Former cargador, Lugaw Republic founder lead 2012 MOBB awardees

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    MALOLOS CITY—A former “cargador” in Divisoria who transformed his town into a first class municipality, and a business administration graduate who turned Lugaw Republic into a booming franchise led the 2012 Most Outstanding Bulacan Businessman (MOBB) awards.

    Eight others were feted in the awards given by the Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) at the Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center here on Tuesday night, February 26.

    The awardees are Ambrosio Cruz Jr., the former mayor of Guiguinto town, Bienvenido Cruz Jr., Engineer Francis Miguel, Marcelino Garcia Jr., Leonardo Cruz Jr., Gina Estrella, Elvira Dela Rosa, Ervine Pangwi and Ramon and Maura Manuel.

    Gigi Simbulan, president of the BCCI, said the 10 awardees are the province’s emerging business champions.

    “All of them are champions, they are not only successful, they are leading, empowering and inspiring,” Simbulan said noting the humble beginnings of the awardees.

    She said that as a high school and college student, former Mayor Cruz worked as a cargador in Divisoria where his late mother maintained a store to sustain her 10 children.

    After graduating from the University of the East, Cruz worked as an assistant chief accountant, then moved to Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. in 1971 where he later became a district manager.

    Ten years later, Cruz resigned from Shell and established his own company and returned to Guiguinto, his hometown, and was elected mayor in 1998. Cruz’s election started the transformation of the town from a fourth class to a first class municipality.

    But even before he entered politics, Cruz acquired a 100-hectare property in Barangay Sta. Rita in 1992 and turned it into a first class subdivision with resort and hotel.

    For his part, Bienvenido started investing on a franchise in 2005 after working abroad for seven years.

    After a year in the franchise system, Bienvenido decided to establish his own franchise and called it the “Lugaw Republic,” which is now known as the “Pambansang Lugaw” and was given the Most Outstanding Food Franchise during the 2011 Top Brand awards.

    Lugaw Republic now has 128 outlets in Luzon, 12 of which are managed by Bienvenido’s family.

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