As the sun beats down, Rene Guballa, 64, helps loads a box of firecrackers to a buyer’s truck – his only big sale for the day in what is supposed to be a boom season for his business.
Guballa, who has only recently started selling doormats, rags and brooms in addition to fireworks to augment his income, considers the scheduled client a blessing because of the dearth of customers this season — a consequence of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
His store is just one of many dotting the road in Bocaue town, Bulacan, a place famous for inexpensive fireworks where Filipinos flock to during the holiday season.
He says sales have been weakened the past few years. With the various disasters that hit the country, from the eruption of Mayon Volcano during the first half of the year, the typhoons that hit Luzon, to the ongoing quarantine, he anticipates this year will be no different.
Other store owners are also selling doormats to augment their income.