This is the inspiring success story of elementary graduate Steve Serranilla, now a CEO of a meat processing and production company in the Philippines.
A self-made man, the owner of Serranilla Group of Companies was born into poverty.
The once barrio boy who used to sell tomatoes at the market with his mother said in a media interview, “Pinag-aral ako ni Tang Yonga (a Chinese merchant) pero kinuha ako ng tunay kong tatay kasi pag-aaralin daw ako. Gusto ko naman talagang makatapos ng pag-aaral, pero nagkaroon naman kami ng problema ng tatay ko, kaya hindi ko rin naipagpatuloy.”
He said that after some time, he went to his old school to get his report card but since he was a dropout student, with a hefty amount of balance in school, the school declined to release his documents.
Steve said that not being able to finish even high school remains to be one of his biggest disappointments in his life.
Promdi in Manila
Steve tried several jobs when he moved to Manila, from fishing to selling plates in Divisoria.
“Sa Divisoria, yung Tabora, Street teritoryo ko ‘yan. D’yan ako nagtinda ng plato, kutsara at kung anu-ano pang laman ng bodega ni Guevarra. Pinakamabenta ako sa lahat ng umaangkat ng paninda sa kanila kasi ‘yung karton susunugin ko ng konti, ‘tapos sisigaw ako ng ‘agaw-sunog!’ Wala naman akong niloloko nu’n, di ba? Pareho naman ang presyo sa loob, pero siyempre ako ang mas mabenta,” he narrated.
One of the things that led to his success was when he supplied meat products to restaurants in Divisoria, Chinatown, and eventually, all over Metro Manila. This paved way for him to establish his own company that deals with meat trading locally and internationally.
Road to success
After years of hard work and perseverance, Steve was able to reach his dreams and make the most out of his life. He did not let his past hinder him to succeed in life.
He was able to send all of his children to school and most of them have careers now in film and concert productions.
His children are part of the production team behind the concerts of Kanye West, Chris Brown, and John Legend in the Philippines.
Remember the girl who celebrated her 18th birthday in Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena last year? That’s the business tycoon’s daughter.
It was so lavish that people would know her as the girl who had her debut at the MOA Arena. It was attended by known personalities, including Dubai-based designer Ezra Santos and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach’s gown designer Albert Andrada.
Behind every man is a woman
When asked to whom he owes his success, he credited his wife Edna.
“Mas malaki pa sana ‘yan kung nag-asawa agad ako,” he said.
“Kasi noong binata ako, natuto akong magbisyo. Ang daming nasayang na pera. Marunong mag-ipon ng pera si Edna,” he added.
Steve’s story proves that life is full of challenges, but these hurdles give true meaning to real success.