MANILA, Philippines – The sweet recipe for success for a former delivery boy from Laguna is equal parts hard work and good luck.
Manny Valencia, now the owner of Joshua’s Meat Products, can’t help but tear up when he recalls the days growing up as a young boy in Laguna.
Valencia lived a comfortable life as a kid until his fruit vendor father got hooked on gambling.
He said he saw how his father squandered all of his earnings on gambling, which eventually tore the family apart.
“Dati puno ang bahay namin ng mga prutas, hanggang sa nakita ko may manok na sa bahay namin. Sabi ko pagdating ng panahon, hindi ko ito gagayahin,” he said on “My Puhunan.”
“Nawalan ako ng pag-asa kasi tatay ko ‘yun eh. Syempre bilang tatay, lider ka ng pamilya tapos nagkaganoon ka, apektado ang mga anak,” he added.
Manny Valencia. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page
Valencia left home and lived with his aunt for 10 years, juggling schoolwork and part-time work as a delivery boy.
“Medyo nagalit ako pero naintindihan ko din na mas mabuting doon na ako sa tiyahin ko kasi makakapag-aral ako kaysa nandoon kami sa amin. Tinanggap ko na din ang sitwasyon na kailangan namin maghiwa-hiwalay dahil sa hirap ng buhay,” he said.
Valencia’s luck began to change when he was reunited with his estranged father.
“Kung ang Diyos ay nagpatawad, kailangan ding nating tao na magpatawad. Walang dahilan para hindi ko siya patawarin,” he said.
After mending ties with his father, Valencia chanced upon a recipe for skinless longganisa, which was left behind by a meat supplier who passed away.
Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page
He started his own longganisa business, which he was able to operate and manage well with God and honesty as his backbone.
“Importante ang pagiging tapat sa pakikipag-usap sa tao, napakahalaga ng isang salita,” he said.
From producing 10 kilos a day, Joshua’s Meat Products now produce 2,500 kilos or 10,000 packs of longganisa a day.
Valencia said he initially picked “Manny” as the name for his business, but the second option “Joshua” was approved by the Department of Trade and Industry.
“Kapag binasa mo ang bibliya, si Joshua ay ‘victorious soldier of God,’” he said.
His meat production business has expanded to making ham, hotdogs, burger patties, tocino, and bologna.
Aside from running the meat factory with his 200 employees, Valencia has also branched out to the restaurant business as well as a resort in Laguna.
“Parang sumagi sa akin ang buhay ko noon tapos nakekwento ko ngayon, ang pakiramdam ko talaga ngayon pasasalamat sa Panginoon na naandito ako ngayon. Hindi nangyari sa buhay ko ang nangyari sa tatay ko,” he said.