Community Heroes are people working in the Hospitality Industry in the Philippines, who run, organize or volunteer for Community Projects. These may be running co-operatives for indigenous people, women, those with disabilities or children. With the aim of helping to develop and support members of their community.

Nicole Thorp MY RANGGO Community Hero

Nicole Thorp MY RANGGO Community Hero

Nicole “Nic” Anne Aurora Go Thorp

Communications Associate at Verde (formerly Mulligans, Makati)

 

Verde has replaced the well-known Irish pub, Mulligans in Makati. Nic, who is the daughter of the owner, conceptualized Verde to be a Cultural Hub where like minded people can meet and strike up conversations. With an eclectic live music spectrum as well as Dj’s Verde is a great new venue to visit in Makati’s Poblacion.  Under Nicoles direction, Verde has already been used as the venue and entertainment for a number of fundraising events.

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work:

Keep a To-Do list

Keep my creativity-side of this business flowing, so I don’t get burnt out

Take a break, at some point during the day, for personal wellness such as a fitness class.

 

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Always be open to learning from your peers, no matter what position they are in. It’s important to keep increasing your skills and to be open to new ideas.

 

Your Activities:

At Verde, we take pride in being a cultural hub.  It’s where like minds can meet and engage in conversations that strike a connection somehow; be it in music, art, sports, fashion, dance or anything. Since we opened back in late October 2019, we started our mission of trying to do one event per month which gives back in one way or another.

For our very first fundraising event we collaborated and worked closely with Fund The Forest  for their launch.  This was a fundraiser that involved four live acts and four DJ’s throughout the night.  The whole event felt like a mini festival.  A portion of the money raised contributed to an advocacy fund for the reforestation of the Aeta community in Yangil, Zambales.

 

Inspirations: Who or what inspired you?
For conceptualizing Verde, I feel that I gained (and continue to gain) my inspiration through experiences I’ve encountered throughout the years.  From different events, festivals, cultures, and establishments I’ve immersed myself in throughout my travels.

I try my best to save up and travel, to really freshen my mind and to gain better perspective of how things are done all over the world. It’s nice to absorb what I see and experience, and then turn it into something that I can add my own touch to.

What’s in your Future? 

I actually have a lot of ideas constantly flowing through my mind for possible projects I would like to pursue in the future; definitely related to Public Relations and Journalism.  But for now you can enjoy what Verde has to offer and hopefully also pass by NIC’S to see another project of mine!

Jake Deray MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes

Jake Deray MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes

Jake Vic M. Deray
Bell Service Man Herald Suites Manila

 

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work
God: Of course everything I do, I entrust it to Him
Family: Second to God, I work and sacrifice for work all for my family’s good future
Guest: A commitment bound to perform and give customer satisfaction

 

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Go to work, always give your 100% effort and exceed everyone’s expectations. Even your own.

 

Unique Experiences:
When Super Typhoon Ondoy hit it was a physically exhausting day. During check-in and check-out we had to carry our guests heavy luggage up and down the stairs, because the elevator had to be stopped due to security reasons.  For check-out we assisted the guests to get their luggage to their cars, or cabs crossing the flooded street of Chino Roces on foot.  Some guests cars were parked on the next block!

 

Your activities:
I’m part of a group of employees who was awarded Employee of the Year. We usually head extracurricular activities as part of the company’s CSR activities.

I was one of the organizers for our annual Charity Feeding Outreach, in December 2019 CSR activity.  It’s organized in coordination with the San Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs Parish in Navotas City.  My role was to act as one of the ‘kuyas’ for the 200 children who participated.  The children are from the nearby Dagat Dagatan community and they are between the ages of 4-7 years old.  I helped with the program from registration through to, story-telling and dancing with the kids, as well as gift giving.  The gift giving can include toys, clothes and shoes, and school supplies.

Our CSR activities are always held during the weekends, and I got involved voluntarily.  Like the kids we spent the day with, I was not well off growing up, so I like to be involved and lead programs when I can.  I don’t have the money to run these programs myself.  If I did have money I would.  But I love that Herald Suites has these initiatives, so I can get involved and play a part.

