MANILA, Philippines – What started out as a hobby has now turned into a million peso venture for beekeeper Luke Macababbad.
In early 2001, Macababbad raised honeybees in his backyard in Muntinlupa City as a pastime. He started with 4 colonies worth P3,000 each.
“Noong una, gusto ko lamang na magkaroon kami ng honey sa aming hapagkainan,” he said on “My Puhunan.”
The bees produced more honey than he expected, and his father-in-law urged him to turn it into a profitable venture.
“Nang maka-harvest kami ng marami, ang aking father-in-law ay nag-suggest na gawin na namin itong isang negosyo,” he said.
Luke Macababbad of Dielle's Honey Wine. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page
Macababbad did not come from a rich family and had no background in entrepreneurship. But what he lacked in riches, he made up for in persistence.
“Nakatapos ako ng biology pero hindi ako nakapasok sa medisina, kasi wala naman kaming kakayanan. Ang ginawa ko na lamang ay nagtrabaho ako at inisip ko kung paano ang makaangat,” he said.
He started a career as a medical representative, but he realized early that being an employee won’t help him reach his goal of providing his family with a comfortable life.
“Sa negosyo naman, magsipag ka lamang at magandang produkto, sa tamang panahon ay kikita ka ng malaki,” he said.
From honey-based products, Macababbad moved on to honey wines with the help of his father-in-law, who is a wine maker.
It took years before Macababbad perfected the wine, which he infused with indigenous fruits to capture the Filipino taste.
“Pwede inumin ng masang Pilipino, hindi lamang para sa mga mayayaman ang wine. Sapagkat ito ay mabuti at nakakabuti sa ating katawan at kalusugan,” he said.
Dielle's Honey Wine. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page
Dielle’s Honey Wine now comes in 24 flavors and sells wine bottles P300 and up.
With only 10 employees and around 5 million bees, Macababbad’s company is now making P1 million in sales.
As part of the advocacy of “My Puhunan” to promote entrepreneurship, Macababbad taught the Masenda family from Tanauan, Leyte how to raise bees and earn profit from the honey.
Crispin and Lorna Masenda lost their home and livelihood in the onslaught of typhoon “Yolanda.”
With the help of the Pinoy Me Foundation, the Masenda family was also given a temporary home in Bacoor, Cavite and capital to finance a small sari-sari store.