Cebu blind masseur builds own business through gov’t aid

Published September 29, 2020, 10:18 AM

by Philippine News Agency

CEBU CITY (PNA) – Jordan Pardillo became blind at the age of eight due to measles.

Jordan Pardillo attends to one of his customers at his massage station in Cebu. Pardillo on Wednesday (Sept. 23, 2020) narrated how a Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) program helped him establish his own massage business that has employed fellow differently-abled persons. (Photo courtesy of DOLE-7 / via PNA)

But despite being a differently-abled person, he pressed on, looking beyond his situation. He set himself out to plot what he must do to achieve his goals in life.

After finishing high school and knowing that his parents could no longer afford to send him to college, Pardillo started looking for ways to improve himself and acquire new skills to help him become self-sufficient and not a burden to his family.

He started out learning some vocational skills from the Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center (AVRC) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under its massage training program.

Thinking that he was ready to make a living, he began offering his services while stationed at Cebu City’s Abellana Sports Complex, hoping that the people doing physical exercises in the area will avail of his massage services.

Taking his efforts further, he offered home services through referrals of customers.

With his meager daily income of P100 to P150, and the lack of the needed materials such as towels and ointment, he started looking for financial assistance, believing that he could still do more and better than what he’d already done.

After getting a piece of advice from social welfare personnel of the DSWD-AVRC, he explored the possibility of linking with the University of San Carlos-Kapamilya Negosyo Na (USC-KNN), one of the accredited partners of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the implementation of its livelihood program.

“I did it because I was really hoping that I would be given some livelihood assistance from the DOLE through the USC-KNN,” Pardillo shared. 

After being able to make a viable and feasible business proposal and having completed the training on simple bookkeeping and customer handling, the group accepted him as one of its livelihood program beneficiaries.

The batch in which Pardillo was a part of collectively received livelihood assistance from the DOLE through the USC-KNN, and each one received P10,000 for his/her respective livelihood project.

Pardillo used this cash aid to start his own business in 2016, the Good Hands Massage Services.

After three years of being in the business with the DOLE’s help, his daily income has dramatically increased.

From earning only P100 to P150 a day, he started making P600 to P1,000 daily.

“I did not become complacent. I made sure to save so I could buy other necessary tools and equipment for my massage business,” he recalled.

Pardillo successfully set up his first permanent massage station at a shopping mall in Cordova town, Cebu. Using the monetary assistance he received, he equipped his station with chairs, foot stands, tables, and carpet.

With hard work and some luck on his side, he subsequently became a permanent exhibitor at the three other branches of the same mall located in Jai-Alai, Mambaling, and Talamban in Cebu City.

Taking his steps to further heights, he sat up another massage station, this time, at the famous IT Park in Cebu City.

His present gross monthly income is now pegged at P300,000, and the net income around P50,000.

But what pleases Pardillo more than the monetary benefit is the fact that he is now also able to provide employment to his fellow blind masseurs.

He is currently providing employment to 21 differently-abled persons with whom he shares income through commission basis while making sure that they too have a daily take-home pay that is at par with the minimum wage earners in Cebu City.

“The DOLE is very happy upon learning the success of Mr. Pardillo’s livelihood project. He was only given P10,000 livelihood funds but he was able to nurture his business project with it. This is the kind of nurturing of livelihood projects that the DOLE is trying to promote. Once a livelihood project is well taken care of, there’s no doubt that it will go a long way just like in the case of Mr. Pardillo,” said DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome Siaton said in a statement on Wednesday.

With the success of his business, Pardillo emerged as the regional winner of the Best DOLE Livelihood-Assisted Project under the Individual Category.

He is set out to represent Central Visayas in the national competition this year.