In many ways, Edmar had all the odds stacked against him: He was born into a poor and broken family, practically passed on from one family member to the next. He was bullied by family members, was made to feel like he was begging for help and attention, and when his mom got him back him after she remarried, Edmar was made to live with guilt.
“Ultimo panonood ng TV, pagbukas ng electric fan, baka malakas daw sa kuryente. Minsan pagkain, ‘oh kumain ka na. Tirhan mo yung kapatid mo. Tirhan mo yung stepfather mo. Yung pinambabaon mo, sa halip na napupunta sa kapatid mo, sa’yo napupunta!’” Edmar narrates on Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho.
To finish high school, Edmar did different jobs: he became a vegetable vendor, he became a parking boy, he watched over a computer shop, and finally a carwash boy, a racket that rendered him P100 a day.
He tried his luck becoming an OFW, but Edmar failed.
Upon his return, Edmar enrolled in TESDA — which promised an allowance of P8,000 after each course completed — to study to become a barista.
With his TESDA allowance and his savings, he was able to put up a coffee cart. “Sabi ko, ‘Lord, makadalawang libo lang ako, okay na sa ‘kin.’ Pero alam mo, nung first day ko, kumita ako ng P12,000,” Edmar narrates.
With his coffee cart, he chased success. On All Saints Day, Edmar would head out to the cemetery; to the beach during summer — all to sell his coffee concoctions. Soon, Edmar made enough money he was able to buy a car, a condominium unit, and marry the woman he considers his lucky charm.
But then, life dealt him with situations that prompted Edmar to sell his car and his wedding ring. He looked at his food cart and placed his bets — and his remaining money — on it. He attended seminars, and soon, put up a few new food carts.
It turned out to be a winning investment for Edmar, as he earned at least half a million a month.
Still he prodded on, continuing to work until he’s established 250 branches nationwide and is now franchising more than 20 food cart business concepts. The former carwash boy now owns several SUVs and delivery vans to wash on his days off. From 100 pesos a day, he now earns millions of pesos.
“Daig ng madiskarte ang matalino,” Edmar says. “Diskarte ang ginawa ko kung bakit napalago ko yung negosyo ko, kahit hindi ako grumaduate ng isang bachelor’s course.”
But ever the enterprising self-starter, Edmar says he’s now back in school. "Hindi ko sinasbi na huwag kayong mag-aral. Importante pa rin ang edukasyon. Kaya nga nag-aaral ako ngayon, ipinagpatuloy ko yung pag-aaral ko.” — LA, GMA News