 

Inspirations: My family is my inspiration, which gives me strength and will to perform my task with utmost care and responsibility.

 

What’s in your Future? Hopefully, I can move up the ranks based on experiences, achievements and reward.

Ernesto Taeza MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes

Ernesto Taeza MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes

Ernesto M Taeza Jnr (Chef Padz)

Freelance Chef/Food Consultant JMK Premium Harvest

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) 

 

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) is the Socio-Political Apostolate of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, working in the island Community of Culion, Palawan.  The Culion project aims to provide safer communities through housing construction, and the relocation of 78 families affected by Typhoon Yolanda. The program does not stop at housing and has a number of livelihood programs and social enterprise developments, promoting community development and Eco-tourism

 

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work:

Growth and the development of the community

Sustainability of the program

Care for the environment

 

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Don’t let your hangovers ruin your day! I always remind my colleagues that once you enter your workplace forget the ‘hangovers of your life’ (even a literal hangover, from an evenings happy hour). Sometimes or often times, based on my experience, people often make an excuse that they can’t go to work, or can’t perform well at work, because of some kind of hangover.

 

Your activities: Simbahang Lingkod Ng Bayan (SLB) works with the Island Community of Culion, Palawan, building houses and providing sustainable livelihoods to communities affected by calamities.  We also provided a multi-purpose Evacuation Center to 4 communities, 3 of which are Indigenous people communities.

As of now, the 78 beneficiaries are members of the organized livelihood program, which is SEC and DOLE registered; the SAMAKASI (Samahan ng may Makabagong Kabuhayan sa San Ignacio).  We are managing 3 livelihood programs; Agri-business, Fish Processing and an Eatery.

For the last two years the Fish Processing livelihood has sold their smoked dish, and bottled smoked fish, at the MIMAROPA DTI EXPO in Megamall. The Agri-business produces vegetables, native chicken and layers, as well as hog raising.  And the Eatery serves food to small gatherings /meetings.

Currently, we are developing the San Ignacio Culion SLB-GK Eco Village. It will be a community-based Eco Tourism Village, promoting and providing services such as cooked and served food (fresh from the (organic) Farm).  A Bed & Breakfast and Eatery will soon open on the farm.

 

Inspirations: What makes me passionate about this work is that it gives me the opportunity to use and apply the skills and talent I acquired during my studies.  As well as those I learned and experienced in the field of community development and hospitality; particularly my training as a chef.

I am very much inspired and thankful for my colleagues, working with me on the ground; (Engr David Mojar Jr – Project Engineer of Housing, Oscar Daguro Jr –Project Officer for livelihood, Bengie Javellana and Bart Hangdaan – GK Community Organizer, Rudy Calzado my Finance Officer, and 4 staff assisting in the construction: Tatay Jacque, Christopher Flores, Abel Manansala and Cedrick Catibod.

My special thanks to our Executive Director, Rev Fr Patrick Falguera, SJ and the Jesuit community for being supportive of the project.  The Xavier Network for providing funding for the project and Gawad Kalinga, Inc, which helped in the community formation and organizing of the beneficiaries.

 

What’s in your Future: To implement the Community-based Eco Tourism Village in San Ignacio Culion; SLB-GK Eco Village. In support of this future project I am planning to plant 400 TREES on my 40th Birthday on 30 May 2020, in the village.

 

 

More on the Simbahang Lingkod Ng Bayan (SLB):

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) is the Socio-Political Apostolate of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines, working in the island Community of Culion, Palawan. It is a non-partisan, Church-based, Jesuit-led organization and a network of religious, priests, seminarians and lay individuals committed to the service of the Filipino Church and the Filipino people.

Due to different disasters in last few years, and the onslaught of Yolanda in November 2013, SLB was heavily involved in rehabilitation projects all over the country. The majority of these project are located in Leyte and Samar; areas heavily damaged by the typhoon. Dinagat province, Iloilo province, Bohol, Compostella Valley and Culion, Palawan are also included in SLB’s project area.

