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In line with this, Converge’s aggressive expansion plan in Luzon paved the way for Edmond Magarro and his family to bolster broadband sales in their area and connect people’s homes and businesses through fiber broadband. Below is their press release.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, one question that was on everyone’s mind was “How will I get through this?” This question – with its variations “How will I do my job?” and “How will I make ends meet?” – was about one thing: survival.
Edmond Magarro, 49, is what you call a “seasoned survivor.” A son of a farmer, Magarro hustled his way through life.
“Namamasada ako ng tricycle dito sa Central Luzon State University sa loob ng university. Kadalasan, 6:00 am naghahanda na ako para mamasada at uuwi ako ako halos alas otso na ng gabi. Pero kahit anong sipag mo sa pamamasada, kasya lang talaga sa pang-araw araw yung kinikita ko. Kahit nga tanghali ka na umalis at maaga ka umuwi, parehas lang,” said Magarro.
(“I would take passengers on my tricycle around Central Luzon State University (CLSU) I would get up at 6:00 am and be home at around 8:00 in the evening. But no matter how hard I worked, my take-home pay was just enough to make ends meet. Even if I go out mid-day and come home early in the morning, I would earn the same.”)
Magarro’s wife, Helen, also knows this life. She dabbled in small businesses such as an online ukay-ukay shop and a plant shop to help with finances. A small sari-sari store inside CLSU was a meager source of income for the couple and their two children. Life was far from easy.
The onset of the pandemic in 2020 aggravated the Magarros’ situation.
“Before the pandemic, medyo mahina na din yung pasada. Baon pa kami sa utang. Then suddenly nagsara ang CLSU at hindi na sila nagpapasok dahil nga nag-declare na ng quarantine,” Magarro lamented.
(“Before the pandemic, we were not earning as much. We were buried in debt. Then suddenly CLSU close because of the quarantine.”)
Even with government aid, the Magarros were barely getting by. But, being a survivor, Magarro wasn’t going to idly sit around. He was on the lookout for the next big opportunity, and he wasn’t going to let it pass by.
“Inisip kong malaking opportunity ang internet ngayon dahil lahat ng mag-aaral, mag-oonline na. Nag-start si Converge dito noong 2020, kaya nag-message ako sa Facebook page nila and nag-send ng resume. Area manager na pala kausap ko, at nakasali na ako sa [sales] team,” he shared.
(“I realized that the internet presented a huge opportunity during this time since everyone was home. If you need to study, you have to go online. So when Converge reached our area in 2020, I sent a message and my resume on their Facebook page. It turned out I was speaking with the Area Manager and was able to join the sales team.”)
With Converge on an aggressive expansion plan following its public listing in October 2020, it quickly made a move to deepen coverage in Luzon and serve areas wherever its domestic backbone will be built.
“This has been Converge’s strategy since day 1. Wherever our domestic backbone passes through, we serve that area and expand the distribution network,” said Dennis Anthony Uy, Converge CEO and Co-founder. “Our goal has always been to reach the unserved and underserved areas in the country and provide them with world-class fiber broadband services.”
With Converge as a new entrant in the broadband market in Nueva Ecija, the Magarros saw an opportunity not just for Edmond, but for the whole family.
“Yung asawa ko lagi yung lumalakad. Nag-aalala ako sa kanya na siya lang mag-isa, kaya ginagawa ko, ako nagmamaneho ng tricycle, at siya namimigay ng flyers. Kapag nagpapaliwanag siya sa mga kliyente, naiintindihan ko din hangga’t ako at anak ko mismo sumama na sa seminar ng mga ahente na pinatawag ng boss niya. Anak ko naman nag-eencode ng mga sales,” said Helen.
(“I would worry when my husband would go alone on his sales pitches. I volunteered to drive the tricycle while he goes around, handing out flyers. While I accompanied him, I would hear how he pitches the products and I absorbed that information too. I learned so much that when his boss offered a seminar to train agents, my son and I came too. My son encodes the sales that we get.”)
As the word spread about Converge in Nueva Ecija and with additional marketing through a Converge-themed service tricycle designed by Magarro himself, sales in his area picked up by leaps and bounds.
“Nagsimula kami ng isa hanggang tatlo sa isang linggo, tapos bigla kaming nag-boom ng November 2020, hanggang nararanasan namin na one-week sales umaabot na ng 70 subscribers. Unti-unting lumalaki din ang sales team namin. By motivation na din yan ng team leader namin,” Magarro said.
(“We started with a sale or two of the broadband products in one week. Then around November 2020, we saw a boom in sales. There was a time that we sold 70 subscriptions in one week. We saw our sales team grow too, thanks to the motivation of our team leader.”)
Now seeing the hard work pay off in their household income, Edmond and his family are reaping the rewards and pooling savings too.
“Umaabot dati na napuputulan kami ng tubig at kuryente. Ngayon, updated na lahat ng bayad. Napa-braces na rin namin si Charles,” Helen added.
(“There would be times that our electricity and water would be shut off because we couldn’t pay on time. Now, we’re fully paid on utilities, and got Charles to have braces too.”)
“Bilang magulang, may mga bagay na gusto akong ibigay sa anak ko pero hindi ko maibigay noon. Masakit. Ngayon, kahit di ko man maibigay agad, napapaghandaan at napapagipunan ko,” said the former tricycle driver.
(“As a parent, it was hard not being able to give what my son needed. Now, I’m happy to say while I may not be able to provide what he needs immediately, I can save up for it.”)
Even as the Magarro family’s survivor instincts have brought them this far, the patriarch says he intends to remain vigilant and on the lookout for more opportunities.
“Any opportunity na dumating sa’yo, at pwede mo i-grab, i-grab lang. Ang opportunity, once in a lifetime lang dumating. Kung pinalampas ko si Converge baka di ganito ang sitwasyon namin ngayon,” Magarro concluded.
(“Any opportunity that comes for a better life, you have to grab it. Some opportunities come once in a lifetime. If I let it pass by, this opportunity with Converge, my life would be very different right now.”)
Learn more about their story by watching this video: