by Cecile Cinco
I was a McGyver fan when back in the mid-80s when it was popular in TV. I love finding solutions to problems instead of whining. It has taught me to be resourceful. Up until now I have a tool set in my bag that could fit my palm but has most of the forms I need, even a hammer.
In 2000, we lived in a place that’s secluded from technology. Talisay, Batangas is a place where you can put up a fishing business. From Talisay, you can go to Taal lake by a pump boat.
My brother, then a newly graduate in college, had his thesis about tilapia farming, the best in school. When papa saw it, he decided (together with mama, of course) to push through with half a million pesos and everything in half, though the plan calls for one million. It was too late when we realized that in the said business we need funds to cover for the unforseen circumstances that made us harvest early, way before their break-even point. In short, the business flopped. The fish drowned.
We stayed there for a year. The first half was good. The last half was survival. We had to think of something that will earn us some money apart from the fishing industry. (By the way, being the eldest in the family, and with a husband who is physically fit, we are the only ones who can help in executing the business. We actually had to move to the place so we can watch against those who would try to steal from our fish cages.)
I had my laptop computer which was an iBook, the clamshell type. It was actually given to me as help for livelihood. I also bought a digital camera. Back then digital printing was unheard of. I went to schools and talked to the principals, offering them that I can take pictures for their students and they can see the picture right away and we can have a retake if they didn’t like it…and it only costed them 5 pesos each for a 1×1 copy…and they don’t even have to buy 6 (which was the minimum in photo shops)…just one.
From the success of one school, I went to all schools in that town. I became popular for taking pictures with a laptop.
Today, the principle is the same. As one of my friends used to say, look for the problem and find the solution to that problem and you’ll get rich.
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