Former fastfood chain employee now living her dreams

The newly opened Brewbakers Cafe and Bakery in San Isidro, Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte. MindaNews photo by Roel N. Catoto

GIGAQUIT, Surigao del Norte (MindaNews / 25 May) – Who would have thought that a fastfood chain employee would end up owning bakeries and cafes?

Rose Arquina Papeleras-Tesiorna, a 29-year-old businesswoman from Barangay San Isidro here, said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m already here. I still can’t believe it.”

She was a fourth year nursing student at the Surigao Education Center in 2008 when she got pregnant and had to put a halt to her studies and said goodbye to her dream of becoming a healthcare professional.

A few months after Rose gave birth, she started working as a service crew member of Jollibee at Gaisano Capital in Surigao City, earning P28 per hour, barely enough to make both ends meet.

More often, as the family’s breadwinner, she worked too hard, in fact, more than eight hours a day. But being one of the pioneering employees of the said fastfood chain’s branch was such a learning opportunity for her, especially in the food industry.

“I’m the type of employee who works with passion. I made sure that every customer I served would go home very satisfied and would want to come back and then keep coming back,” Rose shares her work ethic.

However, staying in the same company could not sustain her personal, let alone family’s, needs. So she decided to leave Surigao and to go to Cebu to find her place in the sun. “When I arrived in the big city, I was really struggling together with my ex-husband and our first child, because I could not get a job right away. I guess it’s because I didn’t have a college degree. I felt rejected, to say the least,” she recalls.

But that didn’t hinder her from soldiering on. Rose remained optimistic and steadfast searching for a job, until finally, one day, she was accepted into one of the largest realty property development companies in Cebu sometime in October of 2014, as a real estate specialist.

She barely had any know-how of the industry under her belt.

Fr. Nick Penados blesses Rose Aquina Papeleras-Tesiorna’s building. MindaNews photo by Roel N. Catoto

“It was extremely challenging for me, because I had to sell a total of P4 million in four months, and so I couldn’t help but ask myself whether I could make it, considering the amount which seemed impossible to come up with,” the then neophyte real estate specialist and now a successful businesswoman recounts.

Given her inner talent and passion for work, Rose was able to hit beyond the quota. In her first few months of trying, she was able to sell more than a whopping P17 million worth of properties.

She shares, “Nothing is impossible with determination, perseverance, creativity, and prayer.”

Rose utilized her intelligence to the best of her ability in order to not just meet but also exceed expectations. She was an academic achiever back in the day, graduating as valedictorian from elementary school, not to mention receiving multiple awards. She was, in fact, the only recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award on Entrepreneurship in the town of Gigaquit, an award given by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Today, Rose takes pride in having materialized her dream, a three-story building in Barangay San Isidro. She spent at least P8 million to realize her dream of putting up her own bakery and café.

“I chose this business not only because I’m fond of making flavorful repast, but also in order to provide job opportunities for my townsfolk in Gigaquit,” she admits.

Rose could have set up the building in Surigao City, the capital of Surigao del Norte (more than 50 kilometers away), but, according to her, nothing beats seeing her dream come true in a small town that witnessed her dreaming big and starting small.

Due to its location in the middle of the rice field, she has both heard and received comments as well as criticisms, to which Rose humbly replied: “Just because the majority of the people in our town are poor doesn’t mean we cannot build something like this in our neighborhood. This is a living proof of my testimony that nothing is impossible if we strive to reach the summit of our dreams and pray for God’s guidance.”

Thus, the three-story Brewbakers Café and Bakery opened its doors to coffee lovers and bread buffs last May 13. It is located along the National Highway in Barangay San Isidro.

Rose, its proprietor, vows to remain humble despite her success. For her, bragging “will only bring me down, for blessings will only happen to the humble and not to the arrogant.”

She promised to work harder so she can continue to help more people.

Roy Pepino, a former US Navy now residing in this municipality, says of Rose: “She was my scholar. I supported her studies. And I liked this young girl because she would make sure to listen to my advices. So now, I am very proud of her for eventually becoming triumphant in her dreams and aspirations.” (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)