Rosalina “Nana Rosa” Abrojena – Awardee 2009
Nana Rosa! Hearing that name can make your eyes light up because you know you are in for a treat of crispy, crunchy corn nuts, locally known as cornick. Rosalina B. Abrojena, whose pet name Nana Rosa has become a household word and synonymous to good cornick, will be glad to tell you how her enduring perseverance has spun a success story.
Born in Pinili, Ilocos Norte, she spent her growing years in this agricultural community where garlic, corn, and rice are the main crops. She completed her elementary education and later on married Ernesto Abrojena, a farmer with whom she is blessed with four children – Reynaldo, Adriano, Merculia Maria and Nelia.
Rosa started assisting her sister-in-law, Tomasa Abrojena, in making homony, locally called “pinabellad nga mais” to sell in the neighborhood. Typically Ilocanos who never let anything go to waste, Tomasa and Rosa dried the unsold pinabellad in the sun. They fried the dried pinabellad in small amounts of shortening and they came out crunchy with a delicate corn taste. They started selling this fried corn and it was surprisingly well liked. Soon, there were calls for what they started calling cornick and it did not take long before cornick was sold in town fiestas in neighboring towns. Her sister-in-law encouraged her to continue the business, which then was beginning to thrive.
Driven by her determination to improve the quality of cornick, Rosa devised efficient methods of production, investing in better kitchenware and utensils, and other paraphernalia needed. Fortunately, her four children, with two of them business graduates, helped in this growing family business. It is through this cooperative spirit that kept the business going. They sought the assistance of DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) who helped them in the packaging and labeling of their product. It was at this stage that the cornick was given the name Nana Rosa. Nana Rosa is now sold in big stores, grocery stores, markets and sari-sari stores. It has become a popular Ilocano product that Balikbayans take back with them abroad.
It was an uphill struggle to reach this point of success but all their efforts did not remain unnoticed. In 2003, Nana Rosa’s family business received recognition for their outstanding achievement from the Small Medium Enterprises Development Council (SMED) for their contribution to the new vigor of Small Medium Enterprise sector through its remarkable growth in the improvement of business performance. This welldeserved award was presented to Nana Rosa at the Malacañang Palace.
Rosa epitomizes the unfaltering Ilocano perseverance that entrepreneurs can look up to. The story of Nana Rosa is an inspiring true story of courage and dauntless spirit.
CORNIKS! Maysa daytoy a makan nga pagduyusan ti kaaduan ditoy probinsiya kangrunaanna dagiti sangsangaili nga umay agbakasion ken agbisita ditoy amianan. Adu dagiti lako kadagiti ig-igid ti kalsada, iti tiendaan, ngem adu dagiti gumatang nga ti sapulenda ket NANA ROSA, agsipud ta napadasdan ti naisupsupadi nga rasi ken raman.
Nagbalinen a nalatak ti Nana Rosa cornick, marbic ti awag kadagiti dadduma nga il-ili idi un-unana.
Naragpat ni Nana Rosa daytoy a kinalatak babaen ti naanus nga inna panangtakuat kadagiti nainsiriban nga addang nga namagballaigi iti Nana Rosa Cornick, babaen iti pinablad nga mais.
Inrugi daytoy a pagsapulan ni Tomasa Abrojena, ipag ni Nana Rosa. Aglako ni Nana Tomasa iti pinablad nga mais, ket dagiti saanna nga mailako iti malem, inanusanna nga inprito ket insupot iti sinagabassit sana inlako kadagiti babassit nga tianggi.
Ti regget ni Nana Tomasa ti nangted awis iti familia ni Nana Rosa a nangpadakkel iti daytoy a pagsapulan. Ti in- inut, naannad ken nalimed nga panangsukimat ni Nana Rosa iti pannakapasayaat ti pinablad nagballaigi nga nangpataud iti makaay-ayo nga raman. Nana Rosa Cornicks! pagdindinamagan ti entero a Luzon, ti ka Manilaan pakairamanan payen dagiti adayo a suli ti lubong.