Making the famous chicharron is not an easy job. It takes failure over failure, patience, time, and effort to master the art of making the perfect crisp a chicharron could have. It starts with drying up the pig’s skin for a day depending on its quality, cutting it into small equal pieces, soaking it in hot oil until it hardens, and then drying it again, reheating the skin in the oil for a couple of seconds then remove to dry, and lastly frying it again in hot oil until its size doubles.
Just like the process of making chicharron, Baby Marifel Salta and her husband from Piddig, Ilocos Norte took a leap of faith until they achieve the perfect crisp in their business venture. She started by having a loading business and online product selling but it didn’t prosper. They tried to start a chicharron business in Tarlac in which they learned their skill but because of the high level of business competition in the area, they again failed to maintain their enterprise.
“Ang hirap makipagkumpetensiya sa Tarlac lalo na kung ikaw ay baguhan pa lamang sa industriya ng chicharon, pero ayos lang dahil natuto kami ng asawa ko kung papaano ang tamangg proseso ng paggawa nito (It’s hard to compete with experienced chicharon makers in Tarlac especially when you’re new in the industry, but it’s okay at least we learned the correct process of making it)”, said Marifel.
The moved in Piddig, Ilocos Norte to once again try the chicharon business and applying what they learned from the seasoned chicharon makers of Tarlac. “Sa awa po ng Diyos ay lumago po ang aming sinimulang negosyo dito sa Ilocos Norte (Thank God our business here thrived), Marifel delightfully uttered.
But the business hurdles of the couple did not stop there. Because of the community quarantines their supplies decreased causing their enterprise to lose a big chunk of income. Despite this, they did not lose hope, they still continue to produce chicharron hoping that the pandemic will end soon.
The couple received Livelihood Assistance Grant (LAG) from DSWD Field Office 1 – Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) to aid their enterprise from the effect of the pandemic and Transitory Family Support Package (TSFP) and Livelihood Settlement Grant (LSG) from Balik Probinsiya Bagong Pag-asa Programa (BP2P) under Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS). “Malaki po ang aming pasasalamat sa DSWD FO 1 – SLP at BP2P, dahil dito ay nadagdagan ang aming puhunan, makakaasa po kayo na itutuloy-tuloy po namin ito hanggang sa mas lumago pa ito (We are very grateful to DSWD FO 1 – SLP and BP2P, because of this our investment has increased, you can count on us to continue this until it become more prosperous)” Marifel assured.
The couple may have experienced failures in their business venture, but with the help of DSWD FO 1 – SLP and BP2P they continued their journey by exerting effort and patience until they master the art of achieving the perfect crisp and taste of success. Read more success stories of Sustainable Livelihood Program beneficiaries at fo1.dswd.gov.ph (by: John Chris B. Zureta, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)