Leyte couple grows success with LANDBANK’s support

Leyte couple grows success with LANDBANK’s support

/ 12:06 PM August 22, 2023

As someone who was not able to pursue higher education due to financial constraints, Leonilo “Kiloy” Basister only had limited opportunities to make ends meet, especially after getting married at the young age of 21.


Spouses Leonilo and Bella Basister from Mayorga, Leyte grew their palay trading business with support from LANDBANK, now running two rice mills that produce more than 100,000 sacks of milled rice per year.

With a seed money of only P270, Kiloy initially ventured into selling fish and live piglets in the market, while taking side jobs in between. He also borrowed resources from relatives and friends to expand his capital. 

After years of hard work, he and his wife, Bella, earned enough to start the L.K. Basister Rice and Palay Trading in 1998, with Kiloy supervising the overall operations and his wife handling all financial aspects of the business. From buying and selling only about 17 sacks of palay, the couple saw their business expanding year after year, until they were challenged to look for local rice mill operators that can accommodate their growing stocks. This pushed them to establish their own rice mill in 2010 that can process up to 30,000 sacks per year.


Kiloy and Bella have been managing the L.K. Basister Rice and Palay Trading over the years, with the former supervising the overall operations and the latter handling the financial side of the business.

The big break for their business came in 2012 when Kiloy and Bella secured a P3-million credit line from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK). With a bigger working capital, the couple was able to buy more palay from local farmers in Mayorga and neighboring towns, providing a sure market for their produce. 

“Malaking tulong talaga ang LANDBANK sa paglago ng aming business at kung nasaan kami ngayon. Nagkaroon kami ng mas malaking pondo na nagagamit para makabili ng palay na gigilingin namin sa buong taon. Dahil dito ay patuloy na tumaas ang aming kita at talagang nakaahon kami sa hirap,” Kiloy shared. 

Through the Bank’s constant support over the years, the L.K. Basister Rice and Palay Trading has now grown into a multi-million enterprise, producing more than 100,000 sacks of milled rice per year.

And as their profits steadily increased, the couple’s credit line with LANDBANK likewise expanded to P100 million due to their good credit standing. 

Kiloy and Bella are currently running two rice mills with whitener and mist polisher, complemented by two warehouses and 14 mechanical dryers. They also have 14 delivery equipment for logistics support, and an outlet in Tacloban City to facilitate the disposal of the milled rice.

Aside from contributing to the town’s food security, the business has been providing employment opportunities to 70 local residents involved in drying, milling, hauling, sacking and delivery of products. An additional workforce is also employed during harvest season when there is an expected higher volume of production. 

The couple’s business also provides employment opportunities for about 70 local residents involved in drying, milling, hauling, sacking and delivery of the milled rice.

More than anything else, Kiloy and Bella now enjoy a comfortable life with their six children. They are able to send their kids to school, with four of them already graduated from college and are now helping in running the family business. 

Despite all their success, the couple is not taking it easy, as they continue to manage their business with the same persistence as when they were starting. They have also expanded and diversified into other fields such as poultry farming. 

It was indeed a long journey for Kiloy and Bella, and they remain thankful to LANDBANK for pushing them to their limits as entrepreneurs. “Ang masasabi ko sa mga gustong mag negosyo ay magtiyaga lang kayo. Mangutang kung kailangan basta marunong magbayad at alam ninyo kung saan ito gagamitin,” Kiloy said. 

LANDBANK has been extending financial support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as part of its commitment to assist key economic sectors in building stronger and more inclusive local communities. As of end-June 2023, the Bank’s outstanding loans to the MSME sector reached P49.5 billion for the benefit of over 6,100 borrowers nationwide.  


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