“As you go along the process, there are trials and errors in the long run,” says Jonnamei T. Lozano, proprietor of the successful Guyabano puree business in Maramag Bukidnon.
Part of the road to success are the sweat of perseverance, the blood of determination, and the exhausting battle against self-doubt that says you will never make it.
A good example stands out in the province of Bukidnon, particularly in Barangay Dologon, Maramag. Here, Guyabano Puree is recognized by many. But how did it become well-known? And what could be the story behind its success?
Rj-Sun Tropical Herbs and Fruits is the name behind this product. The enterprise started sometime in November 2013 and was managed by a couple whose aspiration is to engage in business despite numerous failures and great debts.
Since 2001, the Lozanos have been initiating business ventures one after the other: a printing press, a school canteen, a resto bar, hito-raising, slippers manufacturing, fried chicken, squash kutsinta-making, direct-selling fashion watches, liniment oil-making, polvoron-making, and siopao-making. Those eleven businesses gambled for a short time and ended unsuccessfully.
Finally, for their 12th business venture, the Lozanos gave rise to Rj-Sun Guyabano Puree. It was initially just a product of internet research and experimentation while the owners were searching for the best natural remedy for a constipation problem. When they discovered the power of the guyabano fruit, they quickly got the idea to create guyabano puree.
The couple, guided by the management of Mrs. Jonnamei Lozano, then began the stage-by-stage process of producing Rj-Sun Guyabano Puree. Soon, the product became loved by many as it has the taste of real guyabano placed in a bottle.
At first, the Lozanos were hesitant, thinking that Guyabano Puree may be an impossible business to do. Producing puree using guyabano takes a lot of patience since the fruit is too sensitive. The minute you leave it open or do something that exposes the fruit, it can no longer be used for the production. There was also the fact that the couple could acquire no machineries in making the said product since they still needed support in acquiring these.
Nevertheless, the Lozanos were very persistent that guyabano could really help in their business. Soon, they made it possible to market their product in Davao. Then, in 2013, Rj-Sun received the assistance of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).
Before DOST’s intervention, the couple spent enormous time in their manual production. They would start early in the day and always end late at night since manufacturing took eight long hours each day. After the lengthy process, they would be able to produce 40 bottles or two cases of guyabano puree.
With the intervention of DOST, those two cases went up to 24 cases. Aside from that, another benefit from SETUP was that the shelf life of Rj-Sun’s Guyabano Puree was made even longer – from two weeks to up to one year of the product’s expiration.
The Lozanos have clearly made the right decision in fighting for Guyabano Puree. Because of their collaboration with the DOST, they have been receiving awards for their excellence. Their recognitions include the Best Delicacies – Beverage Category in the Province of Bukidnon, DTI’s Most Outstanding MSMEs in Bukidnon – Small Category, and the Seal of Product Quality, a National Product Quality Excellence Award.
But achievements will never be valuable without sharing the plaque with those who provided the biggest contributions to the business. Rj-Sun has generated employment for fresh graduates, out-of-school youths, and even older individuals who are deprived of work because of age limits. The business encouraged these workers to plant more guyabano trees in their own backyards and even gave them free seedlings. Soon after the plants’ proper development, Rj-Sun will be buying their fresh fruits.
Success is a fitting word that describes the Lozanos’ business story. As of now, Rj-Sun Tropical Herbs and Fruits is the only manufacturer of Guyabano Puree in Northern Mindanao, with License to Operate from the Food and Drug Administration as well as a Certificate of Product Registration.
Rj-Sun Guyabano Puree would never have made a big name in the industry without the Lozanos’ impregnable walls of determination that their product would catch the taste of the crowd. You may experience a lot of trials and errors along the process but it will be worth it in the long run. (Kate Kyle Geralla Rada CMU-BSDC3/DOSTBukidnon)