Ms. Sheryl H. Canela commonly known as “Ching-ching” is a pure Ivatan who was born and raised in Sabtang. She finished her studies with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the Batanes State College. Her childhood was like a typical Ivatan honed with hardship and handwork. Being the eldest among the brood of seven gave her a big responsibility in helping her parents especially when her father died. After her school hours, she had to transport root crops from the farmland to their home. She grew up in the farm which she considers as her playground and the kitchenwares as her toys.

In her childhood years, her ultimate dream was to become a flight stewardess, but this dream remained a dream. Seeing herself in business world was not of her dream. A few years after she got married, her husband gave her a start-up capital of Seventy five thousand pesos as a gift to put up a sari-sari store which she put up and named after her daughter “Kali.” The Kali’s sari-sari store and Halukay had started in a small rented room in 2007.

Gradually, her effort and newly developed skill in managing a business paved her way to the business world. Her sari-sari store began to supply the various demands of the consumers where they find variety of goods-shirts, plastic and kitchen wares, and even seasonal goods and decorations, and other consumer goods.

Due to the growing quantity of commodities in her small rented store, she had to transfer to a bigger and more convenient place where commodities can be properly displayed and can be stored.

Ching-ching also participated in a cooking training conducted by TESDA wherein she was able to acquire a National Certificate II (NCII) in food processing. This paved her way in opening the Papu Kuya’s Snack Hauz, which was named after her son’s alias that serve snacks, breakfast, lunch and even cater in different occasions and events.

Early this year, due to the increasing number of tourists spending vacation in the municipality, their inherited old house was rehabilitated into a homestay and named Mana Homestay (the literal tagalog word for inherit).

Her advocacy is to expand her business in the different areas which means creation more jobs. To meet the demands of her growing business she hired additional manpower. Sharing her blessings to the needy as well is one of her advocacies. Being the guardian of one high school student who is suffering from thyroid tumor, she helps her by giving medical assistance (financial) and accompanied her in Manila for medication.

Hopefully by next year, she will be able to cater to the growing number of tourists in the municipality by offering a one stop tour package services wherein food, accommodation and transportation are integrated to give guests a more convenient and more affordable package.

Contrary to her childhood dream to become a flight stewardess, she now defines herself as a “business stewardess”. Truly, for her, it is just a matter of determination and continuous learning and growth. But above all, it is a plan designed by our Creator.