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.