MMA fighter-turned-delivery guy for his partner's dessert business

Team Lakay's Jeremy Pacatiw, partner Marjorie venture in dessert business amid pandemic
jeremy pacatiw marjorie
Team Lakay's Jeremy Pacatiw and Marjorie Ay-yawan launched their online dessert shop "MarJe-Licious." (Photos from Jeremy Pacatiw's Facebook account and MarJe-Licious' Facebook page)

The COVID-19 pandemic has left a huge impact and difference in people's lives.

With the "new normal," the economic and social effects of the pandemic forced many business owners and private companies to either stop operations or lay off their employees to keep their firms alive.

The same goes in the sporting world as many athletes were left at a standstill in the coronavirus era. Although several sports are back in action, it is not enough to compensate for the daily grind these athletes are used to on a normal basis.

In Baguio, some 245 kilometers away from Manila, an Igorot couple recently ventured into online business of delicacies and sweets.

Professional mixed martial artist Jeremy Pacatiw of Team Lakay and his girlfriend Marjorie Ay-yawan launched their business "MarJe-Licious" in August. And just like any athlete's story, MarJe-Licious has its own humble beginnings.

Amid the pandemic, Marjorie started food vlogging her mouth-watering delicacies last July for personal consumption only.

Little did she know that these would soon be included in the product's list of her brainchild MarJe-Licious. Jeremy, for his part, gave his all-out support to her partner.

A Facebook post, which perhaps served as debut acceptance of orders, quickly gained traction as many supporters ordered the products -- ranging from puto, cakes, sapin-sapin and graham balls prepared in different cooking styles and variants.

The division of labor is simple: Marjorie prepares and makes the delicacies while Jeremy delivers the products.

The tables have turned as the Lakay fighter is now the one supporting her partner's interest.

"Maganda sa feeling," Marjorie told the "Conversations with Cathie" show. "Syempre dapat po talaga nag-support kasi it's for us din po. Habang wala pa po siyang fight, nag-start po kami sa business na ito."

Jeremy, likewise, couldn't be happier for their business. "Dapat give and take din. Kailangan ko po siya suportahan kasi yun din po yung gusto niya."

Soon, Marjorie plans to teach Jeremy how to make these desserts in their next cooking vlog session. Jeremy isn't too sure, however. "Magaling lang ako kumain," he jested.

Even if the 24-year-old Jeremy, who holds a 10-4 MMA record, regularly trains at Lakay gym, he makes sure to allot time delivering more than 30 orders a day around the neighborhood.

Having trained in the disciplines of martial arts, Jeremy knows well enough how much of a challenge it is to live amid these trying times. But thanks to these experiences, the couple manages to hold on.

“MMA taught me to be mentally tough which is why I have this ‘can-do’ mindset despite our situation,” said Jeremy, a bantamweight fighter in Brave Combat Federation, as quoted in Team Lakay's website.

Jeremy last saw action in December with a technical knockout win against Brazilian foe Felipe Efrain.

Making desserts could prove a tougher assignment though.

READ: Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Team Lakay banks on online, social media presence