MMP Program: Doing business as a family

While everyone in their community is preparing for the day’s work, Tita Susan and her husband are already busy serving their customers.  As sari-sari store owners for more than a decade now, they have been committed to provide the needs of the community through retailing.

Considered as a significant part of a Filipino community, most sari-sari stores operate from dawn or early morning until late evening, seven days a week.  Most often than not, it requires the effort of the whole family to fully attend to the needs of the business.

Acknowledging that the success of a sari-sari store is accounted to the whole family, Project Bagong Araw PREMIUM designed the Masaya’t Masaganang Pamilya Vacation and Learning Experience, also known as MMP, for all the PBA PREMIUM Level 2 Graduates.

The MMP is a two-day, overnight workshop for couples who own and run sari-sari stores.  It aims to inculcate in the participants the importance of running and growing their business together.  But more than that, it was developed to remind the participating couples of their roles, first as husband and wife, and second as business partners.

“Dito sa Masaya’t Masaganang Pamilya Program, hindi ito, technical skills na pinag-uusapan o hard skills training.  Ang kaibahan nito, dito ini-encourage natin na sumama yong asawang lalaki sa workshop… Nong nilapitan ako para magdesenyo ng MMP, meron silang hangarin na [magkaroon ng] isang programa na makakatulong sa mga nanay na lumago, hindi lang yong kanilang negosyo kundi lalong tumibay ang pagsasama nila sa pamilya”, said Roderick Marfil, MMP Trainer.

(Masaya’t Masaganang Pamilya Program is not about technical skills or hard skills training. This program encourages the husbands or business partners to participate in the workshop. When Hapinoy approached me to design the MMP, their goal is to have a program that will help the sari-sari store owners grown their businesses even more and strengthen the bond of the family.)

Several activities are given, serving as a venue for each couple to connect with each other, discuss family issues and envision their future.  These enable the couple to see each other as partners supporting each other in achieving the goal they set for the family.

“Kadalasan, para lang makalagpas sa kahirapan ng buhay, nasusubsob masyado sa trabaho, sa hanapbuhay.  Maganda naman yon, kaya lang nakakalimutan yong relasyon sa pamilya.  Maraming mag-asawa na halos hindi na nga nag-uusap, gawa ng nasusubsob sa trabaho.  Nakakalimutan na sila ay mag-asawa.  Ang isang pamilya ay nagkakaroon na lamang ng business partnership”, Marfil added.

(Oftentimes, many push themselves to much work to be able to uplift their situation.  This is good, but they tend to forget the relationship within the family.  Many husbands and wives forget to converse with each other because they are too occupied with work.  They forget that they are a couple. So family becomes just a business partnership.)


Tita Susan, with her husband and grandchild, posed for a photo during the MMP at Ciriaco Hotel, Calbayog, Samar. 

Tita Susan, with her husband and grandchild, posed for a photo during the MMP at Ciriaco Hotel, Calbayog, Samar. 

The MMP also taught the difference between identifying their goals for the business and their family, and actually achieving it.  In connection, they are encouraged to save and prepare for the future they have been dreaming of.

“Natutunan din kasi namin dito kung paano dalhin ng maayos ang hanapbuhay para umunlad ito.  So i-aapply namin ito sa pag-uwi namin na dapat para maging maunlad pa ang aming hanapbuhay, ay magkaroon kami ng pagkakaisa sa aming magiging desisyon, na kung ano man ang gusto naming makamit sa aming pamilya ay pagtrabahuhan at pag-usapan ng maayos.  Hindi lang ito pag-usapan kundi ito’y dapat gawin para matupad lahat ito.” Tita Susan shared.

(We learned how to handle our business. We will apply this when we get home. We learned that for our business to progress, we have to be united in making decisions, in identifying our goals and in working to be able to achieve it. Talking about our goals is not enough, we should work hard for it.)

With long days of work in their stores, the MMP also gave them the time to take a break and appreciate rest.  They are given quality time to enjoy, relax and bond.  It also enabled them to make new friends and learn from the experiences of other couples.  After the MMP, the participants went home refreshed and fueled to do more for their family, their business and their future.