Bread of life, bread for life

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Credit should be given to the proponents of the Community Pantry for sparking a noble movement, a revolution of sorts where Filipinos displayed random generosity and kindness to Filipinos who have less in life, where to live is a constant struggle, especially in this pandemic.

Many lost their jobs, their earnings, and even their lives. The battle continues but fortunately, there are still those who constantly think of how to help others to survive, to let others learn how to fish and not merely ask for fish. For them to have bread that provides life, they were taught to make bread not just for their lives’ daily sustenance, but also for their livelihood.

Daang Bakal Brgy. Capt. Richard Bassig (right) with MMTVTC chief Majella Tampinco

This was the idea of a barangay captain in the City of Mandaluyong, Richard Bassig from Brgy. Daang Bakal. One day, he asked the chief of the Mandaluyong Manpower Tech-Voc Training Center (MMTVTC), Ma. Majella Tampinco, on how his staff can be taught to bake commercial breads such as pan de sal, monay, ensaymada, cheese bread and Spanish bread.

My idea was to give to the constituents the bread, but in exchange of plastic bottles so they won’t be too dependent on dole outs. If they are to give something in return in exchange for the breads, at least there’s an effort on their part. May pinaghirapan silang gawin kahit paano para makakuha ng tinapay, and they were able to contribute in proper solid waste management,” Bassig explained to

That is why last April 27, Tampinco and her baking trainors at MMTVTC conducted the training on baking, using modules from the session plan on Baking and Pastry of TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) called “1 Dough, 5 Kinds.” This means one dough can make five different kinds of breads. The training lasted one whole day and eventually, the trainees were able to do it.

Bassig himself doing the baking training

Present were Bassig himself, including Brgy. Daang Bakal staff and some mothers from the barangay who wanted to learn how to bake. They all gamely participated and obviously, they all had fun and learned something at the same time.

Daang Bakal officials and MMTVTC staff

Bassig wanted his idea to be sustainable by turning it into a livelihood project. For those who underwent the baking training, Bassig is eyeing to put up a Barangay Community Bakery wherein the other mothers from the barangay will be taught how to bake and will essentially man the bakery.

Part of the plan of Bassig is for the MMTVTC to help the barangay and the women on how to sustain the project by teaching them basic entrepreneurial and operational skills when it comes to managing a bakery.

This includes as well assistance from the MMTVTC to help monitor the bakery’s growth and development and teach the women how to make the bakery self sustaining. Eventually, the target is to enable the bakery to supply big groceries and food chains by making first-class hamburger buns, among others, out of their products.

Good thing is, the TESDA PaMaMariSan, composed of the cities of Pasig, Mandaluyong, Marikina, and San Juan, is closely monitoring the group’s progress, and will continue to look at how they can provide livelihood to the residents of Brgy. Daang Bakal.

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