Marilyn Cañeja found herself starting again with her paper wallet business that she is distributing around Poblacion Market in Davao City.

Marilyn Cañeja’s journey from North Cotabato to Davao City is a tale of resilience and determination. As a young woman, she lived a sweet but meager life in the province. It was during her sophomore year in college that circumstances led her to drop out and work as a sales clerk in a pharmacy. Little did she know, this job would introduce her to her future husband.

Together, they shared dreams of independence; so they decided to quit their job and open a sari-sari store. The store prospered; however, to bear a child, she needed to give up the store as her doctor advised her to leave the stresses of store management behind. Meanwhile, her husband got a job as a bus conductor in Davao City. Prioritizing the family, Marilyn made the move to be closer to him after the birth of their child.

Their life was going well in Davao City, not until she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. Bills are overwhelming, but despite the struggles they faced, they were able to pull back up, proudly announcing that she is now a cancer survivor.

Her next business venture was born out of her doctor’s advice to remain active and not lie down too often to fight the disease. This led her to start creating paper wallets in 2017. What started as a therapeutic activity blossomed into a flourishing enterprise. She used to finish 500 wallets in a week with the help of her husband and some of her neighbors, but now they can finish the 500 wallets in just half a day.

To support the early days of her business venture, Marilyn secured a loan from CARD Bank. She learned about the Bank in 2011, observing that many of her neighbors trusted its services.

Marilyn’s journey is proof of the power of determination. “Do not let the challenges be the reason for you to stop growing. Instead, treat them as a stepping stone in order to thrive,” Marilyn concluded.