Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Guest Blogger: RAR

Today, I've decided to share this entry in honor of a great woman who worked hard to see to it that her boys (and everyone else) got everything they needed (and sometimes wanted) in this world. In the few years that I got to know Tita Tonet, I know her to be a godly woman with a big heart - whose love and dedication for her family (her WHOLE family) taught me one great thing - that sometimes, to stand by the people you love the most is enough to see them through. 

The piece below was written yesterday by my goddaughter (originally R's but he has been a MIA godfather as well) Rianne. Rianne is a 17-year old young lady who seeks after God's own heart. I am amazed at her faith and at her immense love for our Heavenly Father. Her mom and I are often humbled by how she walks the Walk (and the Talk). She also writes a bit here. I hope you enjoy reading her tribute to her late grandmother, whose birthday happens to be today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TITA TONET! YOU ARE MISSED! 

Fair and Honest! 
by: Rianne Avisa Rebulado

Because I haven't been doing anything in the past few months, I volunteered myself to "manage" one of our businesses (whenever my parents aren't around--which is what I am doing currently). A few minutes ago, an American customer called us, complaining why, according to him, we sell our products at a very high price. He was looking for the manager; however, my mom had not been around, so I took charge.

ME: Hello, good afternoon, sir. 
CUSTOMER: Hi, I have been ordering from you for a very long time, my staff does. But I just found out that your price is so mahal (expensive). I just called Petron and they told me that the 11kgs is only Php560, why are you selling it to me for Php820? Is it because I'm a "Kano"? 
ME: That's not true, sir. We sell all our products at the regular price, to anyone. 
CUSTOMER: But I just called Petron. Call them, and ask them their price. 
ME: Okay, kindly hold the line (then I called Petron).

PETRON: Hello, good afternoon. 
ME: Yes, I'd just like to know how much the 11kgs is. 
PETRON: Php806. 
ME: Okay, thank you. 

ME: Sir, I just called Petron and they told me that their 11kgs is at Php806. We are an outlet that's why we sell it at a little higher price. (Not anyone can buy directly from Petron. ☺) 
CUSTOMER: Are you sure, the 11kgs? Let me call them. (then he called Petron) 
CUSTOMER: Oh, I am really sorry. They confirmed that it's Php806. I'm really sorry. I really like your service and I've been your customer for a very long time. I will continue ordering from you; even if you sell it at Php830. 
ME: It's okay, sir. There's no problem. 
CUSTOMER: Okay, thank you. 

This isn't the first time we've encountered something like that. Some of our customers had moved to smaller companies who sell their products cheaper than we do, thinking that they could save more if they would; but then most of them would come back to us saying they like our service more.  Because, with us, they are sure of the products - from the quantity to the quality.

My grandmother started this company back in 1969, when it was really hard to put up an LPG business/company. If you didn't do the math, we've been up and running for more than 40 years already--which would have been impossible if we weren't fair and honest to all of our customers. Today, it really is so much easier to put up this kind of business. There aren't as much processes to go through now as compared to before, when it was stricter and harder.

My uncle, Alvin Rebulado, shares his side of the story of how this company started. Read his inputs below:

Tonet Rebulado
Mom started working for Shell under the management of Mr. Sunga. During that time, LPGs weren't very popular and like other new products in the market, they were very expensive. The advantage was to cook your food using a stove instead of the traditional charcoal cooker or butane stove which will only last for a couple of days. The product was promising and soon add-on features and products like the Gas Range were added. Though it was so expensive, people started to hug the technology - same as how we are hugging new tech stuffs in the market.

So anyway, from what I heard and remember, Shell wasn't making much money as expected, because not everyone could afford the initial investment. Technically, you would have to buy the empty cylinder first, then you can buy your gas refill whenever you need it. So Shell started to run a promotion. I can't remember if it was FREE cylinder or a cylinder discount for every customer who bought the refill, but I remember mom telling me that she started to buy her own cylinder stocks and kept them at home as she knew that this was going to be big business in the future.

And so she did! She started piling up those tanks to the point where she was ready to start her own business. In business terms on today, this is considered as 'conflict of interest' (hehe... sorry, Mom). But hey, it IS business and she was later open about it with her boss. Management was impressed with her enthusiasm and decided to have her open a branch at 14-B 15th Avenue, Murphy, Cubao, Quezon City. This was one of the first Shell LPG dealerships in Quezon City! It was popularly known as OSELITE Gas and Appliances Center. I remember growing up hearing the banging noise of those tanks and honestly, I really miss them (being here, abroad for almost 15 years) - the noise... and those 10-wheeler trucks trying to park its way to a small space, to dump 200-300 LPGs! Petron and Manila Gas later joined the party. With ERB regulating the industry and so on and so forth, the business grew and branched out to different locations. From Paranaque, all the way to Pulang Lupa, the stores were called AA&M Gas Center (for ALVIN, ANTHONY & MEL). Each of us had a our share in running this lovely business. A lot of people have wonderful futures because of this very business. This little thing grew to help dozens raise their families. This is my mom's legacy to us and to the many people she helped. IT STILL IS AND ALWAYS WILL be. 

My grandmother is no other than THE Ma. Platona "Tonet" Ordona Alcantara y Rebulado.

We are Murphy Gas Merchandise, located in Quezon City. We sell and deliver LPG products around the area. You can call us at 911-0439, 330-0196 (PLDT) or 437-MGAS (437-6427) (Bayantel). You can also call or text +639192218888, +639194888886 (Smart) or +639277268888 (Globe). If you want to be sure of the LPG that you use, go and dial those numbers now!

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