As the social justice arm of the Jesuits in the Philippines, SLB promotes Church, Jesuit and Ignatius-oriented socio-political involvement and engagement, through continuing education for citizenship and good governance, issue advocacy and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management programs (DRRM). SLB is on the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Program (DRRM), which is composed of DRRM Rehabilitation Project, and Disaster Preparedness thru the Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CBDDRM) Program.

The Culion Rehabilitation and Development project came about as a response to the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) November 2013.  The Municipality of Culion, Palawan was one of the areas greatly affected but was among the least served communities.  The Jesuits assigned in Culion, reached out to the Jesuits Province to seek relief goods. Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, which was also the lead organization for the Haiyan Response, immediately provided assistance to the Culion Community.

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan promotes resilience of vulnerable communities in Culion from natural disaster by providing safer communities, through housing construction, and the relocation of 78 families affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

 

 

Tiffany Lim Ngo MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

 

Tiffany Lim Ngo MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

Tiffany Lim Ngo (Tiff)

Marketing Director – SL Agritech Corporation

 

 

SL Agritech Corporation supplies to restaurants and hotels. We also encourage hotels and restaurants to serve brown rice, as an option to their consumers. We are proud to say that Dona Maria has the best tasting brown rice.

Community Programs:

  • Balik Biyaya “Bigas Mo, Tulong Mo” Program
  • Rice Bucket Challenge 
  • & Feeding Program for Bauan and Bolbok refugees, Batangas
  • GMA Kapuso
  • Bantay Bata

 

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work:

Family – Our company is a family-run business; SL Agritech Corp. is named after my late grandfather, Lim Seh Leng.  SL Agritech Corp. and has been in business for 20 years now while our mother company Sterling Paper, is already 73 years.

My grandmother, Maria, of which our brand Dona Maria is named after, taught me to always put family first and to live by the virtues of loyalty, obedience, patience, and generosity. These virtues have played an important role on how I look at my surroundings and has influenced my decisions and actions.

Farmers – SL Agritech Corp. carries out research and development of hybrid rice seeds, and produces Dona Maria Rice and Willy Farms Rice. Our company is fully-integrated from seed development, to planting, harvesting, milling, packing, and distribution. Our mission is to uplift the lives of Filipino farmers and to make the Philippines rice self-sufficient one day. All Dona Maria and Willy Farms rice are produced locally, and we buy-back the palay from our Filipino farmers.

We have farmers all over the country, even outside of the Philippines, planting our hybrid seeds and it is indeed inspirational to see and listen to the success stories of our farmers. We have farmers who now own SUV’s and cemented houses. Farmers who are able to provide livelihoods to their fellow neighbors. And farmers who have regained hope that there is a future in agriculture, and are now teaching their children and grandchildren to plant.

The farmers are one of the reasons my family and I go to work every day. It is because of them that we can proudly say we are making a difference in other people’s lives.

Fellow Workers – Our employees uphold the company’s Mission and Vision. They share the value and advocacy of our company; that of uplifting the lives of the Filipino farmers and making the Philippines self sufficient in rice. We work together as a TEAM: T-ogether, E-ach one, A-chieves, M-ore. I am motivated and inspired to go to work knowing that I have people working with me, who share and support the same values and beliefs that I have.

 

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues:  To quote my uncle, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, “The greatest risk of an entrepreneur is not to take risks at all.” But take note that these are calculated risks; we cannot achieve something great, if we are not willing to take the leap.

 

Your Activities: We do feeding programs and donate rice, to different communities, through our annual Rice Bucket Challenge. We serve brown rice Champorado and educate people about the benefits of brown rice; how they can cook it differently aside from just serving it plain. The rice we donate is also brown rice.

We also participate in donating rice to different foundations fighting malnutrition, like GMA Kapuso and Bantay Bata.

In 2016, we launched a Balik Biyaya “Bigas Mo, Tulong Mo” program wherein, for every pack of Dona Maria and Willy Farms rice bought, we will donate 20% of it to the farmers in Mindanao.

