Paddling through the waves of uncertainties

Drawing inspiration from her grandchild’s favorite cartoon character, Rosalina Bolayo started the Mermaid Boat with her siblings in Burnham Park.

Burnham Park is known to be the heart of Baguio City. This is one of the best places for tourists to unwind and enjoy the peace and calmness of nature. The man-made lake known as the Burnham Lagoon is one of the attractions of the park.

Rosalina Bolayo, a 60-year-old Baguio native, is one of the people who saw an opportunity in the Burnham Lagoon. As the youngest sibling in her family, she was made in charge of their family’s tourist boat rental business. They started with a boat owned by her brother-in-law before establishing their own boat business as siblings in 1995. They named their business Mermaid Boat after their grandchild’s favorite character, a mermaid.

Of course, boat rentals are not always in demand; there are times when there are very few tourists in the area, resulting in a low income.  Aside from that, yearly typhoons and the pandemic that occurred in 2020 created a negative impact to their business. Fortunately, they still produce income to support their daily needs that time because her sister owns a sari-sari store while she sells longganisa online.

Despite having a rough year they remained optimistic about their business although they are uncertain of what will happen next or if they can still get through it.

It was in year 2011 when she started to join the CARD Bank. It was their friend who introduced CARD Bank to them. Her older sister, Cora joined the institution first then she eventually followed. After that, they encouraged their nieces and nephews to join CARD Bank as well that is why almost everyone in their family is a client of the institution.

She uses the loan that she obtained from CARD Bank as her capital. The biggest loan that she got was PhP 100,000 which she entirely used for their business. As of now, they already have nine boats and is currently hoping to have more in the near future.

Obstacles are always part of being an entrepreneur. “There maybe a times when we encounter problems but because of the unity within our family and through the help of CARD Bank we remain firm in this field,” Rosalina concluded.