OFW in Jeddah opens news business amid crisis
RONALDO CONCHA, GMANews.TV03/19/2009 05:54 PM
JEDDAH, Philippines - Despite a recession-hit market, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Jeddah has dared to open up new businesses in the kingdom that cater to the Filipino taste.
Ronald Mangua, a Filipino accountant and businessman, opened the Lapaz Bakery and Grocery last week to serve Filipinos who missed the taste of Philippine fruits and other Filipino products.
He said one of the main reasons why he opened a new business was because he wanted to inspire Filipinos to venture into businesses and to always use their skills and talents. “In the midst of the global economic crisis, we must grab any business opportunity and we have to be optimistic because there is always bright future for us. Let’s get inspired and inspire others," he said.
Philippine Consul General Ezeddin Tago, who inaugurated the new grocery, said the new business venture “brings honor and pride to Filipinos."“It’s a piece of home here in Jeddah. It shows how Philippine entrepreneurship is able to reach not only our region but also Saudi Arabia. I hope for the all success in all their endeavors, congratulations," he said.
The customers, mostly OFWs, were reportedly surprised to see that the products being sold at the grocery were the ones that used to be available only in the Philippines.Fruits like durian, mangoes, babana, lanzones, and calamansi were available on the stand.
Willie, chief baker of the newly opened bakeshop, said one of their come-ons are Filipino foods like pandesal and bibingka.“At least we can give our best to satisfy our customers, not only fellow Filipinos but the other nationalities.
We showcase Filipino bread that we can be proud of," he said.“We feel at home when we have products here in Saudi Arabia. Aside from that, we help our economy by regularly patronizing it. We should be proud of it," added Mangua.
Aside from the bakeshop and grocery, Mangua also owns a restaurant called “Lapaz Batchoy" which serves exotic Filipino dishes.Just recently, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and his party enjoyed a meal at the restaurant during their visit to Jeddah. Mangua, a native of Romblon, is an active community leader who helps less fortunate OFWs. - With Kimberly Jane Tan, GMANews.TV