In the hopes to elevate the life of her family, Maylin Ligad, our 44-year old Nanaypreneur from Branch Mandaue 2, pursued the works of a seamstress by sewing fabric scrap to bags, wallets, and other accessories.

Before the year 2013, her family was purely relying on the income provided by her husband, Pablito Ligad, a steelman. From that time, their seven (7) kids needed to go to school. The income provided by her husband was not enough; thus experiencing scarce in food, limited money for transportation to go to school, and no one was able to give them financial help because she had no job.

With the motivation to uplift their lifestyle, she decided to try stitching with the help of her neighbor who had a business involving the fabric straps. She had the chance to be trained using a treadle sewing machine, which was operated by pushing back and forth the foot pedal of the machine. Eventually she started her business alone.

When the year 2016 came, one of her acquaintance invited her to join RAFI Micro-finance, Inc. (RAFI MFI) to help her business grow bigger. She started with a loan amount of Php 7,000 and immediately bought raw materials to make her products.

“Nausab gyud akong negosyo pag apil nako sa RAFI MFI tungod kay nailado ko sa mga activity ug trainings nila na patindahon mi sa event, mao na daghan ang nakaila namo kay gi-market pud mi nila. (My business changed when I joined RAFI MFI because I became known to new customers through their activities and trainings where they made us sell in their event, many were able to know about me because of how they market my business).” Nanay Maylin said about her journey and experience in RAFI MFI.

While her market grew, competition grew as well. It became hard for her to sell because there were a lot of other seamstress selling the same thing. Aside from this, the raw materials were sometimes out of stock, that’s why she’s unable to display her items from time to time. Now that the pandemic has also took a toll on her business, it also became hard to sell because of the strict measures implemented in their barangay such as the quarantine.

This did not stop her. She continued sewing even though orders were not coming through and continued to display different variety of designs that was all based on her creativity. She had different designs that made her unique and made this her selling point. Eventually, sales were increasing and slowly helped her stand up again.

She is now accommodated with her nine (9) employees who works at her new automatic sewing machines and her cutters. She plans to add more sewing machines and continue to market their items when it becomes safer for them and the community.

“Padayon lang gyud ta bisan unsa man kalisod ang panahon kay ang negosyo naa man gyuy failure and success, di gyud na mawala ug mao nay makapakusgan nato. Dili lang gyud ta mu-surrender kay mao ni ang makatabang nato ug sa atong pamilya. (Let’s continue to strive for our business even though there are hard times like this. Businesses will always have its failure and success because this is what makes us stronger. Let’s not surrender because this is what helps us and our family).” Nanay Maylin’s message to those who wanted to pursue business and those struggling this pandemic.

Through RAFI MFI, she was motivated to join trainings for business management, budgeting and financial management. She was also invited to train women who were also interested to learn sewing the bags during the year 2017. The certificates she gained during the events made her an even powerful Nanaypreneur who uses her knowledge to improve her business throughout the years.

“Gusto ko magpasalamat sa RAFI MFI sa pagtabang nako ug sa akong pamilya sa among financial na panginahanglan, labi na sa pagtudlo nako unsaon pag save sa akong kwarta ug sa paghatag ug mga benepisyo na di namo makit-an sa laing mga kompanya. Karon na nay pandemic, wala mi ninyo bya-i ug gisulod pami ninyo sa Tindahan ni Nanay. Maayo unta na magpadayun mo sa inyong serbisyo namong mga myembro. Daghang salamat kay nakakita mo ug potential namo ug nagpakita mo ug tabang namo. (I would like to thank RAFI MFI for helping me and my family with our financial needs, especially teaching us how to save and for giving us different benefits that other companies do not have. With this pandemic, you did not leave us and you even opened Tindahan ni Nanay. I hope you continue your services to all the members. Thank you because you found potential in us and you did not hesitate to help us).”

The story of Nanay Maylin Ligad will be an inspiration to all small business owners who strive to be bigger in the industry. With her dedication, her sewing will lead her and her family to success.


The Microfinance Program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI-MFI) provides financial and non-financial services to micro-entrepreneurs with a mission of elevating lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through stable and rewarding livelihood.

In the middle of the pandemic, the heart to continue pursuing the goal to achieve a better life for her family has initiated a fire within one of our Nanays. Introducing Nanay Lorena Sollano, our 50-year-old Nanaypreneur in Sogod, Cebu. With her husband Tatay Larry Sollano, they pursued their business in rattan furniture making that started on the year 2013.

