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The Dragon Fruit Lady---An exemplary mother and entrepreneur

The ’Dragon Fruit Lady’ from Ilocos Norte shares her inspiring story. Find out how being a mother pushed her to emerge as the country’s top exporter of dragon fruit.
By Renz Lyndon Paguio |
The Dragon Fruit Lady---An exemplary mother and entrepreneur

She was the light and the glimmer of hope for her children and family. Entrepreneur Edith Dacuycuy is more than a star in the local agribusiness industry. She is a loving and caring mother who would find ways to make her children live comfortably despite the odds.

She was blessed with four children, a son and three daughters. Kate the youngest, however, is not like her siblings. She’s somehow more special, being diagnosed with a condition called cerebral palsy (congenital disorder affecting movement, posture, and muscle tone). Edith admitted that she has loved Kate even more because of this.

As a young child, Kate seemed to be getting weaker and weaker. She had been suffering from constant seizures and constipation. As her medicines eventually failed to work, Edith knew she had to take a step forward and find treatment on her own. A friend told her about the wonders of the dragon fruit, which was then very rare in the Philippines.

Determined to try dragon fruit therapy to treat Kate’s constant seizures and constipation, Edith sent her second daughter to Thailand to learn how to cultivate the fruit. She stayed home in Ilocos Norte to look after Kate and started doing more research to discover the fruit’s many other possible health benefits. She found out that the dragon fruit can possibly help prevent cancer, high blood pressure, and constipation, among others.

The fruit of new beginnings

A few days after including dragon fruit in Kate’s daily diet, the family found a pleasant surprise. Kate seemed to be more relaxed. Suddenly, the seizures and constipations were not that frequent anymore. The fruit worked! It proved to be very effective that Edith decided to grow more of it in their backyard to ensure constant supply for Kate. dragon_fruit.jpg

Before she knew it, there was a large supply growing in her garden! People around the neighborhood started noticing it, calling Edith the community’s ‘Dragon Fruit Lady.’ Since then, she has lived up to that moniker.

She also realized that being a mother of four wasn’t enough of a work, so she decided to venture into the fruit industry. Earning money has always been just her second priority as an entrepreneur. “The dragon fruit worked like magic for my daughter. Why not share the knowledge to other parents who need help, too?” said the Dragon Fruit Lady.

Blessings have been pouring to her ever since. Her son became a successful physical therapist; her daughter obtained a mass communications degree, while the other became a pediatrician. Her farm has become an agri-tourism spot in Ilocos Norte and her dragon fruits skyrocketed in sales. She is now the leading dragon fruit exporter in the country. Edith also founded the Association of Dragon Fruit Growers.

Her mission goes on

No less than President Benigno Aquino III recognized her effort for cultivating high-value commercial crop in 2010. This year, she was named as one of the Filipina Starpreneurs by Go Negosyo and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship.

Despite all the blessings, the Dragon Fruit Lady has remained down-to-earth, while still pushing her advocacy to promote the dragon fruit in the fields of local business and health. “Dragon fruits have a lot of health benefits. It contains a lot of essential vitamins and minerals that are instrumental in curing various kinds of sicknesses,” she said.

Despite each tiring day of work in her blooming business, she remains hands-on on being a mother to her four children, especially to Kate. “For those parents who have a child with cerebral palsy, don’t be scared and run away. Think of it as a blessing from God. Pray to him and ask him for help. He’s always there to give us the determination to do everything for our children, this goes especially for the mothers.”

dragon_fruit_farm_FINAL.pngShe always reminisces the day when she had asked for God’s guidance during the lowest point of her life. “During those days, I know He never left me. He never left my family. He helped my daughter to become better. He helped my business to become this successful.”

As a mother, Edith knew she has to embrace all the challenges and treat those like blessings. She is confident that she will always win all the battles in her life, especially as a mother and as an entrepreneur. This is the story of the Dragon Fruit Lady---an outstanding mother and entrepreneur. And this is no myth.


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