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How Bacon, Grit, and Passion Conquered All

Step into the world of Ate Rica's Bacsilog and let the aroma of sizzling bacon whisk you away on a journey that transcends mere sustenance. It's more than just a dish; it's a testament to the indomitable spirit of entrepreneurship, embodied by its creator, Rica Peñalosa. In this inspiring tale, we delve into the savory allure of Bacsilog and the relentless determination that propelled Ate Rica to success.

Back in 2006, Rica embarked on a transformative journey, armed with nothing but a humble food cart tucked away at the back of De La Salle University in Taft Avenue. With her father's unwavering belief in her potential and a modest investment of P30,000 carefully managed by her mother, she acquired a stainless cart and set out to conquer taste buds. Prioritizing quality and cleanliness, she quickly captured the hearts of discerning students craving both presentable and delectable food options.

As Ate Rica, affectionately known by her patrons, persevered, her profits soared. What started as a humble daily profit of P3,000 burgeoned to P7,000 within two months and peaked at an astonishing P20,000 per day by the third quarter. Yet, amidst the financial success, it was the strong rapport with her customers that truly fueled her rise.

The iconic Bacsilog emerged as the cornerstone of Ate Rica's brand—a mouthwatering fusion of bacon, fried egg, special cheese sauce, and liquid savor over steamed rice. It wasn't just a meal; it was a symbol of pride for the Lasallian community.

But success wasn't served on a silver platter. Ate Rica faced her fair share of challenges—from the rigors of street vending to the disruptive impacts of the pandemic. Yet, true to her resilient nature, she remained adaptable, embracing technology through strategic partnerships with delivery services. It was a testament to her ability to stay attuned to the ever-evolving landscape of modern business.

Ate Rica's leadership style was a masterclass in astute decisiveness and personal connection. Her hands-on approach ensured unwavering quality standards and fostered enduring relationships with both employees and customers alike. To further hone her business acumen and expand her bacon empire, she joined the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. Under their guidance, Ate Rica's humble cart blossomed into a nationwide phenomenon, boasting over 180 branches and counting.

Reflecting on her journey, Ate Rica is quick to dispense wisdom to aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women. Age and initial hesitance should never be barriers to chasing one's dreams. Her story, starting afresh in her forties and continuously evolving, serves as an inspiration for anyone daring to take that first step into the unknown.

Ate Rica's tale isn't just about her culinary conquests; it's a testament to resilience, determination, and unwavering entrepreneurial spirit. She embodies the age-old adage of "bringing home the bacon" in both a literal and figurative sense—a reminder that with grit, passion, and a dash of sizzle, anything is possible.

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