Fe B. Caraza, (right) an entrepreneur who finds success in business despite her disability. Her secret are love for family, caring and doing good deeds to people, and hard work. She put up a stall outside Naga City government office where she sells nutritious food like soya bread, milk, carrot juice, veggie meat, tokwa and malungay polvoron.


Every one of us encounters hardships in our lives, but when someone with disability is able to overcome all the adversities and find positivity despite disability, it brings to finding mega success that is an amazing thing to behold.

It takes a lot of energy, commitment and a complete no-fear attitude to go as far as reaching success. Like Fe B. Caraza of Barangay Panicuason, Naga City, Camarines Sur province who has able to overcome her biggest disability in order to succeed.

Fe ultimately turned her life into positive direction when she focuses in earning—selling nutritious food like soya bread, milk, carrot juice, veggie meat, tokwa and malungay polvoron,  at the same time finding time to family and helping people with the same situation as hers rather than her disability.

Salamat sa Diyos, kung ano ako ngayon ay dahil sa tiyaga lang po, [Thanks to God, what I have now is through my perseverance], she proudly said.

The disabilities she faced 

Becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy task. Imagine trying to start your own business with a past full of lack of self-esteem, abuse or poverty. Fe has not only overcome poverty, filth, hunger and loneliness; she also managed to make her business successful in the face of adversity.

Nagkaroon po ako ng acute psychiatric nerve injury, pero tinangap ko yun, hindi ko ginawang hadlang ang kapansanan ko. Naisip kong magtrabaho kesa sa walang ginagawa. Kaya naman nagsimula ako na magtinda ng mga gulay para kumita. [I had an acute psychiatric nerve injury but I accepted it and did not regard my disability as a hindrance. I thought of working rather than doing nothing. So I started of selling vegetables to earn],” she said.

After few years, Fe got engross of earning more money to grow her business. With that, she fails to find time for her children and her husband. “Nabuntis niya yung katulong namin sa bahay. Galit na galit ako sa asawa ko, pero inataman ko su aki ninda halos duwang taon ta kairak man, wara man kasalan su aki. [Our helper got pregnant because of him. I was so mad at my husband but I took care of their child almost two years because I pity the child. The child has nothing to do with their sin]. She stated having no trace of regret in her face.

Fe and her husband got separated for 10 years. In 2000, Fe was left alone taking care of her four children, responsible in earning to bring food on the table and sending her children in school. “I keep on praying, kasi yung mga anak ko malungkot sila. Pero isang opportunity din na nag-iisa tayo, kasi nalalaman mo yung kakayanan mong mag-isa. Mas maraming oras ko na nayayakap mga anak ko at nasasabihan ko sila ng problema. [I keep on praying because my children are sad. But, it’s an opportunity also that we’re alone, because we are able to identify our capacity. I also have more time to hug my children and I can talk to them about my problems],” she said.

Although struggling, Fe defied the odds and remained positive in order to provide the needs for her children. “Noon ang hirap, from Panicuason ay 18 kilometers to Naga City kong minomotor. Nagbibitbit ako, naglalako ako ng mga products from offices to offices kahit umuulan o tirik ang araw. [Before it was so hard, I drove my motorcycle 18 hours from Panicuason to Naga City. I carry and sell my products from offices to offices although it is raining or the sun is scorching hot],” she recalled.

It was even harder for Fe when the starter of her motorcycle was damaged since her right leg is paralyzed. “Yung mga tao tinitingnan ako kahit si Ma’am Lenny Robredo nakita ako na kailangan kong iikot yung sarili kong patalikod para i-start yung motor. Ewan ko kung natuwa siya sa akin o naawa siya pero tinulungan niya ako sa aking negosyo. [People are looking at me, even Ma’am Lenny Robredo, she saw me that I have to turn around for me to start the motor cycle using my left leg to kick and pedal. I am not sure if she’s happy or she pities my situation but she helped me in my business], she said.

Her success

In order to sustain the needs of her children she continues to explore new things for her business.

Eventually things started turning around. Fe was able to focus mainly on growing her business making nutritious food–adding 20% of soya pulp in her products.

Her business took a positive turn when she joined the GROW negosyo (growing opportunities) – a project of the local government providing capital assistance to micro and macro entrepreneurs in Naga City.

In 2010, she was awarded as “Maugmang Nagenya” an award provided by the local government to individuals who attain success despite all the struggles in life.

It was on the same year as well when the local government chooses her product as the main dish in the supplementary feeding program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). “Halos P20,000 a day ang kinikita ko na noon in 60 days, [I earned almost P20,000 a day that time in 60 days], she stated.

Now, she is made of P1.2M sales this year so far. “Sa pangatlong kontrata ko sa supplementary feeding, masayang masaya ako sa opportunidad na naipagkaloob sa akin ng mga taong tumulong sa akin at Diyos, [In my third time contract in the supplementary feeding, I am so happy with the opportunity provided to me by the people who helped me and God], she added.

Instead of using motorcycle, now, she was able to buy an owner-type jeepney to deliver her products. Also, her success in business was able to help her build two concrete houses. “Yung isa po ay bakery na namin. May mga equipment na rin ako sa pag gawa ng bread. [One of my houses was converted to a bakery shop. I also have now an equipment to produce bread],” Fe happily said.

Being attentive and caring to the needs of her co-disabled persons, her employees are parents of disabled children in her community. “Nakikita ko po ang pag-angat nila dahil nabigyan sila ng trabaho, [I saw their improvement because they were provided with jobs], she said.

Two out of the nine employees in her bakery were also beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program – It is a national government’s program under DSWD that invests in human capital that is contributory to poverty-reduction. It provides cash grants of P500 grant in health and P300 in education for a family that has three children, ages 0 to 14, enrolled in the program.

In addition, Fe and her co-members in grow negosyo was able to set up a stall–Grow Negosyo stall along the area of city local government where she sells her soya products. “Dito lang po sa stall ay nakakabenta ako ng P2,000 a day bukod sa aming bakery. [Here in the stall, I was able to earn P2,000 a day apart from my earnings in our bakery], she added.

Fe said that she wanted to be an inspiration to others, especially to those who are disabled person like hers. “Kailangan lang po maging masipag, sa mga katulad ko pong disabled, naghahanap buhay, huwag natin itong gawin dahilan. Magpasalamat pa tayo dahil buhay tayo. Huwag po tayong matakot, manalagin po tayo, maging commited tayo sa paghahanap-buhay, panatilihing maging maayos ang relasyon sa pamilya at sa ibang tao dahil yun ang sekreto ng pag-asenso. [We needed to be industrious, to people who are disabled like me, and to those who are working, let us not regard our disability as a hindrance. Thank God that we are alive. Do not be afraid, pray and be committed in working, maintain our good relationship to our family and to others because that is the secret to success],” she ended. ***G.A.N.L & E.E.J.