Childhood memories stick with us throughout our lives.
Before the advent of digital screens and electronic gadgets, childhood summers were painted with blue skies, gentle warm breezes, and the pure happiness of running wild in open fields. During those days, the simplest joys came from lying on the grass or engaging in a favorite pastime of many Filipino children – kite flying.
Royland Dela Cruz, from Tagaytay City, Cavite, recalls these memories. Driven by a desire to preserve this declining cultural activity, he embarked in a kite-making business to reintroduce the joy of kite-flying to the younger generation.
He was a high school graduate and was then seeking a job when he found guidance in the Kite Association of the Philippines (KAP). They equipped him with knowledge and hands-on experiences, mentoring him until he was ready to manage his own kite shop. Every step of his journey was an experiential learning as he honed his craft and improved his skills in making souvenir items.
Yet, like many start-ups, acquiring initial capital is a challenge. Fortunately, his wife is a client of CARD SME Bank, a thrift bank that offers various financial products to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises with favorable interest rates. “CARD SME Bank made the loan repayment process so seamless that it allowed clients like me to save concurrently,” Royland shared.
Kite business is seasonal in nature. Despite this, Royland remained undeterred. He expanded his product range to bracelets, coin purses, and shell crafts, making his store a unique treasure trove for visitors. “CARD SME Bank aids in the sustainability of our business. Souvenirs are quite expensive, but I was able to buy more stocks with the loans I have,” he said.
Today, as the sole kite vendor in Picnic Grove in Tagaytay, Royland remains steadfast in his mission. He dreams of skies once again dotted with colorful kites just like back in the day.
“For me, kite flying transcends being a mere pastime,” he said. “It is a tradition of bringing people together. It demonstrates our innate creativity, and a reminder that happiness often lies in life’s simplest pleasures,” he concluded.