Hope in a Tub: Staff on Weekdays, Entrepreneur on Weekends

by Jude Gomez | October 22, 2020

The Silver Lining

With the uncertainty posed by this already half year-long pandemic situation, a lot of people are still feeling the impact COVID-19 has on many businesses. To make ends meet, many individuals have also dabbled into starting small businesses themselves, whether alone, or with family and friends.

In this blog, we are featuring one of RareJob PH’s maintenance staff, Romelin Jito, who has been with the company for three years. Not only is she braving the pandemic and commute by working at the office alongside our skeleton staff, she is also managing her own door-to-door fish delivery business!

Romelin, ready for delivery

The Daily Grind

As part of the maintenance team, Romelin is one of the few RJPH staff who still report to the office amidst the pandemic. This is no small feat, especially given the current public transportation situation in NCR.

Ako bilang isang empleyado na pumapasok sa gitna ng pandemya ay nahaharap sa mahirap na pagsubok (As an employee who still reports to the office during this pandemic, I’m being faced with difficult challenges).” Romelin said, pertaining to the few public transportation options available. “Naranasan ko pong takbuhin at habulin ang bus, at makipagunahan sa ibang pasahero para lamang makapasok sa trabaho at makauwi ng bahay (I experienced sprinting and running after buses, as well as racing against other commuters just to get to work and return back home),” She added.

Lumalabas po ako ng bahay na dala-dala ang kaba at takot para sa aking sarili at sa aking pamilya. Pero ang lahat ng iyon ay kayang malampasan, manalig lamang sa ating mahal na Panginoon at sumunod lamang sa protokol na binigay ng pamahalaan (I leave my home carrying fear for myself and my family. However, I believe that all of this will pass, through belief in our beloved God, and through following the protocol set in place by the government).”

Door to door fish delivery

Doing Something New

Apart from her salary from working full-time, Romelin and her husband decided to explore other opportunities for extra income, eventually starting a business selling fish. This, of course, didn’t come without hesitation and worry on their part.

Bago po namin pinasok ang negosyong ito, ako at ang asawa ko ay nag-usap nang maraming beses (Before we entered this business, my husband and I discussed it numerous times).” She narrated. “Dahil sa pareho po kaming walang karanasan sa pagnenegosyo, hindi po mawala sa amin ang kaba at takot (Since we both didn’t have any experience in managing a business, we couldn’t help but be nervous and afraid).”

With the help of a good friend, however, Romelin and her husband were finally able to start their business. They started with just one tub of fish, which turned to two to three, and more. “Kaya namin sinimulan ang negosyong ito dahil alam at nakikita namin na kahit sa ganitong paraan, nakakatulong kami hindi lamang sa aming pamilya, kundi pati na rin sa aming mga mahal sa buhay na nasa malayo (We started this business because we knew that through this, we would be able to help not only our family, but also our loved ones who are living far from us).” She said, also recalling how their business was also able to help their neighbor, who lost their livelihood due to the pandemic.

Tubs and tubs of fish, ready for customers

Ready for the New Normal

Romelin continues to juggle her full-time job at RJPH and handling her business on the side. “Ang negosyong ito ay hindi nakakasagabal sa aking trabaho bilang isang full-time na empleyado ng RJPH (This business isn’t a hindrance to my full-time job as an RJPH employee).” She stated, as she only schedules deliveries during weekends and holidays when she isn’t on duty.

With only a small percentage of RJPH employees reporting the office as majority are working from home, Romelin lamented that despite having less tasks to do, she preferred it when all the employees were present in the office.

Kung sa akin lang, mas gusto ko ang dati na maraming napag-seserbisyohan at madaming ginagawa, dahil mas madaming empleyado, mas madaming ginagawa, at mas masaya ang gawain sa araw-araw (In my opinion, I liked it better back then, when there were a lot of employees, and I had a lot of tasks. With more employees, there are more things to do, and it gives more joy to my day-to-day activities).” Romelin shared. She added that prior to the pandemic, she had many things to do daily, but now, she finds it hard to find anything to do every day.

Once normal office operations resume, Romelin sees herself continuing her business alongside her full-time job. “Nakakadagdag kita na rin sa amin, nakakatulong sa ibang tao, lalo na sa mga kapitbahay namin na nawalan ng hanap buhay ([This business] provides us extra income, while it also helps other people, especially our neighbors who’ve lost their livelihood).”