Crafting Success


The journey of Carmelita Aguilar, now 44, began with criticism over her decision to start a family at 18. What some saw as a poor choice turned out to be the foundation of her success. Facing financial challenges, she entered the paper mache business while juggling other responsibilities like selling snacks and dishes.

Moving from Parañaque to Cavite and finally settling in Pangil, Laguna, the couple encountered difficulties. Despite owning a house, they struggled with rising costs. To make ends meet, Carmelita became the driving force behind their paper mache business, while her husband worked in Cavite.

When his husband, Alejandro, worked abroad in Qatar, Carmelita managed the household and the business. Despite the challenges, she embraced the opportunity to focus on her paper mache craft.

Upon Alejandro’s return, Carmelita transformed her sideline into a full-time venture. Rejecting the idea of him working abroad again, they concentrated on expanding their paper mache business.

“People who work here in the Philippines and those abroad earn the same amount of money if they are persistent. I didn’t let him go back abroad to focus on the paper mâché business,” she said.

Financial support from CARD MRI Rizal Bank, Inc. (CARD RBI) played an important role in providing her business with an initial PHP 5,000 loan to purchase materials.

The couple are involved in every aspect of the business. Their great teamwork led to more opportunities such as becoming a subcontractor for a Manila-based paper mâché business. Gradually expanding, they hired skilled neighbors and became direct suppliers for an exporting company.

Carmelita’s resilience and determination shine through setbacks. From starting with a sideline to becoming a supplier for international markets, her journey mirrors growth and success. Grateful for CARD RBI’s support, she acknowledges the importance of their partnership in her achievements. “Whatever I have achieved in life, that is because of CARD RBI who was my first partner. I wouldn’t be able to start a business if it wasn’t for the loan they provided me. Their weekly sessions for their clients are also a great help regarding the proper management of money and resources,” she said.

For more than seven years, she has ventured into various businesses. She also started raising pigs. With 28 pigs and plans to invest more in pig farming, Carmelita continues to grow and diversify. She envisions her own mâché production building and a storage facility. Her message is clear: “When you stumble and fall, get back on your feet. Think about how to recover each time you lose. These lessons are crucial for our growth in the long run,” Carmelita concluded.

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