Reshaping the Southern Landscape

     Looking down from his 12-hectare mountain villa in San Vicente, Liloan, Cebu, Rafaelito Barino recalls how, even with management diploma, it was hard to get a job without the right connection. Eventually he became a freelance salesman, and soon found humself as the middleman between people with product to sell and people who needed them. He saw this as an opportunity to go into business for himself.

     In 1977, Rafaelito went into the furniture business on a per-order basis. Raw materials were bought after the intial down payment was made. This practice lasted until 1980, when a friend partnered with him and offered P15,000 to expand business. The business peaked with a work force of 80 employees. Marigold Furnitures did well until 1987 when a union strike nearly cost Barino his life.

     It was a wake-up call. He realized how difficult it was to work with other people. So he dreamed, this time, of putting up his own business with relatives as partners. He sold his card and asked help from his wife’s sibling. They were able to start San-Vic Traders, Inc. with an initial capital of P100,00.

     San Miguel Corporation became a regular client for painting and building repairs. Through word-of-mouth, his business clients came to include Coca-Cola and the National Power Corporation. Rafaelito made sure he knew every nut and bolt of each job he accepted. He taught himself to read schematic diagrams and building plans. He become at ease discussing everything from refrigerator wiring to the cable tension of bridges. “I earned my civil engineering degree from the job site,” he jokes.






                                                 PARTNERS IN WEALTH CREATION


     After San-Vic, Barino put up Duros Development Corporation in 1990. The Cebu North Road Project construction in 1995 was Duros’s baptism by fire. As a subcontractor for a P60-million project, it was also Duros’s first tie-up with LANDBANK. This partnership enabled Duros to aquire an asphalt batching plant from Korea. Rafaelito claims that they lost millions in that first big projec­t-a small amount, he adds, in exchange for the tremendous knowledge he had gained. Looking back, he says that”I never dreamed LANDBANK would still look after us. Had it been other banks, we would not have grown this big.”

      By 2005, Duros was in number 3,569 in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s list of top 5,000 corporations in the country. It maintains an “AAA” lincense, with a top- of-the-line asphlat plant cable of churning out 80 tons per hour. Machines are constantly upgraded. Duros has helped reshape the landscapes of the Visayas and Mindanao through the construction of highways, bridges, port and recently subdivisions, condominiums, and golf courses. Recently, Duros entered into an agreement with Japanese investors to undertake the construction of a retirement village for Japanese elder by 2015.

     Rafaelito never runs out of plan and confesses to having sleepless nights thinking abouit his next construction projects. What keeps him grounded is that he never fails to look back to the time when he was struggling businessman, “I had nothing and so my concern now is to provide for those in need”. He shares. On the average,a typical project benefits 100 families of construction workers.

     With Duro’s growing number of employees, the Divine Life Institute School was put up for the employees’ children. Duros is also a main benefactor for the Kaalam Foundationl, Inc., a non-government organization aimed to address the social and moral concerns of less-priviledged families from Liloan and Compostela, Cebu.

     Rafaelito’s stewardship has been constantly recognized. He received LANDBANK’s Outstanding Entrepreneur Award (for Region 6) and the “SME Gabay at Patnubay” Special Citation in 2006. In 2013, Duros received the first national Gawad KAAGAPAY award from LANDBANK.

     From his mountain home, Rafaelito’s eyes shine as he points across the mountains, “Over there is where I’d start the second phase of my subdivision. “Somewhere, machines keep on turning for a man who can’t stop dreaming.


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