Our latest activity was on 15 January 2020; feeding 10,000 evacuees in Bauan and Bolbok, Batangas brown rice champorado. Our company also donated 10,000 kg of brown rice to them, through the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FFCCCII).

Inspirations: Being in the Agriculture Sector, I have the opportunity to travel. I get to see the rice fields and farm areas across our country, and meet our Filipino farmers from different regions. The hardworking farmers and the resiliency of our countrymen has always been visible. In the midst of the various challenges coming their way, our farmers remain steadfast and  committed to delivering food to our table.  Every day, we get to read and know about “unsung heroes”; ordinary people, who try to help their own fellowmen start their lives all over again. Its the “Bayanihan”spirit in every Filipino that inspires me and drives me more to help in the best possible way that I can.

What’s in your Future? Our advocacy is to help uplift the lives of our Filipino farmers. The technology that we offer, and the support extended to them, will be magnified in order to reach each and every farmer in our country.

The hardworking, industrious and persistent farmers are who compel me to help even more. With this in mind, I am inspired to fully support our farmers reach their dreams; of providing a better life for their families and a better hope for our country.

Ryan Alba Soul Kitchen MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

Ryan Alba Soul Kitchen MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

Ryan Alba

Founder of Soul Kitchen, El Nido

 

Soul Kitchen was created with the aim of offering cheap but healthy meals to tourists and residents in El Nido.  Ryan has implemented a ‘Pay-It-Forward’ community support service; for every meal purchased a FREE MEAL ticket is issued, which can be given to a local of El Nido to claim at Soul Kitchen.

 

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work:

Understanding the nature of the business and know how it should be operated

Making goals and identifying all possibilities to achieve them

Find the right people; identify with them on all that is needed to be done and make sure everyone is doing all that is needed to be done.

 

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues:

Travel and experience as many places, hotels, restaurants and tours as possible.

 

Your activities:

Soul Kitchen offers fresh and healthy meals at an affordable price (Php 100 to Php 150).  A ticket is issued with every meal purchase, which can be given to any local, residing in El Nido.  The ticket holder can then claim a FREE MEAL in Soul Kitchen.

The inspiration for this concept is the idea itself of being able to help others less fortunate. Especially as it is expensive for locals to eat in El Nido.

In our second month of operations, January 2020, we have fed people from 40 different countries and given out 934 free meals to El Nido locals.

 

Inspirations:

The idea that Soul Kitchen could be able to help others, whilst serving the tourists and visitors to El Nido with healthy but affordable food.

 

What’s in your Future?

My dream, my goal is to open more branches of Soul Kitchen.  And that the Soul Kitchen concept may encourage others to find ways to be a light for those in need.

 

Almera Alulod MY RANGGO Community Hero

Almera Alulod MY RANGGO Community Hero

 

Almera Alulod

General Manager

Lost Wanderers – TLWT Travel Services

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work:

I write down all the tasks I need to do, having a daily ‘to do’ list really helps me focus.

A huge cup of coffee.

I commit to finish all the tasks I set myself for the day.

 

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: 

I find the following mantra’s really helpful: Keep Going, Keep Growing. I did not come this far, just to come this far. And, It is not your job to be everything to everyone.

 

Your activities: We do outreach events at least twice a year.  We collect donations like school supplies and also a percentage of our sales goes to the funding of Batad Kids. This year, we are hoping to put up a mini Library for the children (if the fundraising budget permits)

Our plan for the Mini Library is just a small space with cabinets around where we will put all the supplies.   Like books, coloring materials, wooden toys etc.  At the moment we are thinking that tables and chairs may not be necessary, and we plan to put down a puzzle floor mat instead.  The school has no library and definitely has incomplete books, we would like to at least give the kids a place where they can spend time reading or playing, during their spare time.

Collecting donations ain’t easy. We usually use social media for Crowdfunding.  There are companies who sends us school supplies for the kids and some friends donate cash.

 

Inspirations: I find inspiration in a variety of people and things.  My best inspiration would be the feeling I get whenever a client is satisfied with the services we delivered. And the smiles of the kids in the community.

