The Hague, The Netherlands – Nothing beats the comfort of hot soup in cold weather. In the Netherlands, Filipino cruise ship chef Khokoy Cabales wishes to introduce the batchoy as answer to this chilly climate.
His idea is the driving force behind the business plan that he submitted as part of the Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) programme of the Ateneo School of Government (ASG).
“The concept behind the batchoy is about fast preparation of food. I choose the batchoy over other Philippine soups because it is an original Filipino recipe,” said Cabales while demonstrating to other LSE students how to make the local favourite ensaymada, a sweet bread that he says can be paired with batchoy.
The batchoy, a noodle soup made with pork meat and crackling, chicken broth, thick noodles and beef loin, will be served in the busy train stations in Holland to cater to those who need quick but delicious and warm fix to energize them throughout the day.
“My main target is in central stations here in the Netherlands because my concept is that of a fast food chain that dishes out healthy food. This will be very handy to the people in the Netherlands because they use the public transport a lot and weather is cold,” Khokoy added.
Empowerment for migrant Filipinos
The LSE is an empowerment program of the ASG for migrant Filipinos. It is aimed at the overseas Filipinos’ socio-cultural, political and economic upliftment. The first group of Filipinos who benefitted from the programme were those in Italy in 2008 where more than 100,000 Filipinos reside.
“When it started in Italy, it started with the ‘hanggang dito na lang kami’ mentality. As we tried to envision this programme, we thought we have to change this mindset. Hindi yung ‘hanggang dito na lang kami. Meron pa.’ But how to change the mindset? By giving them skills that they can perhaps use for business, skills that can turn them into creative and more confident individuals.” Fr. Patrick Z. Falguera of the Ateneo School of Government recalled of the LSE beginnings.
The Netherlands’ group is the 21st class of Filipinos abroad who will benefit from modules in leadership, financial literacy and social entrepreneurship. More than 50 percent of the participants are women in their late 20s or early 30s who wish to build their own businesses in the years to come.
“11% of students joined the LSE training program specifically to become more financially literate or learn how to achieve financial stability. 21% wanted to improve themselves or their own/their family’s education. One student sees LSE as a means to better understand migration issues and help other migrants,” explained Patricia Gonzales, member of the LSE Secretariat.
“This training programme seeks to develop overseas Filipinos – their leadership skills, social entrepreneurship – so that they can be agents of change not only here in the Netherlands but also in the Philippines. It is a very exciting programme that intends to empower them,” added Florisa Almodiel, member of the LSE Secretariat.#