May 24, 2024
Ralph literally immerses himself with his work.

“Jack en Poy, hale hale hoy, si Kenkoy, naunggoy.” Ito ang kanta na katugma ng larong ito ng mga bata. Mula ito sa laro ng mga Hapones, halos katulad ng larong “Rockpaper scissors” ng mga Americano, pero meron lang mas maraming bariasyon at binuhay muli ng National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
Nuong nagdaan na pandemic, sa akin, ang larong ito ay nahahalintulad sa pagpapalit ng oryentasyon para magwagi sa buhay. Maraming tao ang naglaro ng Jack en Poy para mabuhay. Meron nagtinda ng mga kakanin sa nahintong pagtuturo, meron ding gumawa ng mga kasangkapan sa nahintong “sound system” na hanapbuhay at meron ding nag-aral ng ibang pagkakakitaan kagaya ng paggawa ng mga “aquarium” na galing sa pagluluto o turismo. Isa na rito si
Ralph Ame.

The good looking and happy Ralph who enjoys his work.

Ralph Ame was born in Nangalisan, Tuba, Benguet into a family of five three decades ago. His roots hail from both Tuba (mother) and Pangasinan (father). He is a Hotel and Restaurant graduate from the University of Baguio who went into learning a new skill like building aquariums and selling aquarium supplies during the pandemic. It turned out income from this livelihood was insufficient.
He started to build miniature 4 x 4 x 5-inch fish tanks and eventually the tanks became bigger and bigger. He also built display cases for souvenirs and valuable items upon request.
‘Nung tanungin ko si Ralph kung paano siya nag-umpisa sa ganitong naiibang gawain:
“Sa hospitality industry po, cook po ako. Nag-abroad din po ako nung 2016 at 2017 sa Qatar. Tapos bumalik po ako sa Pilipinas at nagpatakbo ng school canteen. Tapos nagka-pandemic. Ayun, wala akong source of income kaya nagtinda ako aquarium supplies.

Ralph Ame’s family in a relax mood.

Pero kulang pa rin ang kita, kaya pinag-aralan ko pong gumawa ng aquarium. Nagtrabaho din po ako sa Plaza Fair bilang salesman. Tapos po inalok ako ng ate ko kung gusto ko matutong magluto. Doon na po ako nagsimula magluto,” sagot ni Ralph.
“Nung napunta na po ako sa paggawa nang aquariums nag-umpisa po ako sa pinakamaliit po, ‘yung 4 x 4 x 5 inches ang sukat. ‘Yung pinakamalaki po na nagawa ko na ay 8ft x 3ft x 3ft na higit kumulang 538 gallons.
Sa ngayon po nag-o-operate na po ulit ung school canteen. Sa umaga sa school po ako, tapos sa gabi gumagawa po ako aquarium,” dagdag pa ni
Ralph.

A sample of a display shelf  for souvenirs.

He is not only busy with earning an income for his family, but also in “paying it forward” to the community. His Team Balitok, of which he is the president and one of the founders, offered “ride for a cause” or “libreng angkas” during the pandemic. His motorcycle group was one of the first organizations to offer this kind of service to the public.
His group was also able to extend help to children in Loakan and Aurora Hill who needed surgery and kidney transplant.
Ralph shares that cooking and aquarium building give him joy, though he cherishes the latter as he is able to meet a lot of people in all echelons of life. He now works at Academia de Sophia International School in the mornings. He is proud of his two kids, nine-year old Prince Xian and seven-year old Ralph Rayven.

His 536 gallons aquariums measuring  3ft x 3 ft x 8 ft which takes him about 3 days to finish depending on supplies.

His advice to young entrepreneurs like him, “Work hard and smart lang po. At sa lahat ng gagawin eh isapuso ang ginagawa. Malayo ang maaabot nila at maraming magiging kaibigan.”
For those who would like to start aquarium hobbies or for those who have aquarium needs, get in touch with Ralph Ame through mobile number 0945-783-5148 and email address [email protected].
Ano pang hinihintay n’yo? Gawa na ng aquarium. It’s really therapeutic, calming, and beautiful. Jack en poy? Take the stress away. Panalo ito!

A lighted aquarium measuring 16 inches by 30 inches by 16 inches which is about 33 gallons.