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Globe, Smart, Sun offer free local and int’l texts to affected Visayas provinces

To help the communities severely affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda, the country’s three mobile phone operators -- Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, and Sun Cellular are jointly offering 25 free SMS per day for five days that may be used for local and international messages.  This will be available to all their customers in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Cebu, Aklan,  Antique, and Capiz fromNovember 13 to 17.

“This free service is open to all Globe and TM subscribers in these Visayas provinces.  This is the company’s way of giving assistance to our customers who suffered from the typhoon’s onslaught and who need to reach out to their family and friends in the country and abroad,” said Peter Bithos, Chief Operating Advisor for Globe Consumer Business Group.

"This is a time for Filipinos to come together and help our countrymen in their hour of great need.  This joint effort will help Smart, Sun Cellular and Talk 'N Text subscribers in the typhoon-struck areas to communicate with their loved ones at home and abroad,"  said Charles Lim, Executive Vice President of Smart and Chief Operating Officer of Digitel Mobile Philippines.

The three operators came to this unprecedented agreement in response to the extreme devastation caused by the super typhoon. They are also working to restore their respective services and assist emergency relief activities of the government and humanitarian agencies.

For Globe and TM customers in the affected Visayas provinces, the free service can be availed by texting BangonPinoy to 8888.

Local Chevron companies donate P3.14 M to Typhoon Yolanda Relief Efforts

Aboitiz Foundation #BangonVisayas - Update No. 3

Breaking Bread over Coffee & Saints

Celebrity foodie Nancy Reyes-Lumen returns to a bakery training project that rises into a resto business

The Adobo Queen selects an adobo pan de sal made by disadvantaged boys at a Caltex-Pugad livelihood training café. With Pugad Center director Fr Dave Buenaventura.

MAKATI, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013 – The Philippines’ “Adobo Queen” Nancy Reyes Lumen looked around and saw a used commercial oven, a couple of Caltex LPG tanks,  some baking tools,  a few proofing shelves and six shy teenagers. They were inside a former storage room turned into a bakery for training migrant youths rescued by the Don Bosco Pugad Center (Pugad) from abuse and poverty.

That was 10 years ago. Travelling back to the present, Nancy’s gaze now falls upon an air-conditioned dining area, a proper kitchen, full cooking implements and professional looking crew. This is Caltex-Pugad Coffee and Saint (C&S) café, a restaurant operations training venture, one of the many self-sustaining livelihood enterprises that have sprouted from the humble bakery a decade ago.

Nancy was first invited as a project consultant by Caltex brand marketer, Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI) in 2003, to explore the commercial potential of creating a training bakery as a livelihood community program for disadvantaged boys. The birth of C&S from that bakery venture is proof that charitable projects can sustain themselves if managed properly.

“It exceeded my expectations,” exclaimed Lumen on a recent visit to Pugad.  “When I first came on board, the Pugad boys already knew the basics of making good bread but baking in commercial quantities and keeping quality consistent were a challenge.

Nancy, who hails from the family that built the famous Aristocrat restaurant, taught the boys lessons on quality control and more efficient baking operations. She also urged the Pugad bakers to expand their product line and be sensitive to market needs—critical keys to ensure bakery profitability. She showed the boys how to make bread bowls and mini-pandesal that served as excellent foundation for canapés.

As word spread of a bakery run by disadvantaged boys and hot-from-the-oven bread for sale in the heart of Don Bosco parish, the Pugad bakery clientele grew rapidly. But Pugad administrators realized that the trainees needed to add more skills in the kitchen and learn customer service in order to increase their chances of getting jobs outside Pugad.

C&S training café was a natural expansion of the bakery business. Chevron helped finance the cafe as a Caltex Energy for Learning (EFL) program. EFL funds projects that help disadvantage people gain access to education and livelihood so that they can become productive members of society.

Located right outside the Don Bosco parish church, C&S offers convenience, comfort food and reasonable prices. From simple breakfast menus designed to complement the Pugad breads, C&S began venturing into “lutong bahay” (home cooked style) meals to serve the Makati lunch crowd.

