June 21, 2024

For a long time, there were people who used to make house-to-house calls to sell a variety of items, among these were the Beautifont products. These were not available in stores and shops but only from the lady who had these in her bag. One such lady still makes the world beautiful, Crispina Matib.
She recalled how she bought rice, vegetables, and fish sauce with her P2-commission back then. That empowered her to be with her family while her husband, Agustin, was a soldier assigned in Cellophil Resources Corporation in Abra. Her growing family, husband’s salary and her meager income as a midwife made her want to have a part time job to balance their life. The radio advertisement brought her to a dealership training for a day where the lunch break gave her time to breastfeed her baby, that commission has grown into more than four shops of the cosmetic company in different parts of north Luzon which is now, Avon. She believed that women had money to buy something that would make them beautiful.She was so right.
A scholar of the mission in Natonin, Mt. Province, Crispy chose midwifery after high school so she could work immediately. The church connection landed her a job in a doctor’s office doing balance sheets instead of helping mothers because the doctor had several businesses and this made her realize that she had good business sense. Then, fate would have her meet a schoolmate and decide to marry one of the first few Igorot soldiers assigned in Malacañang and later to relocate to Abra while pregnant with her second baby.
Her parents helped with the babysitting while her mother made tapuy to sell in one-peso packs which Crispy sold to vendors at the market that gave a profit of P12 and she gave the capital for her father’s sari-sari store but all these couldn’t give them a little extra for other needs. She bought a television after a few months with her commission, then a refrigerator and later on a service vehicle. Her husband learned to drive the jeep because Crispy decided to go to Dagupan City to get the orders instead of Vigan. At this point, she was reaching the interior towns of Abra and sharing the business with the interested women.
With the children growing up, Crispy thought that she should bring the business to Baguio to help relatives and friends and while living at the barracks at The Mansion compound, Maharlika became her main outlet that later became the bigger store called Christine’s boutique. This year marks the 43 years in the cosmetics industry that continues to allow the women to thrive, also the men.
A strong woman and a charismatic leader, Crispy was always involved in the church affairs because of the Social Action Committee. When she met the late Bishop Carlito Cenzon again as the first bishop of the Diocese of Baguio, the latter had enabled her to get deeply involved in the church projects. She and her husband were high school students during the Bishop’s first assignment in Natonin and the strong bond remained. It was he who challenged her to help find funds to continue to build the retirement home for the diocesan priests and it was also he who inspired her to support the young men in the seminaries of Baguio to become priests.
She was invited to join the ordination of an Itogon miner’s son earlier, Fr. Claudio Banasan in Vigan, and realized that it was like sending a child to college. The farmers couldn’t afford this, even if the son wanted to devote his life to the church. The new mission was afire in her heart.
Maharlika Livelihood Center became the venue of the Sunday lobby masses that were offered for the seminarians. At this point, Crispy joined the Matthew 27:55b, the organization of women who tend to the needs of the young boys who want to follow Jesus and become priests. It was he who also told her about the shortage of parish priests in the Diocese. She said, “Even if there is just one who is ordained, our efforts are rewarded.”
A proud smile beams as she added there are many ordinations that are scheduled amidst the pandemic and now there are enough reasons to play the ganza or native gongs in celebration.
Devoted to building churches for the growing communities in the Diocese, Bishop Cenzon invited Crispy and her husband to become part of the “golf for-a-cause” that was initiated by his close personal friends. Started in 2001, the year after he assumed the post in the Diocese, Crispy amidst her ignorance of the sport, lent her hand to the endeavor. She left her own mark in this commitment when she told the golfers that the flights were in Loakan airstrip and that there was only coffee and no “tea-time”.
She has contributed to making beautiful churches in Abatan, Bakun, La Trinidad, and Buguias, all in Benguet, including Baguio, and repaired some in other towns in her special way as a member of the Bishop Otto Cenzon’s Cup organizing committee.
She messaged after a lipstick purchase at the end of this interview, “Thank you for using Avon lipstick to speak out against domestic violence. My Maharlika boutique supports the needs of our seminarians and the SIHM Tuding Sisters.”
There is no end to making the world beautiful for this woman.