NAGCARLAN, LAGUNA, Philippines – When Manny and Virginia Valencia got married in 1993, they spent almost all their savings on their wedding.
Fortunately, they decided to keep P2,000 from the P7,000 they received from their principal sponsors and put that amount in a small meat processing business.
They never thought that Joshua’s Meat Products (JMP) would penetrate a significant number of stores and households in Southern Tagalog and nearby regions with its longganisa, tocino, hot dog, bacon and ham, and other meat items.
Manny, 42, says the biblical “Joshua” was the name he gave to a son.
When they were just starting, Manny says he just wanted to bring enough income to his family so they could make both ends meet.
“My wife and I tried making longganisa (native sausage) on our own without any formal training,” he recalls, adding that he would simply buy ground pork from a nearby wet market in Nagcarlan, one of the top sellers of pork in Laguna.
“Our initial buyers were our neighbors,” Manny says.
Nine months later, the couple acquired a house from their earnings.
In 1994, Manny met a businessman from San Pablo City who was looking for someone who could produce P20,000 worth of longganisa. He accepted the job, and the influx of more buyers began.
Since then, the Valencias have developed more products to address a wider number of target buyers.
Now, JMP distributes products not only in Laguna and Metro Manila, but also in Bicol and other places in northern Luzon.
With 70 employees, it currently makes six to seven tons of meat products—a far cry from its starting output of 20 to 50 kilos.
“We also buy raw meat from local sellers, so we’re helping Nagcarlan townsfolk through JMP,” Manny says.
He remains hands-on in managing the business, and imposes strict rules on food safety and sanitation. The welfare of buyers always comes first, he says.
“It was perhaps a combination of luck, perseverance and faith,” says Manny, when asked on JMP’s formula of success.