WHEN Charles Perrault wrote “Cendrillon” in 1697, he probably had no idea that girls worldwide would become enamored by the story of a poor girl who, with the help of her fairy godmother, beats all odds, goes to a ball and captures the heart of a prince. “Bibbidi bobbidi boo.”

A lot of people wish it were that easy to make dreams come true. For one woman, who had the odds stacked against her growing up, making her dreams come true was perhaps harder than it was for the others, but that did not stop her from seeing difficulties as merely challenges to overcome while on the path to success. Rossel Dimayuga, Shantal to her family, friends and peers, talked about life, her goals and the advocacy that is very close to her heart.

Dimayuga has this innate glow in her. When you walk into a room, she will be hard to miss. She just had a photoshoot so she was dressed to the nines with flawless hair and makeup. She was a little intimidating at first, but one would be put right at ease the moment she started talking. Her voice had a trace of humility, perhaps because of her humble background, but once she started talking about her passions which are business, people empowerment and extending help to children, the trace of humility in her voice was replaced with authority.

Dimayuga grew up in a low-income family in Batangas. They were not destitute. They were able to get by but there was very little wiggle room for more than the basic necessities. Her father was very strict and expected her to be home 30 minutes after her classes had ended. The same thing happened after college once she had started working. She doesn’t come from wealth nor a family of entrepreneurs but somehow after college, she realized she would never achieve financial freedom by staying as an employee.

Like a lot of people who grew up in the province, she dreamed of working in Manila. Her eyes glistened with pride when she stated how she landed a job at the Manila Ocean Park, and how excited she was to come home to show her family all of the aquarium’s promotional brochures. “This is where I work,” she told her parents as she proudly showed them the brochures. She also worked as a beauty consultant for a major beauty brand then subsequently, she came to work as a building administrator. Although these working experiences taught her a lot, she realized she wanted to push herself even more into achieving her dreams. With this, she mustered up the courage to venture into her own business.

Dimayuga did not shy away from actual work. She knew she needed a stable job to eventually make her dreams come true, so while she was working full-time, she decided to start an online business selling cellphones on Facebook. “I realized that you can actually start a business without any capital,” she said. She contacted a supplier who would provide the phones and posted the pictures of the products online. The cellphones had already been paid for in full plus shipping even before they left the store.

Her business smarts led her to much bigger endeavors. Eventually, she had enough money to open a laundromat. She said she had been naive to think that hiring someone to operate it would be the best thing to do because her full-time job prevented her from being 100 percent hands-on. The business tanked but failure did not faze her. “Failure is always a good thing because with it come life lessons,” she said.

Her experience in handling small businesses, despite the failures, has made her realize that people could achieve financial freedom if they had their own businesses. This realization was further emphasized with the onset of the pandemic. She saw countless people queuing up outside government offices waiting under the scorching sun just for “ayuda.” Most had been laid off work or poor with or without a global pandemic. “If only those people had a business to call their own, they probably wouldn’t have suffered as much. We have seen how the business community has thrived despite the pandemic. Yes, we’ve seen a lot of restaurants, stores, etc. close down, but somehow, they bounce back.”

This is just one of the things that Dimayuga aims to do. She aims to educate Filipinos about the importance of small and mid-size enterprise (SME)—that one does not have to be rich to start his own business. “It’s not just about making money, it’s also about not having to worry about food security, your children’s education, or if something unexpected happens like a pandemic.”

Another goal of hers is to start a foundation called “Yakap Kalinga,” which aims to help underprivileged children by providing them with shoes, supplements and other necessities every start of the school year. This project is ongoing but the foundation will be formally launched in 2023.

To date, Dimayuga owns a manpower agency, a security agency, a finance company, a trading company, a textile and garments manufacturing company and most recently, One Genki Corp., the sole distributor of Genki diapers from Japan. She has come a long way from being the young, innocent girl from Batangas, who always felt restricted with time. She is the embodiment of the term “self-made” for she can truly claim all her successes as hers.

At 32, she is the chief finance officer of Bright One Glorious Star Inc. and One Genki Corp., CEO of RadCorp, president and CEO of Promptus Trading Inc., president and CEO of Nobles One Solutions Agency Inc., president of Bagwis Security and Investigative Services Inc. and president and CEO of Empress Textile and Garments Manufacturing Corp.

Every now and then, people come across a person who is truly inspirational. Dimayuga makes one realize that one cannot and should not wait for an outside force to make his dreams come true. In a way, Dimayuga is her own fairy godmother. SPONSORED CONTENT