SAGADA, Mountain Province – A local wine maker, whose thriving business had been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, remains optimistic in recovering from the prevailing crisis with the bright prospects of the local tourism industry coupled with the assistance from the Sustainable Livelihood Program–Livelihood Assistance Grant (SLP-LAG) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Egberd Dailay, proprietor of Piitik Wines, is a local wine maker whose business was thriving prior to the pandemic that allowed him to host customers who are not only natives of the province but also foreign and domestic visitors frequenting the mystical town.
However, the robust gains of his business suffered a serious setback during the pandemic that forced him to use his available resources and earnings for the needs of his family, especially for their child who has a disability, that compromised his business.
Aside from being a wine maker, Dailay was also a tour guide prior to the pandemic that allowed him to have additional income but this also was lost due to the pandemic.
On June 1, 2021, Dailay was lucky to receive financial assistance from the SLP-LAG amounting to P15,000 which he used to purchase the raw materials needed to re-start his wine manufacturing business in the clay house where his family actually resides.
He admitted that the assistance he received gave him another chance to pursue his wine-making passion and provide his customers with various types of wines that come from locally produced fruits such as blueberry, persimmon, guava, bugnay, among others.
The Piitik Wines is able to produce approximately 12,000 bottles of assorted wines in 4 months aside from catering to the wine requirements of walk-in clients and shipped orders of individuals.
Further, he also recycles emptied wine bottles that is why he is encouraging those customers to help his wine business by bringing back the emptied bottles for refilling.
Dailay expressed hope that the gradual and safe revival of the local tourism industry will help his wine business regain its pre-pandemic vibrance aside from the fact that he will also be able to pursue his tour guiding activities to sustain his income.
The Piitik wines has a wide array of aged wines ranging from the newly fermented ones to those that are already aged for a good number of years.
LAG is one of the government’s recovery and rehabilitation programs with the primary purpose of serving as a response for families belonging to the low-income or informal sector who have lost their income or livelihood due to community quarantine.
Dailay believes that heavily impacted businesses have the chance to recover from the ongoing pandemic but there is still a need for people to adhere to the implementation of the minimum public health standards to prevent the rapid spread of the deadly virus.