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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

COOK: The Harvest (is great) at Anihan

We are posting here excerpts of an article written by Janice Revilla-Rubio and published in COOK Magazine's March 2010 issue.

"I travel 1.5 hours and spend P81 for transportation each school day... a huge sacrifice for me and my family. It is however, a small price to pay compared to Anihan's counterpart..." shared Juliet Flores as we chatted in Anihan Technical School's dining hall. Juliet is a second year student currently completing her OJT hours at Hans Gourmet...

"...My older sister found out about Anihan through the internet. I consider myself blessed in having been accepted here," revealed Ruffa Eguia, a first year Anihan scholar...

For a worthy cause, I stepped out of my kitchen to pay a call on FPTI's (Foundation for Professional Training, Inc.) TESDA accredited Anihan Technical School located in Barangay Tulo, Calamba City, Laguna...

As we entered the spacious laboratory on the second floor, the heavenly scent of butter filled the air amid nostalgic purring of heavy duty Kitchen Aid mixers. Eager learners were softening butter and measuring out flour during a Butter Cake hands on... Our tour had to proceed so I reluctantly turned my back while Teacher Odgie Toquero patiently repeated a demo on the proper lining of a square pan - evidence of the high standards Anihan has set for itself (which is well noted in the food industry)...

Through the years, Anihan has teamed up with and accepted donations in cash and kind from various foundations, companies, government agencies as well as private patrons both local and international. At this junction, and in behalf of FPTI and Anihan, may I invite all COOKies to become partners in empowering women on a sustainable basis...

Also located within the school premises is the Anihan Livelihood Center. It provides handsomely packaged toothsome baked goods as well as indigenous bottled pickles that are ideal for personal and corporate giveaways. "Our livelihood center accepts orders. We are constantly looking for business establishments who will help us sell our products," explained Pam B. Bermejo, Anihan's Industry Coordinator and Marketing Officer. Proceeds from the sales of these products go a long way in support of Anihan's activities.

Pam's more challenging role is to find and maintain sustained ties with industry partners who welcome Anihan girls for OJT. These partners go a step further by providing the girls with allowances. Better yet, after graduation, majority of the girls were eventually employed by the same companies. The industry partners who hail Anihan girls as hard working, competent, motivated, humble - all wrapped up in a positive attitude, include Amici Italian Restaurant, Aussie Cafe and Resto, Chowking, Conti's Pastry Shop and Restaurant, Cravings Bakeshop and Restaurant, Cupcakes by Sonja, Goldilocks, Hans Gourmet, Jollibee, Masuma Food Industry, Inc., Pancake House, Inc., Red Ribbon Bakeshop, Steak House by Tagaytay Highlands, and The Palms Country Club...

...These low key studes, together with their coaches have been constantly reaping top awards at prestigious food competitions including Chefs on Parade. Credits, though absolutely none are expected, are due to the inspiration of St Josemaria Escriva, whose teaching emphasized finding God in ordinary work.

Anihan is Pilipino for harvest time... Not only are the girls enable technically and assisted in finding employment, the values imparted to them has allowed them to hope again...dream again. This time they have the capability to live what they once thought of only as dreams. Focused sacrifices do bear fruits. Harvest is great at Anihan. The Juliets and Ruffas of this land need but a little from you in a win-win partnership."

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