DTI Go Negosyo Free Business Course: How to Join the Enhanced Business Learning Sessions

Let me take a short break from my Boracay posts to talk about Mahal’s 3-month journey with DTI / Department of Trade and Industry’s Enhanced Business Learning Sessions (EBLS). I mentioned yesterday that he was preparing for his graduation and I was hoping it all went well coz I wasn’t there to attend it because I was busy taking care of Tuz and finishing the Part 2 of my Boracay blog post. Hehehe.

If you’re a Filipino entrepreneur residing in the Philippines reading this blog post, and you feel lost as to what to do next with your startup business, or maybe you have a business you inherited from your family, or even if you just have this plan for a business but don’t know where to start, this post can help you plan for the next step to take. Read on…




It actually started last year, when we realized that our first farm product – MUSHROOM CHILI PASTE – was quickly gaining traction in the market. Lots and lots of people were ordering and really giving us awesome feedback! You can read their reviews here:


mushroom chili paste

The one below was our second design used last year. The one on top is our current design with a rebranded name, MUSIGA, short for Mushroom, Sili, Garlic.

We wanted to scale it further but we knew we didn’t have the right tools to make our vision a reality. After all, Mahal is an Engineering graduate from Ateneo de Cagayan who mastered in Digital Systems Design in San Carlos University while I am an Ateneo de Manila Psychology graduate who only took a year of masteral units in Development Communication at the University of the Philippines — courses that are so far from business. Though Mahal owns and manages his little resort in Oslob (Oslob New Village Lodge), and I dabbled in many online and offline ventures, we are humble enough to admit that we need to know more when it comes to building a strong business that will last more than a lifetime. Taas ng pangarap! Well, dream big as they say, right?

This is actually why I have been planning to get an MBA degree for sometime now but it always gets pushed back because of my pregnancy in 2015, then came the hard parts of being a first time mom, then I had to take that big leap by uprooting myself from my dream home, take care of my VA business, while also supporting Mahal in our farm biz, and then this, when we decided that Mahal should first take this 3-month business course which is targeted to entrepreneurs and given for free by the Department of Trade and Industry or better known as DTI. We would have wanted to take it together but someone had to stay home to take care of Tuz and pay the bills, and that was me. The plan is for me to join another batch before I can pursue my MBA next school year. You actually don’t need an MBA to make it big in the business world as there are other ways to learn and apply your learning but it has just always been one of my personal goals to formally pursue further studies. It’s one of those things that I know I will regret if I die without getting my MBA and PhD. I am giving myself my whole 40’s to accomplish these goals. (God, help me!)

For now, it’s Mahal’s turn and he just graduated last night. I’m so proud!!!


This was us last night celebrating it with a dinner feast at Gerry’s Grill  in AyalaCentrio:

Gerry's Grill

This course of his actually tested our relationship and I’m proud to say that we came out stronger than ever. You see, before his course with DTI, we were always together. The only time that we were not together was when he’d go to the farm and I’d choose to stay behind so I can focus on getting some work done while I also take care of Tuz. So the first few weeks really tested me hard. I’m not used to seeing him with other people, especially if there are attractive people of the opposite sex around. My irrational jealousy gets in the way and I tend to get crazy, even if I know that Mahal loves me and only me, and that he has no intention nor will he ever have any intention to pursue another woman. This was actually one of those things we severely fought about as I mentioned on this post before.

But anyway, we were able to overcome it. We both grew from it. We realized that if we want to succeed in business, we, especially me, have to get over our insecurities and fears. We need to widen our scope, ourselves, our world, without getting lost in it.

So, as the weeks progressed and Mahal was learning more and more on how to really set up and scale a business, he would also share his learnings with me. And I did learn a lot as well, and got me even more excited to also attend the next batch hopefully this year.



Before I forget, those who are thinking of joining DTI’s EBLS, must first take a precursory course called Entrepreneurship Development Seminar. You can’t join EBLS without attending this first.


So, here are the steps you need to do, which was what Mahal also did before:

  1. You need to go to your local DTI Go Negosyo Center to inquire about these free courses. You need to go in person because they need to interview you about your current business or plans for business.
  2. Sign up with them for the Entrepreneurship Development Seminar. If the slot is already full, be sure to have your name on their waiting list. Mahal was on the waiting least for several months before he finally got a slot!
  3. Attend the Entrepreneurship Development Seminar.
  4. Sign up for Enhanced Business Learning Sessions (EBLS). If the slots are full, make sure you have your name on their waiting list. Mahal was again on the waiting list for several months before he got called up to formally sign up for an available slot.
  5. You can also call them every now and then to follow up to make sure that your name is listed in case you don’t get any texts or calls from DTI. Mahal was very makulit! He really wanted to join!
  6. Always watch out for announcements on the Facebook page of your local DTI Go Negosyo Center.

Those were the things Mahal did to get this FREE learning opportunity with DTI. And for you to graduate too, you need to attend ALL classes, and pass the revalida / panel discussion and business presentation at the end of the term.



Mahal started his EBLS on May 9, 2019 and graduated on July 19, 2019. But their classes were only every Thursday and Friday and sometimes, even Wednesday too, especially if there are special excursions, special talks, and one-on-one sessions. At least it wasn’t Monday to Friday because these students are also entrepreneurs and had to take care of their businesses too.

Below is one of their one-on-one consultation sessions:


Below is an impromptu excursion they did at a processing plant:


Below is an event sponsored by Globe where DTI EBLS students were encouraged to join. Chinkee Tan was one of the speakers.




