BAKING BUSINESS. Couple Myro and Jhoy Fernandez from Malabon bakes "ensaymada" and other kinds of bread and pastries to make ends meet. Many Filipinos have shifted to engaging in the food business, among others, amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Jhoy Fernandez).

MANILA – When the going gets tough, the tough get going. For couple Myro and Jhoy Fernandez, baking helped them go through the tough times brought by the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Fortunately, the couple from Barangay Muzon in Malabon did not have to start from scratch in their baking business as the two already had their "M.S. Baked Goods" up and running for some time, usually catering to family and friends craving for some homemade cookies, cakes, and pies during the holidays.

But with their funds running low as Myro's job as a teacher at a nearby private school was affected by the pandemic, Jhoy said they decided to bake and sell "pandesal", "ube pandesal", "Spanish bread", "putok" and "ensaymada" to the community.

"Paubos na kasi yung income tapos wala nang pumapasok kaya hindi namin alam kung kailan magkaka-work ulit si Utoy (Myro's nickname) kaya kahit ayaw sana namin kasi delikado kasi madalas lalabas para bumili ng ingredients tapos mag deliver. Wala naman kaming choice, ayaw naman namin i-asa kay Nanay lahat ng gastos. Kaya iyon dasal nalang at tiwala na makakaya namin kahit may pandemic (We are slowly running out of funds out since no one was able to work during the lockdown and also, we have no idea on when 'Utoy' will be called to report to work again. Initially, we are scared to bake as it would mean we will be out often buying ingredients for our baking business and delivering items to the customers. We have no choice as we don't want to get our living expenses from 'Nanay' (mom). And thanks to prayers and trust to God Almighty, we managed to survive the pandemic)," Jhoy said in an interview on Monday.

Jhoy, a mother of two, was also pleased to note that their baked goods were received warmly by family, friends, and their neighbors.

Right now, their average sales range from PHP700 to PHP9,000.

"Hindi pare-pareho yung naging benta, PHP700 pinaka maliit na benta tapos PHP9,000 pinaka-malaki panahon lang ng pandemic yan (Sales aren't uniform, our lowest was PHP700 while our biggest sale was PHP9,000, this took place during the strictest phase of the lockdown for the pandemic," she added.

Aside from fresh bread and other baked products, Jhoy said she also shifted to selling other items as a means to earn additional income during the quarantine period.

"Bukod sa tinapay, nag-aalok na din ako ng ibang paninda na kahit maliit lang yung maging tubo, pwede na din pag madami naman bumili lumalaki na din yung maliit kasi hindi naman parating may benta or may order ng madaming tinapay (Aside from bread, I also now selling other items even if the profits are small, that could go up if there are more orders, and besides sales or orders of bread are not always high,)" she added. (PNA)