Press Release
August 3, 2008

Mag-iitik leads NP's Pondo awardees

One of the 16 most promising entrepreneurs chosen by the Nacionalista Party to receive its centennial gift of P100,000 dubbed "Pondo sa Sipag, Puhunan sa Tiyaga" is Pacifico "Pacing" dela Cruz, 54, a duck raiser from Plaridel, Bulacan.

He started his "itikan" in 1988 with merely 185 heads, which grew eventually to more than 3,000 at present. On the average, his annual net earnings reach P100,000 to P150,000.

With his small income, he was able to put his siblings through school and buy the land on which the business is situated. Two years ago, he was able to buy an elf truck to transport feeds bought from a nearby town which he registered under the name of his son-in-law. Unfortunately, the latter left him with a pile of debts, and his only daughter could not help him because she still had a son to look after. His mother was hospitalized, and he shouldered all the expenses without receiving help from his siblings who were financially better off.

Recently, Pacing was sunken in debt. Realizing his ducks had nothing to eat, he traveled 330 kilometers to the rice fields of Barangay San Antonio in Cauayan, Isabela to enable the ducks to eat the palay hull and snails after the harvest. He knew no one in the area and was just told that the farmers were willing to allow his ducks to graze the rice fields.

Sadly, with about 1,500 ducks that went to Cauayan, Isabela, only 1,000 heads found their way back home to Plaridel. None of the ducks died in that trip--the casualties were just stolen or eaten by enterprising people in Isabela with or without his consent. With his assistant and a driver, he lived in the truck for a month and a half.

Currently, he sells the best salted eggs and balut penoy to the residents of his barangay. His itlog na maalat, which is unlike the others because they are not red in color, makes use of a formula that releases the oil of the yolk which defines its distinct taste.

Pacing is hands-on in his farm and wants his daughter who finished a degree in education to learn the business and take over the farm someday. He has also given training to others in the neighborhood who wanted to try their hand in duck raising. He has a full-time laborer named Doydoy who gets minimum wage and free board and lodging.

His secret is in the food he feeds his ducks. Pacing has promising plans for his business. He is already planning to expand it and to fix other aspects like sanitation. Having reached only grade four, Pacing learned the rudiments of duck raising from other people without formal training. Humble and patient, he has managed to survive the ups and downs, keeping the business afloat with great determination.

NP president Senate President Manny Villar, who conceived NP's nationwide search, said, "Mr. Dela Cruz has displayed the outstanding Filipino virtues of resilience and dedication in his chosen field in agriculture. His story should encourage our countrymen to do their best in pursuing the path of entrepreneurship which has its rewards."

It was during its 100th year celebration held at the Philippine International Convention Center in November 2007 when the NP launched its centennial gift of P100,000 "Pondo sa Sipag, Puhunan sa Tiyaga" as a way of promoting entrepreneurship among Filipinos to combat poverty and uplift citizens' economic situations.

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