Cecelia Habulan came from a family of 13 children. At an early age, she was given the responsibility to look after her younger siblings while her parents worked in the field.Realizing the need to help augment the family income, Cecilia took up a two year vocational course in Agricultural Technology.Upon graduation she left for Manila to look for more lucrative work. The earnings she made working in a restaurant and in other menial jobs she sent to the family in the province.
In 1996, Cecelia decided to join ASHI after attending a projection meeting in Wawa, Alabang, Muntinlupa. It has since been a nine-year fruitful experience for her and her husband Danilo. Like most Filipinos, Cecelia and Danilo’s foremost aspiration is to see their three children finish their education that would assure them of a life better than they themselves had. The fight against poverty was not easy for Cecelia, but what was important for her was to have courage and the determination to overcome hardships. Cecelia and her husband put up the Mega Star Studio, a photo and video business registered with the Department of Trade and Industries. The studio provides photo or video coverage of various social occasions such as birthdays, weddings, debut, and school graduation celebrations. It also includes service for ID lamination, wood lamination and framing. Current asset of the business is Php 1,326,000.00. Average monthly income is Php 76,000.00. Cecelia hires four to five additional workers during peak seasons from among the members of ASHI, and offers commission for referrals for their service.
As for the business they envision that in two to three years time they will be able to open up a digital photography shop outlet in one of the leading commercial districts in Muntinlupa. They plan to have their own team of editing experts in visual art and photography. With a parcel of land they had acquired, they see an agricultural business opportunity. They plan to have a small hog raising farm, a tilapia culture farm, meat processing, and to go into feeds and fertilizer dealership. They hope to generate employment and contribute to the growth and development of their municipality. Relatives in the province need not migrate to highly urbanized areas such as Muntinlupa to find employment.
In ASHI, Cecelia developed a sense of camaraderie, solidarity and commitment to help others. Her leadership traits were recognized as she became the Center Chief for four years, was elected Over-All Center Chief in Metro South in 1999-2001, and became a member representative to the ASHI Board of Trustees. She is the president of the Villa Mila Neighbourhood Association which was organized for the ASHI members who are in the process of being relocated away from their settlements in danger zones (railways site, creeks, coastal areas, etc.)