“Daig ng madiskarte ang matalino” are Edmar Batac’s words to live by. Rising from poverty, the inspiring story of the 31-year-old businessman has touched millions of netizens across the country.
Initially born into a poor and broken family, Edmar had all the odds stacked against him in countless ways imaginable. He was passed on from one relative to another, so on and so forth.
He was bullied even by his blood and was made to feel like he was helpless and desperately seeking attention. Upon re-marrying, Edmar’s mother got him back where he was made to live with even more guilt.
In an interview with Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, Edmar recounts:
“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!'”
To finish secondary school and make ends meet, Edmar has tried various jobs – a vegetable vendor, a parking boy, caretaker of a computer shop, and lastly, a carwash boy. Like most Filipinos, Edmar once believed that the answer to all his problems is by going abroad, so he tried his luck working as an OFW, but consequently failed.
After returning to the Philippines, Edmar enrolled in TESDA with a promising allowance amounting to P8,000 once each course is completed. There, he studied to become a barista.
Edmar was able to put up a coffee cart using his TESDA allowance and savings as capital in his first business venture. “Sabi ko, ‘Lord, makadalawang libo lang ako, okay na sa’kin.’ Pero alam mo, nung first day ko, kumita ako ng P12,000,” he recalls.
With his coffee cart, Edmar worked tirelessly to achieved his own sweet success. Taking advantage of holidays and weekends, he would head out to the cemetery during All Saints Day or to the beach during summer to make a fortune.
Soon enough, Edmar was able to invest in a car, followed by a condominium, and whom he considers his lucky charm – his wife. But, like any other businessman, he has encountered problems that led him to sell his car and wedding ring, eventually risking all his remaining money on start-up food carts. Since then, he was back in business, attending seminars and soon, adding up a few more food carts where he earned at least half a million monthly.
Starting from the bottom, Edmar has now built a business that has 20 different food concepts with 250 branches nationwide.
The businessman shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Who would have thought that the boy who used to watch over other people’s cars and wash them for a living has now several SUVs and delivery vans of his own?
“Diskarte ang ginawa ko kung bakit napalago ko yung negosyo ko, kahit hindi ako grumaduate ng isang bachelor’s course.” But even with his current riches, Edmar says he’s now back in school. “Hindi ko sinasabi na huwag kayong mag-aral. Importante pa rin ang edukasyon. Kaya nga nag-aaral ako ngayon, ipinagpatuloy ko yung pag-aaral ko.”