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Finding hope in the face of adversity

By Aliyya Sawadjaan Published Oct 17, 2020 12:29 am

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has greatly impacted several businesses in the country. Add to this the various quarantine measures imposed by the government including the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), certain businesses have had to stop operations permanently or halt indefinitely until conditions have improved. 

As a business owner, you are not only responsible for yourself, but you are also responsible for the lives of your employees. This is what JM Magalona had to learn the hard way. 

Magalona started modeling in 2015. It eventually became his bread and butter, accepting modeling, acting jobs and becoming a brand ambassador. What prompted him to work in this industry was his wanting to help his family and for him to be self-sufficient. Eventually, he was able to earn enough money to venture into a gym business.

“Nung nagkaroon ako ng extra income, inalok ako kung gusto ko maging part-time owner ng isang gym. Since puhunan ko rin yung maging physically fit, nagdecide ako na pasukin ang business na ito,” he shares. 

Rather than give up, Magalona revamps his gym into a food business.
Rather than give up, Magalona revamps his gym into a food business.

At first, everything went really well for Magalona. “Ang ganda ng pasok ng income noon – sunod-sunod ang events, may gym ako, okay lahat, smooth. Tapos nangyari ang COVID,” he recalls.

“Yung mga staff ko inaalala ko, mawawalan din kasi sila. Mahirap kasi tumutulong ako sa pamilya ko kahit papaano… hindi ko alam ano uunahin. Walang events kasi nga may restrictions. Aasahan ko sana yung gym, pero malabo rin mangyari, nagsara din.”

Not wanting to give up and let his staff down, Magalona thought of another way to earn money for himself, his partners, and his employees who he all considered as family.

“Naisip ko, hindi pwedeng basta iwan (ko) ang mga empleyado ko. Naging pamilya ko na rin kasi sila, eh,” he says. “Sabi ko sa sarili ko, konting puhunan lang kailangan ko at suporta galing sa mga kasama ko sa gym. So nagpost ako online para makita nila ang produkto namin at doon na bumalik ang pag-asa ko.” 

And Project Tapsi was born. “Matagal ko ng naisip ‘tong business na ito. Pero sabi ko kapag may malaking puhunan na ako. Eh ngayon pwede naman maliit na puhunan lang kasi puro take out,” recounts Magalona.

From model to gym owner to food business owner, JM Magalona is ready to do everything for his family and staff.
From model to gym owner to food business owner, JM Magalona is ready to do everything for his family and staff.

They were able to repurpose the gym into their base of operations. “Itong dating bar ng gym, (ngayon) naging kitchen namin. Mga staff ko, (from) fitness coach turned cook,” he adds. 

“Support lang kami sa Project Tapsi,” says Stewart Lagsil, Project Tapsi staff. “Ang masasabi ko lang sa kanya, good boss (siya). Maraming-maraming salamat po talaga sa boss ko kasi di ko mapigilan, naiiyak talaga ako.”

When faced with adversity, it’s important to remember that you always have choices. Great leaders embrace it because then it becomes a powerful force that propels you to move past it. Things may seem hard at first, but it is during these dark moments that we often see the light.

“Hindi ko naisip na sa gitna ng pasubok na ito, magkakaroon ng pag-asa,” says Magalona. “(Pero) binigyan ako ng pagasa ng mga kasama ko sa gym, ng pamilya ko at higit sa lahat si Lord.” 

In partnership with The Philippine STAR, Globe and its Facebook community Hope Bank brings you #KwentoNgTagumpay inspiring stories from people who chose to hope and believe. Watch JM Magalona and his #KwentoNgTagumpay on Facebook.com/PhilippineSTAR. What are your inspiring stories? It’s time to share them by visiting Philstarlife.com/globehopebank.

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