Philippine Self-Help Foundation

Celeste (33) is a single mother with four children aged 5 to 13 years old. She has raised her children on her own since she separated from her husband Julius in 2017; he had become a drug addict and was physically abusive to her. 

Celeste lives with her children and her aunt Natividad (73) in a three-roomed native house in the Dampas district of Tagbilaran city. Natividad is like a mother to Celeste as she adopted her when she lost her mother when she was just 12 years old; her father was a drunkard and irresponsible and thus not able to take care of his daughter.

Celeste provides for her family with the proceeds of her food business. She cooks meals, snacks and makes cakes and pastries. Her baking venture was made possible through a PSHF loan in October 2020, which enabled her to purchase a second-hand oven. Celeste earns an average of 4,000 pesos ($80) a month from her cooked meals and snacks and 5,000 pesos ($100) from her baked products. The combined income sustains the family’s day-to-day needs and pays for Natividad’s medication for her high blood pressure.

In her one year of baking, Celeste has gained regular customers and they in turn are spreading the word about the quality of her baked products. Celeste has been receiving orders for cakes, quite often with requests for customised designs. Since she does not have the necessary cake decorating tools, Celeste has to decline some as she cannot come up with the desired designs. It is for this reason that she is seeking a second loan from us. She repaid her first loan according to the scheduling in the contract.

The loan will be used to purchase different styles of stainless steel nozzles, spatulas and cake combs, and most importantly, an electric hand mixer. Beating ingredients manually takes a lot of energy and is time-consuming. By having the aforementioned equipment, Celeste hopes to be able to cater to more customers. She is hoping to be able to double her present baking income. As December is approaching - one of the peak seasons for baked products, the approval of this loan will be most timely. Celeste is keen to set money aside for her children’s education and she plans to have repairs done to her house so the increase in income will be a great help in the realisation of her plans.

Analyn T. Gallibot

November 2021

PSHF Bohol