Meet the 'mani queen' of Laguna

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 30 2014 11:25 AM | Updated as of Sep 01 2014 04:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines – All her life, Zenny Corcuera of Laguna has been selling goods to help her get through her daily expenses.

Corcuera, whose family used to live by the side of the train tracks, started selling sampaguita when she was only six years old.

“Kita ko ‘yung hirap namin. Tapos noong umabot ako ng elementary, nagkaroon ako ng kahit kaunting pambaon so naisipan ko magtinda ng sampaguita sa tren,” she told “My Puhunan.”

Zenny Corcuera. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

At a young age, Corcuera already learned the value of money as she spent her hours after school to earn extra money from the sampaguita she herself picked from her neighbor’s backyard.

To make even more money, she also sold water by the glass and peanuts to train passengers.

Despite being a full-time student and a part-time vendor, Corcuera managed to finish college with a degree in banking and finance.

But even as an employed bank teller with a fixed income, Corcuera continued to do what she knows best: sell.

“Para makapasok sa bangko, may dala akong isang booklet ng ticket ng sweepstakes. Dinadala ko ‘yun sa opisina at binebenta ko naman sa mga taga-bangko para pag-uwi ko, may pamasahe ako pabalik,” she said.

She also sold bags of peanuts to bank customers.

“Sabi ko, ‘May dala akong mani.’ Sa ilalim ng booth ko, nagtatakal ako ng P5 mani at iaabot ko doon sa depositor,” she said.

Zennies peanuts. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

When she retired in 1991, she used for retirement pay of P6,000 to put up her own food business.

Her experience in being a vendor helped the business grow from being selling only 2 kilos of peanuts daily to 150 kilos everyday.

Corcuera’s ZC Food Products is also set to export its popular peanuts as well as its other products such as banana chips, camote chips, garlic chips, shing-a-ling and yema.

Zennies Banana Chips. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

But despite her success, Corcuera has not failed to look back to where she was before she became a successful businesswoman.

“Pag nakakakita kami ng nagtitinda na bata, nafefeel ko ‘yung hirap nila kaya minsan, binibilhan ko sila, parang tulong ka na din sa kanila, ganoon kasi ako noon,” she said.

Corcuera believes that when starting a business, success does not lie on the capital but on the hard work and patience needed to make it grow.