 

What’s in your Future?  We plan to build a bigger company and help more kids.  We also want to help aspiring businesswoman build their own businesses or their brand.

Ma. Ninfa Desiree T. Segovia (Desiree)

Chairperson, Boracay Women Producers Cooperative & Pinay Boracay
 Heritage HUB, Tambisaan, Manoc Manoc, Boracay, Malay, Aklan

 

Top tip for your Hospitality/tourism/eco colleagues: The world would be a better place if we just care & share

Your activities: 

  1. Serve the underprivileged. Organize them to participate in governance & have a voice in governance.
  2. Develop socially & ecologically relevant enterprises for empowerment & work for our significance & success.
  3. Manage the characters of the underprivileged to stay focused on our missions & become good models of society.
  4. Practice zero waste lifestyle.
  5. Organic farming.

Inspirations:

  1. I’m inspired to discover every day the dynamics of being human.
  2. I’m inspired at how materialism can challenge the power of intergenerational solidarities.
  3. I’m inspired when people show love & respect to god, nature & humanity

 

What’s in your Future? In my future, I can see myself with two white wings smiling at my God. In my future, there’s significance & success in the enterprises that I’ve built together with the underprivileged. A legacy that lives on/ carries on from generation through generation and for others to duplicate as it’s replicable & sustainable.

LUDWIG “LOY” FUENTEBELLA

RESORT MANAGER
ENCENADA BEACH RESORT, PUERTO GALERA, MINDORO ISLAND

NAME 3 THINGS YOU FOCUS ON IN YOUR WORK:

1) Beach must always be clean of plastics and other debris, this is our main asset after all

2) Employees are on time and must know guests by their names, not only by their room number

3) Beer is always cold and seafood is fresh.

TOP TIP FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY COLLEAGUES: Always be attentive to guests needs. A clean surrounding, and a friendly atmosphere among managers and employees, help make guests feel comfortable and welcome at the resort. Hospitality is our business!

YOUR ACTIVITIES:  I was a former national football player at a time when football was not yet popular in the Philippines. I have played football since I was 8 years old and I wanted to teach others how to play as well. I found Puerto Galera to be the perfect place to do this since nobody plays football here. I met Barry St. John Poulton, a British expat who lived in Puerto Galera 15 years ago. We had the same passion in spreading awareness about this beautiful game in the community, and so we started a football clinic free of charge. We invited kids by going school to school and started with a few boys and girls aged 6 to 12.

I eventually ventured to Mt. Baclayan to teach Mangyan kids to play football as well. I had help from The Stairway Foundation, a Danish NGO that “rescues” street children in Manila from juvenile institutions, by housing them and educating them at a compound they built in Puerto Galera.  After more than 5 years, they still enjoy the game and I continue to recruit more school kids to play every weekend. At the same time, I clean up the beach daily to prepare the day at the resort.

YOUR INSPIRATIONS: My wife first met Enrico Harrasser, the owner of Coco Beach Resort. It was the biggest resort in Puerto Galera, in terms of area size and rooms. He introduced us to the resort business by inviting us to run the souvenir shop at his resort, in 1989. We later on had the opportunity to partner with Encenada Beach Resort in 2000. We fell in love with the place and our work. Another inspiration is my former mentor and coach, Spanish Juan Cutillas who put me in to shape and taught me how to be a disciplined athlete.

WHAT’S IN YOUR FUTURE: I invented the phrase, “The future is now. If you don’t move now there is no future for you.” I plan to bring back what I started in 2003 – the Puerto Galera Reggae Festival. This features reggae bands from Manila, as well as aspiring reggae bands in Puerto Galera. We held it for 10 years right here at Encenada until 2013. We stopped the event due to the sudden passing of Tropical Depression’s band leader, Papadom that year 2013, who was my collaborator in this project since the first year.

I am also preparing my Mangyan team to participate in the 2nd IP Cup football tournament. My goal is to send a Mangyan player to next year’s annual Homeless World Cup (this year it is being held in Mexico City)