SaBalcony: Former Green Spiker Enzo Dizon’s new venture

Success has always been subjective for each person and although an athlete’s legacy is usually determined by the mark he or she has left on the game, there are some who go for a different road to success. One such athlete is former Green Spiker Enzo Dizon.


Early beginnings

Dizon had always considered himself a business-minded individual, and coupled with the fact that he majored in Business Management, it was no surprise that the feisty Libero was eager to put up an establishment.

“Basically, we’re all business-minded friends. And we kinda want to really venture out to business talaga,” Dizon says on his inspirations for starting his restaurant, SaBalcony.

Similar to many start-ups, Dizon and his group had to plan extensively in order to get everything set. Starting from scratch, the former Green Spiker had initial troubles with the budgeting of their capital and their expenditures, since not all game plans pan out as they are expected to. He added that they even needed to take out a loan in order to get the business operational as they were lacking in available funds.

“The difficult part was getting the right capital. Kasi we have a budget for that eh. Now when we’re doing the actual thing, it’s really hard because we needed more capital,” Dizon says on the difficulties of allocating their finances.

Fortunately, after six months of grueling preparations, SaBalcony was finally able to open its doors to the public on September 16, 2015. Offering a menu built on light snacks, sizzling plates, barbecues, and liquor, the newly opened restobar was ready to face the tough demands of the Lasallian consumer.

SaBalcony - Micah Coronel []

Establishing strengths

Aware that SaBalcony was a newcomer in the bustling Taft Avenue restobar scene, Dizon knew that competing against bigwigs such as Barn and Beach was a little out of reach at the moment. So instead of trying to match their neighbors, Dizon and his friends decided to focus on what can set their business apart from the others.

“When you look into it, although we have the same products like liquors, it’s a matter of finding your strengths. I think mine was that this place became a sisig house, a sisig place. So I think that’s my strength,” the Pampanga-bred player says, explaining that he has yet to find a place in Manila that serves the quality of sisig similar to that of his home.

“Living here for four years, I haven’t tasted the genuine sisig that I want. So I kinda want to bring it here [to] Manila,” he adds, also mentioning that he experimented on various recipes in order to get SaBalcony’s sisig to its current form.


Of new friends and good stories

“I think [SaBalcony] is a place [where] you can really socialize,” he says when asked to describe what he wants SaBalcony to be.

With a small place to hang out in, people will be more encouraged to talk to others over good food and drinks. Regular customers will be able to make new friends within the four corners of SaBalcony. Often, various stories accompany the customers as they come to the eat and drink. According to Dizon, stories serve as a means to get to know the people more, adding that he has seen some friendships being forged in the months he has had the restaurant.

Nakarinig nga ako minsan ng mga stories nila,” Dizon shares. “Nakakatuwa.”


Similarities to sports

As a former athlete, Dizon explained how his experiences with the Green Spikers have helped him gain qualities that proved to be useful in his business operations.

For him, putting up a business is like having to play in a team sport, especially when dealing with business partners. “You have to constantly communicate with them. There’s no room for anxiety. You should really open up with them,” Dizon shares.

Another realization the former Green Spiker shared is the resiliency one needs to survive in the “business world.” Like an athlete, a businessman should be able to stand his ground in spite of the situation that is thrown at his face. Dizon said that the attitude one has taken in the face of the challenges and responsibilities of a student athlete like him is similar to the what one has to have in operating a business.

“In running a business kasi, there are a lot of problems that you’ll encounter,” he explains.

There is a popular saying that states that when one door closes, another one opens. After his time with the Green Spikers ended, Enzo Dizon took a chance in pursuing another venture.

Although it’s an unusual path to success especially for an athlete, for Dizon, it’s success nonetheless.

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