Category Archives: Business Stories

Success Story: Genaro’s Grill & Special Bibingka

(Note: I wrote this article last April 19, 2015 but I wasn’t able to post it because I had a problem with my laptop then – since I have recovered my files, I decided to post this. May this story of success inspire you!)

I am currently in Santiago City in the Province of Isabela, a city far north of Manila. I am here to give a talk about Entrepreneurship for the Truly Rich Club caravan (A financial seminar that the Truly Rich Club is doing all over the Philippines and in different countries too.) It’s my first time here. I was surprised that the flight that I took from Manila to Cauayan Airport was only 40 minutes – that’s faster than my Quezon City – Makati route!

After giving my usual talk to my audience, I shared the story of He Cares Foundation and how I am actively helping street children by giving them a fighting chance in life and society. Shortly after the caravan, a woman approached me and told me how my talk inspired her to give more to people in need. Moments and comments like this really gives me joy. Her name was Ma’am Veronica Grace Garcia-Manalo, she told me that she owns a restaurant and invited me to dinner so we could talk more. I immediately said Y-E-S. (Who would say no to food, right?)

Want to celebrate your birthday with 500 street children?
(Click here)


The name of the restaurant is Genaro’s Grill & Special Bibingka.

I arrived at the restaurant with my team – it was really a great place (as said in their logo.) The interiors were nice, the staff were very happy and courteous, the ambiance was very calm, the bright yellow accent on the walls made the night brighter.

Ma’am Grace insisted that I call her “Tita Grace” because she felt uneasy being called “Ma’am,” such a humble woman. So let me address her Tita Grace from now on.

I wanted to write with full description and passion about what food Tita Grace served us and how much rice and Bibingka I ate –  but I was afraid this article would turn into a food blog more than a business blog, Haha! I ate A LOT. LIKE FOOD GOOD FOR 3 GUYS.  So going back, while we were eating, I asked Tita Grace to share her story.


With Tita Grace Manalo


Genaro’s Success Story

The good life didn’t fall on Tita Grace Manalo’s lap. Like most of us, she went though a roller coaster ride of problems and failures, and as she told her story, I knew it wasn’t easy! Tita Grace started sharing her entrepreneurial journey.

Her first business was a ‘Lending Business‘ – it was okay when it started but when a storm hit their town – the business didn’t last long and most of her clients we’re not able pay her, so she closed it at a loss. Then she opened a Bakery – it closed down shortly because her employees started leaving her for better opportunities. Then Tita Grace opened a Barber shop, only to find out her barbers were stealing money from her. Then she opened a ‘General Upholsterybusiness but like the rest, it failed too. After the upholstery business, she opened an ‘Aluminum Supply’ busines – it also failed. After that, Tita Grace opened a ‘Wood Frames‘ business and also failed. (Writing all of that was tiring, much more the feeling of preparing, investing time, money and talent in all those businesses! Tita Grace is a tough cookie to break!)

That’s a looooooong list of failures. 

But that long list of failures didn’t stop her. Tita Grace’s success story begins in one fateful afternoon when she came across a “Special Bibingka” in their neighbourhood in Isabela. The bibingka was made by an old woman who was trying to make a living out of selling her home backed bibingka. Tita Grace loved the bibingka that she would always order from the old woman. One day, Tita Grace wanted to order from the old woman but Tita Grace was rather disappointed because the Old woman was unable to deliver the special bibingka. Tita Grace found out that the old woman was sick and couldn’t cook. Because of that, Tita Grace looked for the house of the old woman and boldly asked for the bibingka recipe.

“Because of that, Tita Grace looked for the house of the old woman and boldly asked for the Bibingka recipe”


Guess what? The old woman didn’t give the recipe! Of course not!
But if there is one thing we can learn from all the failures that Tita Grace has been through, it is her strong will and never-give up attitude. She never gave-up despite all her business failures! So why would she give up on that recipe, right?

The famous "bibingka"

The famous “bibingka”

Tita Grace would go back to the old woman’s house to ask for the recipe again and again, but just to be shunned away. Her will is strong and her heart is determined, Tita Grace would go back 4-5 times a week bringing rice, fruits, books and anything she can give the old woman just to win her heart, just to get that famous bibingka recipe. (Talk about perseverance!)

And so it is said the hard work pays off – she eventually convinced to old woman to teach her the recipe – they became good friends and this was the beginning of better days for Tita Grace.

Soon after, Tita Grace started selling the special bibigka in a make-shift store outside her house using traditional tools to cook the bibingka. Months later, everyone in town would flock to the make-shift store to buy the famous bibingka. A few years later, the bibingka stall grew to an eatery  – a small scaled restaurant that serves traditional Filipino dishes, alongside the special bibingka.

190839_536248673057324_123718790_o 10575442_976435362371984_3208454838650761238_o


That small make-shift store outside her house is now a full-blown restaurant, and they are 7 branches strong. (They’re open for franchising too!)

The rest is history.
Now, Genaro’s is a staple brand in Region 2 – You can’t go to Region 2 and not try this restaurant.
If there’s anything that I have learned from this story is that – hard work really pays off.

Grilled Tuna Belly

Grilled Tuna Belly

Pinakbet with Lechon Kawali

Pinakbet with Lechon Kawali


There is no substitute for HARD WORK.

Baseball legend Babe Ruth once said,
“It is hard to be a person who never gives up”

So be that person who never gives up.

PS1. The seminar I gave was under the Truly Rich Club, a group that believes that GOOD PEOPLE SHOULD BECOME RICH. So if you’re a good person and you want to rich, JOIN US! [CLICK HERE]

PS2.Take control of your finances and save up for your future the safe a proper way.


For Comments/Questions/Tips & Advice/Mentoring –
Anything about business, marketing, sales or kahit pa love life.

Mobile: +639284384686

Thanks again to Tita Grace and Genaro’s Grill!
Genaro’s Grill