Trining Climaco is now a junkshop owner, who made her millions sorting through garbage and turning discarded bottles and scrap metal into thousands of pesos every week.
On ABS-CBN's My Puhunan, Climaco tearfully related to Karen Davila how she worked hard to make sure her children would never experience the hardships she endured at a young age.
"Nag-aral ako ng Grade 6, nagtitinda ako ng gulay. Iniisip ko lang paglumaki ako, ayaw ko yung buhay namin ganito. Magsisikap ako para pag nagkaroon ako ng pamilya, ayaw kong maranasan ng mga anak ko ang nararanasan naming hirap," she tearfully recalled.
At the age of 11, her grandmother brought her from Aklan to San Juan in Metro Manila. Every day for 12 years, Climaco had to clean and fix whatever garbage she could find in their family's junk shop.
"Yun bote may uuod, sabi ng tiyuhin ko, di ganyan ang pag-hawak. Sabi niya, yun kinakain natin, nanggagaling sa basura, kaya nawawala rin ang pandidiri ko," she said.
Climaco met her husband Cesario, who also pushed a kariton and collected scraps. The couple, who has eight children, decided to start their own junk shop
"Mahirap... pero masarap din kasi malalaman mo paano i-budget ang pera," she said.
But starting out is never easy. They would wake up at 4 a.m. every morning to work at their shop. They employed three men to use their pushcarts and collect bottles, newspapers, scrap metal and paper.
Climaco and her husband would buy the junk from them, and in turn re-sell them.
For instance, they would buy old newspapers for P5 a kilo, but sell it for P6 a kilo. They buy scrap metal for P14 a kilo and sell for P15.20, and plastic is P15 a kilo and sold for P16 a kilo.
Every week, they earn thousands from the bottles, scrap metal and newspapers collected.
A truck of metal junk can yield P8,000, a truck of plastic can be sold for P2,000, and a truck of paper can earn then P1,500. In a week, they earn P18,300 or more.
"Maganda kasi ang puhunan namin P2, tapos binebenta namin ng P3," she said, pointing to a beer bottle.
Her business now has 3 trucks for garbage collection and 6 employees.
Climaco showed off her home that she bought with the money she earned from her junk shop. The 3-storey "dream" home has 9 rooms and costs around P2 million.
"Noong nagpagawa kami ng bahay, nagulat na lang ako at naka-ipon siya," her husband Cesario said.
Climaco also managed to provide each of her 8 kids with a college education with the youngest currently living out her dream of studying law.
"Natutuwa ako dahil yung pangarap ko noon, natutupad ng anak ko," she said.
Climaco, who remains as simple as ever, did not incur any debts, even when building her house.
"Sabi ko sa Mister ko, magpatayo tayo ng bahay. Sabi niya, papatayo ka ng bahay, wala ka naman pera. Sabi ko haligi lang, kaya pa-isa isa kaming haligi hanggang nagawa," she said.
First Episode of MyPUHUNAN ABS-CBN TV show.