|Beverly Aquino, owner of "Lugaw Queen". Photo from "My Puhunan" facebook page
MANILA, Philippines - Who would have thought that selling a bowl of lugaw that costs P10 can earn you as much as P50,000 per day?
On ABS-CBN's "My Puhunan", Beverly Aquino, owner of "Lugaw Queen", told Karen Davila how she started Lugaw Queen back in 2007. She only had a starting capital of a little over a thousand pesos -- money that she was supposed to use to pay for her family's electric bills.
"Nagsimula lang kami sa puhunan na P1,100," she said.
Then, she rented a small kiosk with just three chairs for her customers in San Pablo, Laguna.
But Aquino had a plan and a secret recipe that she and her mother came up with.
"Umisip kami ng mga sangkap na ihahalo namin sa lugaw. Kasi bago ka magpalaki ng business, kailangan mayroon kang secret na sangkap," explained Aquino.
And from then on, after serving their first bowl of lugaw for P10, Lugaw Queen never looked back.
"Pagkalipas lang po ng tatlong buwan, nakapag-ipon po kaming mag-asawa ng pang-renta sa mas malaking lugar kaya doon po nagsimula," Aquino said.
In just a year, they managed to open 12 branches all over Luzon. Even Aquino is surprised at how much the branches make in a day just from selling bowls of lugaw.
"The first day bumenta lang kami ng P1,300. And then nung sumunod na araw na-doble, naging P2,400....Nung nag P10,000 na a day, hindi na ako makapaniwala," Aquino exclaimed.
Now, Lugaw Queen sells as much as P50,000 worth of lugaw every day. "Hindi ko talaga na-imagine na bumebenta kami ng P50,000 sa isang araw," Aquino said.
Aquino is overwhelmed by Lugaw Queen's success, especially considering that she was born into poverty.
"Nakikitira lang kami dati. Yung tinitirhan namin noon, walang CR, walang kitchen," confessed Aquino.
According to her husband, Sherwin Aquino, back in when they were in high school, his wife even went to school without money for lunch.
"Pumapasok siya, wala siyang pambili ng pagkain. Pamasahe lang," said Sherwin.
"Kailangan kong magtipid ng baon ko kasi hindi lang para sa akin eh. Hati kami doon sa baon na gagastusin ko," Sherwin added.
Today, with the money she earned from selling bowls of lugaw, Aquino has a two-storey rest house in San Pablo and a land in Nuvali, Laguna where they're currently building their dream home.
Aquino felt that the hard times she experienced prepared her for the harsh realities of life.
"Sobrang laki ng naitulong niya kasi parang yung times na ganun, yun na pala yung training ko sa buhay," said Aquino.
The Lugaw Princess
Ginalyn Moguer, who also hopes to alleviate her family from poverty through cooking, was approached by My Puhunan and Aquino as part of their program to help the less fortunate kick start their own business.
"Gagamitin ko po sa pamilya ko para kahit papano hindi na po ako mahahagilap kung saan saan," Moguer tearfully said while she accepted a small kitchen package from Aquino.
"Malay mo ikaw naman ang maging lugaw princess dito," quipped Aquino.
Aquino reminded Moguer that consistency is key when running a food-based business while she taught her the recipe for her famous lugaw.
"Kahit pa maliit ang puhunan, malaking puhunan na yung kaalaman at kakayanan mo," said Aquino.
With the help of My Puhunan and Aquino, Moguer managed to open her own little "karinderya" selling, not only bowls of lugaw, but as well as dried fish and other kinds of dishes.