There is something fulfilling about being a part of other people’s lives. Sometimes, a person who worked so hard for his or her sole gain may one day look back and find out that nothing is to celebrate at all. But when one worked and succeeded along with people around like a ripple in a single drop of water, is something worth celebrating. That is something fulfilling.
Dayam Bañas, 46, is one of the few people who could testify that no wealth or riches in this world could buy fulfillment and happiness out of simple acts of kindness. She and her husband, Remy, 48, are owners of the famed Jaira’s Lechon in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. Every Filipino occasion like fiestas would not be complete without having lechon baboy (roasted pig) displayed as a highlight in the middle of the table along with other traditional recipes and so orders and bookings come in bulk.
In one look, people might say that they have an almost perfect life because of their success in the industry they chose. But hidden behind their smiles are the past full trials and struggles that made them who they are today.
Fifteen years ago, Dayam and Remy are struggling to live by each day which is not the kind of life he promised when he married her. He was frustrated to overcome poverty not only for Dayam but for the people he wanted to help but cannot as of the moment. Remy was working as a government employee but was more interested in lechon manok (roasted chicken) business. However, they do not have enough capital to totally start-up. They had loans from lending companies but it did not work out in the end.
In 2005, they heard about a, a social development organization that offers microloans to support the livelihood activities of the socio-economically challenged women and families. So without hesitation, Dayam joined Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD), Inc. (A Microfinance NGO) in which they started a loan of Php 5,000 as additional capital. A lot more happened when they shifted from lechon manok to lechon baboy but they made it with the help of CARD, Inc.’s financial support.
At present, Jaira’s Lechon, a business named after their only child was managed by the couple together with JPM Catering and Services established in 2015. JPM is named after their loyal student assistant who spent 12 years in their support and has finished a degree in business just recently. There are more students that Bañas family is supporting in elementary and secondary level.
According to Dayam, they do not dream about owning a lot of properties or having a mansion and sleep in bills. No one got happy with all those things alone and people die and leave it all behind in the end. It is a fulfillment to see people benefiting from the blessings that the Almighty gave them. And they are more than willing to share what they got, especially the main ingredient to a happy, contented and fulfilled life.