Beyond The Business: Palawan Pawnshop - Palawan Express Pera Padala CEO’s Humble Beginnings

Mr. Bobby Castro, CEO and President of Palawan Pawnshop
Palawan Express Pera Padala as featured in August-September issue of Asian Dragon Magazine

Some businesses have unexpected stories and backgrounds, and so do are their owners.

Asian Dragon Magazine got up close and personal with PPS-PEPP President and CEO Bobby Castro in the  August-September issue of the magazine with the story, “Bobby Castro: The Unexpected Story of Palawan Pawnshop.”

In the article, Castro shared his humble beginnings as a socially-involved student of Philippine Science High School where he also met his wife, Angelita. As an activist and an organizer of urban poor groups, he gained the experience and knowledge to  start his own business: managing his family’s commercial building.

“The skills I learned in the movement — analyzing, planning, organizing, motivating — and the values that were formed — selfless dedication, persistence, a genuine concern for comrades — served me well as I started engaging in various businesses. I continue to use them in my business today,” Castro added.

He also shared the humble beginnings of Palawan Pawnshop.

“We didn’t start out with the idea of building an empire,” says Castro. “We were just trying to stay afloat, to pay the bills. and sustain a growing family.”

Eventually, the business also started to venture in money remittance which is known today as Palawan Express Pera Padala. Through the years, Palawan Pawnshop - Palawan Express Pera Padala became one of the most successful pawnshops and money remittance centers in the Philippines.

“The pawnshop business is built on trust,” says Bobby. “Trust is everything. If your customers don’t trust you, you have no business. The way you build trust is by playing fair.”

Through the years, the business has grown and engaged not only in pawning and money remittance but also in other services such as money changing, bills payment, ATM Withdrawal, e-loading and life insurance.

The business celebrated its 32nd anniversary this August and continues to give back to its roots through providing scholarships to selected students of Palawan State University. The business is also involved in making sure that Palawan maintains its natural beauty. 

Asian Dragon is the first bilingual business and lifestyle magazine in the Philippines. The magazine also featured other well-known businessmen including founder of Bench clothing chain, Ben Chan, Zest-O founder Alfredo Yao, and Chairman and CEO of International Container Terminal Services, Inc., Ricky Razon.