Below, I will detail the weeks and the subjects that were taught by various resource speakers and teachers. It’s like a compressed MBA course. They immediately got down to business and studied the most important components of growing a business.


Business Model Canvas conducted by Ms. Jesse Abear of DTI-Misamis Oriental


Consumer Behaviour/ Satisfying Consumer Wants and Needs with resource speaker, Ms. Lheida Mariz L. Baraccao, MBA of XU-SBM

4Ps of Marketing conducted by Heidi Grace P. Mendoza, CPA, DM, Director, Business Incubation and Support Center, Capitol University


Product Promotion/ Participating in Marketing Events with resource speaker, Loraine C. Brillantes, DTI-MOR

Intellectual Property as a Marketing Tool with resource speaker, Engr. John Paul Yu, IPSO-CDO


Pricing Strategy/ Price Setting with resource speaker, Ms. Tracy June Dy, XU-SBM


Product Positioning/ Building your Brand with resource speaker, Ms. Jocelyn G. Balbon of Digital Ink Designs

Social Media Marketing/ Digital Marketing with resource speaker, Ms. Jalou Batilong of Syntactics, Inc.


Developing Customer Loyalty with resource speaker, Mr. Surab “Gabby” Bacarro of Gaisano Group of Companies

Sales and Distribution with resource speaker, Mr. Jason B. Montecanas, MBM of CU-CBA


One on one Business Coaching on Marketing


Product Development and Innovation with resource speaker, Ms. Wiliva G. Andoy of NMFIC


Materials Management and Inventory Control conducted by Engr. Andrebeth M. Bolipata of DTI-MOR


Technology Upgrading with resource speaker, Ms. Oxanna S. Custodio of DOST


Production Planning and Control conducted by Engr. Andrebeth M. Bolipata of DTI-Misamis Oriental


Understanding and Analyzing Your Production Process Flow with resource speaker, Mr. Erwin Geli of Geli Foods


Application of Green Technology in your Business conducted by a green practioner himself, a Social Entrepreneur, owner of GreenMinds Inc., Mr. Rey Gil ‘Datu Makadingding’ Lomarda.


Food Safety with resource speaker Jocelyn O. Zarate, MPM of the Northern Mindanao Food Safety Team


All set for Globe myBusiness Academy’s “Create. The Future of Local Businesses”. See you here at Limketkai Center – Cagayan de Oro City and don’t miss the chance to witness Mr. Chingkee Tan as he will give a talk about “A Practical Guide in Growing Your Business”


One on One Business Coaching on Production Planning with Dr. Jimbo Fuentes, Ms. Wiliva G. Andoy, Ms. Jocelyn O. Zarate, MPM and Mr. Erwin Geli


Writing Basic Employee Policies with Resource Speaker, Ms. Gina Maris Libot of PMAP

Setting-Up the Organization (with input on how to make Job Descriptions) with Resource Speaker, Ms. Liezl A. Delos of PMAP


Ensuring Safe Workplace Conditions with Resource Speaker, Ms. Rhoda Grace Arimao of PMAP

Setting-Up Compensation and Benefits with Resource Speaker, Ma. Sol D. Amir of PMAP


Effective Employee Discipline with Resource Speaker, Ruselle Legados of PMAP

Selection and Hiring with Resource Speaker, Alva Bambie Espiritu of PMAP

One-on-One Coaching Session on Human Resource and Organizational management with the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) CDO.


SSS CDO Orientation on RA 11199 with Mr. Simon Jude Obut, Asst. Branch Head as resource speaker

Simple Bookkeeping and Records keeping with Resource Speaker, Ms. Ruby Capundag, CPA of PICPA-CDO MOR


Understanding Financial Statements with Resource Speaker, Mr. Clyde F. Gamolo, CPA of PICPA-CDO MOR, Dean, COC-Phinma

Managing Cashflow with Resource Speaker, Ms. Earl Magincol, CPA of PICPA-CDO MOR


Taxation for MSMEs conducted by the resource speaker, Mr. Ray G. Talimio, Jr. of PICPA

Setting-Up of Payroll Systems with resource speaker, Ms. Arlyn Bongay of YAHSHUA


Financial Management Workshop conducted by Ms. Jesse M. Abear of DTI-MOR


One on One Business Coaching on Financial Management with Ms. Loraine Jarabelo, CPA, Mr. Eleno O. Buray, CPA, Mr. Ray Talimio, CPA and Ms. Melanie Rosalind C. Talimio, CPA of PICPA

And then the week leading to their graduation, they were already busy preparing for their business presentation and revalida. After which, their graduation was held.




If you’re an entrepreneur like us, and you know you need to learn more and be connected with people who has the right tools, capabilities and network, then joining DTI’s EBLS will further enhance the business knowledge you already have; it will open a lot of doors and opportunities for growth for you and your business; plus it’s free education! It’s one of our government’s advocacies to help the small entrepreneurs in the hopes that they will someday become business leaders in our country and be able to pay it forward too.

So again, my warmest congratulations to my Mahal for finishing this 3-month business course with DTI. I am so proud of you and so honored to have supported you on this. I pray to join the next batch and be able to write my own story about it too.


If you’re from Cagayan de Oro, here is DTI’s Go Negosyo Facebook page to see their updates:  https://www.facebook.com/CDONegosyoCenter/?ref=br_rs


***Special thanks to Mahal and his classmates for the photos.


“Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare.” – Japanese Proverb


See you tomorrow!


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