Rice cake maker Romualdo Blanco Jr wraps his Maja Blanca (coconut and corn pudding) in red ribbons, hoping to make it a staple of Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) in his province, where he developed a backyard business into a company with annual sales of P2,4 million.
Five years ago, the 28-year-old father of 1 developed a P10,000 micro-entrepreneur loan into PK Maja’s Special, supplying puto and kutsinta to schools, grocery stores, and restaurants in nine towns and cities in Batangas, south of the capital. Citi honored the former delivery boy last November 28 as Youth Microentrepreneur of the Year and received his recognition from Governor Benjamin Diokno of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Aside from hard work and patience, my advice to those who want to start a business, you need to be street-smart. Blanco recalled how in 2012 when he knew he could start his own business, he quit his job as a puto delivery boy. At that time, their daughter, Princess Khaye, was born to his wife Jovelyn.
I learned how to make money that way. I began a puto company when I returned to Batangas because I thought it was all right. Blanco was up hours before dawn when PK Maja’s Special started to deliver his rice cakes as early as 4 a.m. Due to puto spoils in a day, shipments must be made daily.
At one time, the Blanco couple lost P50,000 from a suman or sticky rice cake test covered in banana leaves. His company was named after his daughter Princess Khaye by Romualdo Blanco Jr. Romualdo Blanco Jr. With schools on Christmas break, Blanco said he would rely on vacation orders to compensate for school children’s lost demand. Maja Blanca, he said, was supposed to have a spot on the spread of Christmas.
We will buy from everyone we meet because they like the taste of our goods. They want it to be part of their Noche Buena. Some will order that during Noche