulungan kundi marami pa. Mabilis ang kanilang serbisyo at isa iyon sa mga hinahangaan ko sa kanila. Ang tulong na naibibigay ng DOLE ay dapat pahalagahan upang pare-pareho tayong umangat ang buhay,” she said. ###

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