How dining helps build a school
IN BETWEEN DEADLINES - Cheryl Tiu (The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2016 - 10:00am

Love is deeds, not sweet words.”

The famous words of St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, were the inspiration for volunteer housewives who started Punlaan School in a garage in 1975. Since then, it’s evolved to become a private technical school that’s been offering culinary, dining services and housekeeping courses for young students, housewives, household helpers and the underprivileged.

Recognized by the Department of Education, as well as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, the school, owned and operated by the Foundation for Professional Training, Inc., offers a dual training scholarship program in Hospitality and Culinary Arts for the hotel and restaurant industry. Graduates have been employed by numerous establishments around the metro, including restaurants like Bizu, Mary Grace, Amici, Café Adriatico, Cravings, Mario’s Café Ysabel, and hotels like Diamond Hotel (president Cecile Ang initiated the Punlaan-Diamond Hotel Household Services Scholarship Program in 2012, wherein household helpers are granted culinary scholarships to equip them for better-paying jobs), Discovery Suites, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila Hotel, and country clubs like Tagaytay Highlands and Pico de Loro.

Building A Better Future

This year, the school is aiming to have as many as 500 students (at present, it has a capacity of 150). This means tearing down its existing facility in San Juan to build a 7,218 square-meter building equipped with classrooms, kitchens, meeting rooms, faculty rooms, an oratory and auditorium. This is in line with their mission to address poverty, not through a quick fix, but by providing values formation to empower them to contribute to society.

To raise funds for this project, Punlaan is holding a fundraising dinner on April 13, next Wednesday, at Chef Jessie in Rockwell from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. An “Evening of Art, Music and Fine Dining,” the ticket, priced at P10,000, will include a five-course dinner prepared by chef Jessie Sincioco, performances by harpist Christian Cordero Caragayan, soprano Sherla Najera and Shaddai Solidum-Luchring and pianist Luci Magalit, in an event hosted by Chris Tiu. There will also be artworks up for auction by Ming Syyap, Ana Olives-Mathay and Caress Banson. The proceeds from this dinner and sales of the artworks will go to the New Punlaan School.




* * *

For reservations and inquiries about the upcoming dinner on April 13 or how you can donate to Punlaan, contact the Punlaan Development Board at 0917-536-0492. For more information on Punlaan School, visit or call 727-0581/ 82. Punlaan is located at 173 M. Paterno Street, San Juan, Metro Manila, or email

* * *

You can reach me at, on my blog, on Twitter at or on Instagram at

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with