MANILA, Philippines – Through hard work and honesty, a former public school teacher traded the classroom for the wet market and made a name for herself as Dagupan's "bangus queen."
Fe Vidal was born and raised in the Philippines' “bangus capital” Dagupan City, Pangasinan. She was a teacher for 10 years before deciding to work as a hospital clerk in Saudi Arabia for a higher paycheck.
Homesickness, however, pushed Vidal to return to her hometown in 1989.
“Mahirap ‘yung maging homesick lalo na kung sabihin nila na may sakit ‘yung anak mo, baka tumalon ka doon sa Red Sea,” she said on ABS-CBN's “My Puhunan.”
Dagupan's "bangus queen" Fe Vidal. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page
Reunited with her family in Dagupan, Vidal saw that did not have to look very far for opportunities to make money.
With only P500 as capital, she bought 20 pieces of bangus. She deboned the fish, repackaged and sold it.
Vidal said her fish business grew immediately, but she recognizes that she had to go through all the hardships before finding true success.
Bangus (milkfish) sold in Dagupan. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page
“Dapat gawin nila ‘yung trial and error kasi wala namang masama kung mag-ambisyon kang mag-negosyo. Basta kapalan mo lang ‘yung dasal mo, ‘yun ang importante,” she said.
Vidal is now a well-known supplier of bangus to supermarket chains across the country, with her small factory producing up to 5,000 boneless bangus daily.
Vidal said she has learned the value of money from earning only P850 a month as a school teacher.
“Kung kumita ka ng P5,000 sa isang linggo, tago mo ‘yung P3,000 para P2,000 lang ang panggastos mo. ‘Yung P3,000 gamitin mo sa susunod na puhunan,” said Vidal.
“Kung ano ang papasukan mong negosyo, honest ka dapat, malinis ang gawa mo. Importante ‘yung talagang hindi mo sila lolokohin,” she added.