Janitor To Businessman: A One of a Kind Man

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When you look at Mr. Edwin N. Aroma’s resume, you would see Janitor Metropolitan Cleaners Cebu 1969-1973 under Business and Employment. However, in spite of it, he proudly declares it.

Edwin N. Aroma was once a low profile Cebuano janitor but is now living in California. Above that janitor line however are strings of former employments and current business enterprises. Currently he owns multiple business ventures that are situated almost everywhere. Behind his very impressive achievements is this young boy who once dared to dream.

Edwin was born to a fisherman and a school teacher in Cebu. As their family grew, her mother had no choice but to stop working to attend to the children. However, the family barely gets by with the income of his father. When he graduated high school, he wants to be an engineer. However, his father could not afford college for him. “I didn’t know how to farm nor to fish. I really wanted to study, and make something of myself. So, I asked my father to give me 20 pesos, so I could travel to Cebu City and find a job,” Edwin said. “I applied for so many jobs, and finally found an agency that needed janitors.”

For four years, he has served as a janitor sweeping streets, alleys and offices while taking his accounting majors at the University of the Visayas. In spite of his current job, he prides himself as a scholar and also a student leader. When he was elected as a university senator, some school mates of his saw him sweeping an alley with the others. Word spread like wildfire about it. Yet, Edwin was not embarrassed. He went on until he finished his degree.

After passing the CPA exam, he was hired as an auditor for Carls J. Valdez and Co in Cebu. Then he became an auditor for San Miguel and Mandaue Printers. While working, he continues his studies finishing two degrees in Management and Economics. He also gained a master’s degree in management engineering. In 1982, he left for Jakarta to act as an accounting manager of P.T Hartaty Jaya Plywood. This company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Later that year, the owner died and Edwin assumed the position of general manager. He transitioned the company and was able to make it profitable. He quit his job by 1986. While working still, he earned another master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Singapore.

Returning to the Philippines, he invested his savings for a business. He decided on a mango farm in Cebu. Now he has three plantations in the area and another one in Bohol. He is considered one of the biggest mango growers in the country. Aside from that he also plans avocado and jackfruit. His technique, “I buy idle lands and plant them with trees. I make these idle lands productive, help provide employment for the barrio folks, and, at the same time, help in the ecological development of the country. I am happy to feel that I am helping in the economic development of the country.”

In 1986, he went to the US and established numerous businesses. He is president and owner of Trans-World Services Inc. He also owns the Prime Appliance Rentals Inc., based in Los Angeles. Aroma is also a managing partner of Worldwide Empire Funding Inc., based in Delaware; and is controller of All Valley Washer Service Inc., based in Van Nuys, California. In the Philippines, he is president of Imgime-Aroma Mango Ranch in Cebu and Bohol; president of Socsargen Realty & Development Corp., based in General Santos City in Cotabato; and president of Capital One Financial Solutions Inc., based in Cebu.

He has received numerous awards, among them “Outstanding Club Leader,” Kiwanis Club of Phil-Am Los Angeles; “Distinguished Kiwanian,” Kiwanis International; “Outstanding Civic Leader,” Pamana Awards; “Outstanding Club President,” Kiwanis Club of Phil-Am Los Angeles; “Kiwanian of the Year,” Kiwanis Club; and “Club Builder of the Year,” Children First Foundation Inc.

In spite of his successes, Edwin informs his children and friend that he was a janitor. In spite of the varied obstacles, he continues to dream, set high goals and achieve it. Now, he is truly marked as one successful man. 

P.S. To those doing the 52 Week Money Challenge and 52 Week Money Challenge Version 2, it is Week 8 already! Did you deposit the next amount yet?

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