Not all businesses started already being successful, and a homegrown brand is a living evidence of this–Palawan Pawnshop, a company who experienced different twists and turns before becoming one of the top money remittance centers in the country.
Palawan Pawnshop started out as your run-of-the-mill pawnshop. Founded in 1985 with the goal of providing cash-based financial assistance to people in the capital of Palawan, Puerto Princesa.
The business was then acquired by Bobby and Angelita Castro for PHP40,000 or around PHP346,800 in today’s time.
Bobby and Angelita met in the Philippine Science High School, where Bobby was a socially-involved student.
Bobby was also an activist during the dictatorship era, apart from being an organizer of urban poor groups, where he gained the experience and knowledge to start his own business: managing his family’s commercial building.
However, upon acquiring the pawnshop, Bobby Castro did not intend for it to be an empire.
“We didn’t start out with the idea of building an empire,” Castro said in an interview with Asian Dragon Magazine in 2021.
Castro added that the move of acquiring Palawan Pawnshop at that time was all about “staying afloat, to pay the bills,” as the Philippine economy during the 1980s experienced a freefall after the assassination of Benigno “Ninoy” Simeon Aquino Jr., due to the country having a hard time in acquiring new loans as the assassination of a prominent political figure caused sudden collapse of confidence in the country and the fall of credit ratings from international financial institutions.
Now, over 30 years later, Palawan Pawnshop offers a plethora of financial solutions to its loyal customers with products such as international money remittance, foreign currency exchange, e-loading, bills payment, and accident insurance.
Palawan Pawnshop stands as a testament that through hard work, compassion for the people, and helping the community in mind, a business may change the lives of so many. (GFB)