Brgy. Palong, Libmanan, Camarines Sur — Libmanan is a semi-urbanized municipality of Camarines Sur considered as the “rice basket” not only of the province but of the Southern Luzon region. Most of the people here rely their livelihood on farming because of the abundant rice and other root crops production. Aside from the agricultural industry booming in the region, Libmanan is also known for its livelihood businesses such as food processing, which provides a major source of income for most families.
Palong is one of the barangays of Libmanan. It is situated along the national highway going to the mainland provinces where most of the provincial buses from Visayas and Mindanao pass by. Pasalubong delicacies such as puto seko, chicharon and homemade candies are the bestsellers among the bus passengers.
Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Lioc, residents of Barangay Palong, Libmanan, Camarines Sur for 14 years started their candy-making business in 1999. Mrs. Eleanor Lioc, who is an ARDCI member of Sipocot Branch, availed her first microbusiness loan in the amount of ₱10,000 as their starting capital in their candy-making business. Without any business experience, Anthony decided to study entrepreneurship offered in short courses in the Academy of Creating Enterprises, one of the school in Cebu. At that time, Anthony worked as an employee of a private company. Afterwards, he decided to leave the company to concentrate on their business. They sold different varieties of homemade candies such as pastillas, yema, polvoron and others. To avoid additional labor expenses, the couple decided to divide the task between themselves. This has proven to be quite a difficult challenge because it robs them of their time for their children.
As with any entrepreneurial endeavor, the couple faced many challenges and risks but with their determination they were able to overcome all. At first, Anthony personally delivered the homemade candies to schools and sari-sari stores. Over time, the couple was able to save enough from their homemade candies business that they were able to put up their own bakery.
With ₱35,000 as initial capital, they were able to purchase raw materials needed for their new bakery. With limited funds, the couple would go to Naga City everyday to purchase raw materials for their new business. After a while, they were able to hire workers from their neighborhood and now they have thirteen full-time employees, and eight part-time employees who are mostly students that needed the extra money for their education.