The Pugad boys trained with the help of donor-restaurateurs, some facilitated by Chevron. The trainees spend at least three months learning food preparation, food business and restaurant operations.

“I’m very thrilled with everything that Pugad Center has accomplished in 10 years; most especially so for this coffee shop,” adds Lumen.

Fr. Dave Buenaventura, SDB, Pugad Foundation Director, explains, “It’s called Coffee & Saints because we want to promote the best Philippine coffee served best with our bread. We also feature three saints as examples to the boys. These are: St. John Bosco for his hard work and entrepreneurial spirit; Lorenzo Ruiz for his loyalty, fidelity, and courage; and Pedro Calungsod, our latest Filipino saint, for his joviality, commitment, and friendship.”

Lumen tasted the coffee shop’s best-selling meals and shared her thoughts on how to improve or sustain the recipes. She volunteered to help C&S come up with new menu items for C&S re-opening, and tweak some existing recipes and breads. On top of that, the celebrity foodie will donate one of her family’s secret adobo recipes to add to C&S list of best-sellers.

The newly renovated Coffee and Saints feature several new dishes made with ashitaba grown locally by the Pugad center. Ashitaba means “tomorrow’s leaf,” a Japanese vine that is said to have a myriad of health benefits.

Aside from C&S, other projects that sprouted from the bakery and provided fresh grants by Chevron are the Caltex-Pugad’s Manna from Heaven Bakeshop which sells 30 kinds of bakery products and Mobile Mechanic auto repair service as well. These projects help youth at risk, children in conflict with the law and migrant young men of Pugad Center.

About Chevron Philippines Inc.

Chevron Philippines Inc. has been operating in the country for more than 85 years under its retail brand, Caltex, offering high quality products and services. There are close to 800 service stations strategically scattered throughout the Philippine archipelago and employees working in several areas of business such as Marketing, Lubricants and Terminal operations. The Chevron products that are available in the Philippines include Caltex with Techron® fuel and Caltex Diesel with Techron®D, Havoline® and Delo® oils. More information on Chevron Philippines Inc. is available at

Manila Water Foundation donates P5 million to Habitat for Humanity for relocated families in Laguna

Manila Water Foundation, the additional corporate social responsibility arm of East Zone concessionaire Manila Water Company for areas outside Metro Manila, gives P5 million to relocated families in Southville Site 2, Calaun, Laguna through the Habitat for Humanity Philippines.

According to Ferdinand M. Dela Cruz, President of Manila Water Foundation, the donation is dedicated for the implementation of the water system project designed for 1,100 housing units. “This support reflects the Foundation’s vision to improve the lives and contribute to the holistic development of marginalized communities by becoming a vehicle of delivering one of their basic needs, water,” says Dela Cruz.

The undertaking by Manila Water Foundation, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Philippines, is part of an agreement entered into by the Ayala group in 2010 which aims to provide a decent life to Base of the Pyramid (BOP) communities by providing their primary necessities such as shelter, community association, water supply and sanitation. With this, Manila Water Foundation allotted P6 million to support the construction of a facility that will deliver safe, clean, and affordable water to the homes of Southville Site 2 residents. The beneficiaries of the said project were relocated from Pasig City after typhoon Ondoy left them homeless. To serve the residents’ immediate need for water, the Foundation initially refurbished a deep well pump, installed a control panel, and set up two temporary static tanks which are refilled with potable water every week. The amount incurred for this undertaking was deducted from the original amount pledged.

Manila Water Foundation has also provided a technical design of a water system that may be implemented to the area to ensure the effective and efficient transmission and distribution of water.

Photo shows (from left to right): JP Orbeta, Group Head, Ayala Corporation; Charlito Ayco, CEO and Managing Director, Habitat; Yvonne Lih, CFO, Habitat; Luli Heras-De Leon, President, Ayala Foundation; Carla May Beriña -Kim, Executive Director, Manila Water Foundation; Gerardo Ablaza, Jr., Chairman, Manila Water Foundation; Ferdinand M. Dela Cruz, President, Manila Water Foundation; Ruel T. Maranan, Trustee, Manila Water Foundation
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