Cheers to a prosperous 2023!

What we all hoped to be a pivotal year that was 2022, it’s proven to be even more problematic as we continue to navigate through the pandemic. We can go outdoors without face masks now but most of us got too used to it that we can’t go out without protective gear and a bottle of alcohol spray. Businesses that survived the lockdowns and restrictions of the past two years may have gone almost back to normal but with the skyrocketing inflation rates and recession scare, mass layoffs still happened here and there. The prospects of a better new year seem to be pretty farfetched. The pandemic and all these economic woes affecting the world may have discouraged us adding to the uncertainties but the same taught us to be resilient and hopeful. I mean we all thought we can’t make it past 2020, we struggled but still, here we are excited about 2023! It may sound like we’ll need to overcome the impossible, but there are of course opportunities to be financially prepared and thrive.

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Out of crisis comes opportunity

“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity,” said Albert Einstein. And this was my first thought when I was faced with a very difficult situation at the height of home quarantines and lockdowns due to the pandemic. The timing was as bad as the growing number of people getting the virus. I wanted to move on from my longest career stint to the next, but there seem to be not that many opportunities available back then as more and more companies struggle to keep the business going or just end up quitting the fight and close shop. It sure is no good not to be able to earn a living at a bad time such as this global health crisis.

The crisis that made it even more difficult to get essentials – food, medicine, day-to-day needs, during the first few days of the first lockdown – that extended to weeks and even months. As the head of the family and the one issued with a quarantine pass, I was the one braving the long queues at the nearby supermarket to secure essentials for our household. I dreaded going out every single time, for fear of picking up the virus and putting my family at risk. That’s when I realized I needed to start what my wife and I have been wanting to do but really didn’t have the time. We’ve been planning to turn our garage into a small food park of sorts; no longer a workable and practical idea given the restrictions in the new normal.

So with what’s left of my savings, I instead converted a small space of our house fronting the street into a tindahan or sari-sari store and called it Camia Eats. While the original idea is to make it easy for our community to get access to essentials, we wanted it to be the go-to place for anything needed for home – from combo or paluto meals, tube ice, and purified water to prepaid loads, cash-in to electronic wallets, and printing services. And as if awakening a long lost passion for food (me being an HRM degree holder), I started baking – initially with Ube Cheese Pandesal, then later other flavors and baked goodies. After several recipe trials and oven fails, we sold bags of our flavored pandesal to our very supportive neighbors and friends and relatives from as far as QC and Novaliches.

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