Anna Carreon | Feb. 12, 2018
Does disability inhibit productivity? For the Noble Warriors turned Noble Bakers, it does not.
Chef Wilburt Wong, Pilmico’s Techincal Baker for Luzon, reflects on his 3-month baking workshop with the soldiers from the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and what he cherished the most about the experience.
Going into this project, I had some personal worries regarding the ‘disabilities’ of the soldiers. I even asked for a list of their ‘disabilities’ ahead of the class, so I’ll know what to expect.
Any disability, as we know, is always painted in our mind as a limiting factor to movement. And baking is one skill that entails a lot of movement. Having the flu on a baking day would be very bothersome. What more a missing hand, or the need for a prosthetic leg? The only thought I had, “how does one prepare for this?”
Truth be told, i didn’t have a plan, or the very least an inkling of what kind of treatment they expect from me?
Come the first day of training. They came in one by one, just like any student would. They smiled, they joked, they were just happy to be part of a new opportunity for learning.
Yes, they had disabilities, they had shrapnel’s inside different parts of their bodies, one lost a hand, the other uses a prosthetic limb, some had deformities. All in the spirit of honoring and defending the Philippine flag. For our freedom.
So, hardships? I found none. Disabilities? It was my own prejudice that was a disability. Something that I hope was wiped away by the happy spirit that they shared with me.
Thank you, especially for the honor of serving those who served to keep us free.
The Noble Bakers Project is a program of the Aboitiz Foundation and Pilmico, in partnership with the SOCOM Foundation, Inc. Under the project, 60 wounded soldiers underwent a comprehensive bakery management training program provided by Pilmico. They were taught how to cost & develop bakery products, bake bread, cakes, cookies, pizza dough, and a lot more.
Apart from the training, the Aboitiz Foundation also donated heavy-duty baking equipment like oven, mixer and baking utensils. The bakery inside Fort Magsaysay was built by the SOCOM. The Noble Bakers’ Bakery is now operational with captured market which includes the soldiers and residents inside Fort Magsaysay and even the adjacent schools. Proceeds from the bakery will directly benefit the dependents of the soldiers.
Embracing our promise of advancing business and communities, the Aboitiz Foundation and Pilmico endeavor to uplift and empower our noble warriors through meaningful and sustainable programs.