The inspiring story of a school nurse who became an entrepreneur will remind us again how fate has a way of breaking us free from our chosen profession. Like in the story of the 2 teachers who built a taho shop, Maria Cecilia “Che” Innocencio of Tatay Pepe’s Tapsilogan, decided to explore a bigger world outside her comfort zone as a school nurse.
In an episode of GMA’s Pera Paraan, Che shared that her motivation to venture into business was, of course, to earn extra income. While her husband is a seaman and she is a school nurse, their income was insufficient to cover all of their expenses, especially since they have two children in school. The first idea that came into their mind was to start a carinderia. However, they had a big problem. She didn’t know how to cook!
“Wala akong alam sa pagluluto so I have to call my sister ‘Ate, paano ba pagluto ng monggo? Paano ba pagluto ng sinigang?’ As in from 5:30 a.m. nagluluto na ako, natatapos ako 11 a.m. I was crying that time kasi hindi naman talaga ako marunong magluto. I only have this money, P3,000, kailangang kumita kami, para mapaikot namin,” Che recalled.
Che had many doubts about their carinderia business, especially because they always had many leftovers at the end of the day. “I cried because kasi ano ba ‘to, parang ‘di naman para sa akin itong pinasukan ko,” she recalled.
It was then that they shifted to cooking tapsilog. It was the ideal business for Che because silogs were easier to prepare. She began with only 2 products, hangsilog and longsilog but they were such big hits!
“Silogs are one of the favorite foods na nakita kong dinagsa talaga young tindahan namin,” Che said.
After improving the tapa recipe of her husband’s sister, Che became confident with their business. “Hindi ako marunong magluto, yes, pero magaling along lumasa,” she explained.
As her confidence grew, Che started expanding their menus with other combos such as luncheon meat and other Pinoy favorites. She named her business, Tatay Pepe’s Tapsilogan, in honor of her late father.
Now, Tatay’s Pepe Tapislogan has 4 branches and continues to serve many hungry customers every day. She humbly shared that they are now earning over P200,000 to P250,000 per month. What an inspiring story of stepping outside of your comfort zone and venturing into the bigger world of entrepreneurship!