Before their business, her husband was working as a sample maker and quality controller in a rattan exporter company. Because of this, he has learned how to make furniture out of rattan. Life was not easy for the Sollano family. They cared for 5 children along with their grandchildren, lived under one roof and only Tatay Larry was working. For additional income, they had extra jobs such as being a committee for a basketball game in their barangay.

Sauna, usa ra gyud ka kilo nga bugas among kaunon, tungaon namo sa among lima ka anak ug among mga apo. Lisod gyud among kahimtang kay wala mi makuhaan og lain pang konsumo. (Before, we can only share one kilo of rice for the whole family. We had a rough life because we didn’t have any other source of income.)” kwento ni Nanay Lorena. They used their knowledge about rattan and started a business as their source of income.

To continue their dream to expand their business, Nanay Lorena decided to join RAFI Micro-finance, Inc. (RAFI MFI) during the year 2017 when she was invited by a chairwoman in one of the centers of Sogod branch. With the capital of Php 5,000, she was able to buy raw materials in making rattan furnitures.

Alongside their journey to success, the Sollano Family also experienced hardships in their business. Due to the pandemic, their sales decreased because the lockdown and quarantine protocols resulted to a limited number of cars driving around their area where they had their products displayed.

Even though the situation has been tough, they continued selling and displaying their products. Eventually, one of their client asked if she can customize a certain design for their wedding. This was when the rattan planters were made and increased their sales because plants were a big trend during the quarantine period.

 “Sa sinugdanan pa lang nakaila na ang mga tawo namo kay ga-supply mi og furniture sa mga resort ug sa mga mall unya tungod ato nidaghan among kliyente. Nagamit pud namo ang Facebook sa pag-upload sa mga pictures sa among furniture o mag-send sila og mga gusto nila nga design unya amo rang buhaton. (From the very start, clients started to know about us because we supplied rattan furniture to some resorts and malls that made us gain more clients. Facebook was also helpful because we were able to upload pictures of our furniture and clients were able to send their pictures for customized designs.)” according to Nanay Lorena on their furniture design that was one of a kind. Now, she has 12 employees who are also her neighbors. She wants to help them earn income during hard times like this.

The achievement that Nanay Lorena and Tatay Larry have now, is because of the perseverance and dedication to provide quality products and introducing different designs that attracts new clients and long-time buyers to come back again. Nanay Lorena also aims to expand their business in a bigger platform and provide newer designs.

“Akong matambag, kung sila ganahan musugod ug negosyo, di lang magpakawa ug paglaom. Mintras naa pay mutabang sama sa RAFI Micro-finance, Inc. (RAFI-MFI) nga mudako pa atong negosyo, dili lang magpadala ug magpakawa sa paglaom kay muabot ra ang panahon. Kinsa man magtuo nga mudako gihapon among negosyo bisag lockdown. Dako kay kog pasalamat sa RAFI-MFI, kay kung wala ko na miyembro diri, dili ma ing ani akong negosyo karon. Gitabangan nila ang mga miyembro kung unsaon pag gamit sa kwarta ug unsaon pagbalhin sa social media pareha sa Tindahan ni Nanay. May unta’g daghan pamo ug matabangan. (My advice to all those who have a business, never lose hope. Until there is someone who can help us, just like RAFI Micro-finance, Inc. (RAFI-MFI), to expand our business, let’s continue to be dedicated because time will come for our business to boom. I did not expect my business will still sell even though we’re on lockdown. I am very much thankful to RAFI-MFI, because if I did not become a member, my business will not be where it is now. They helped all the members on how to handle our money and how to transition to social media like Tindahan ni Nanay. I hope you will continue to help more people like me.”) Nanay Lorena’s advice to other Nanaypreneurs who are doubting their business or are just starting.

The story of Nanay Lorena and Tatay Larry is an example of when you persevere and continue to dedicate oneself to your business, being successful will never be far away. While there are many ways to be successful, but for Nanay Lorena’s business, it is to continue weaving rattan on their way to a comfortable life.

The Microfinance Program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI-MFI) provides financial and non-financial services to micro-entrepreneurs with a mission of elevating lives of the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through stable and rewarding livelihood.

Ayuda sa luzon
The shared vision of inspiring learners to become agents of change through powerful play and learning experience amidst the pandemic has brought the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) and LEGO, a collaborative partnership of promoting Learning Through Play!
Today, 30 of RAFI’s partners from different sectors and organizations said YES! to the opportunity of being trained to becoming play agents by the Head of Global Impact and Social Partnerships of LEGO UK, Mr. David Pallash.
This activity is also in celebration of the National Children’s Month through the RAFI Dolores S. Aboitiz Children’s Fund, who remains steadfast to its advocacy of promoting early childhood care and development.