Quezon City’s pioneering artisanal Kamuning Bakery Cafe celebrated its fifth “World Pandesal Day” on October 16, and as in past years gave 70,000 pieces of pandesal, cheese, canned goods, rice and and other food items for free to the community.
Done in the same date of World Food Day and World Bread Day, World Pandesal Day is a unique civic and cultural project which hopes to honor the humble yet great Filipino bread pandesal.
“I want to honor our unique bread. Humble siya kasi hindi siya mahal pero great siya kasi lahat natutuwa — mayaman man or mahirap, powerful or ordinary,” said realty entrepreneur, writer and Kamuning Bakery owner Wilson Lee Flores in an interview.
The event, Flores added, also highlights the need to solve age-old social problems of hunger and poverty.
“World Food Day din today — it’s a reminder to the world na may problema ang mundo sa hunger and poverty.”
Basking in the success of his now annual event, Flores revealed it was a parable that actually in-spired him to start his World Pandesal Day charities. This was despite the fact that he was just be-ginning to run his newly-acquired small business.
Specifically, it was the Bible story of a humble boy who shared five bread loaves breads and two fishes, which Jesus Christ multiplied to feed over 5,000 men plus many women and children that inspired him.
“So kahit anong mangyari, commitment namin ito na magbahagi sa lahat ng kapwa natin every year,” he pointed.
Getting more sentimental, Flores also noted why he considers World Pandesal Day as Kamuning Bakery Cafe’s way of thanksgiving for the public’s continuous patronage since 1939.
“After 80 years, nandito pa rin ang Kamuning. Kahit na madaming bread factories, madami nang modern bakeries na malalaki, buhay pa ang Kamuning Bakery and a lot of people still buy to us,” he added.
This much love and support from patrons became even more evident when a destructive fire in 2018 heavily damaged the bakery. And yet, people still flock to the makeshift Kamuning Bakery as it slowly rebuilds its heritage.
Among various VIP guests who graced the event and also gave away free food packs include Sena-tor Cynthia Villar, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and Regal Films founder Mother Lily Monte-verde who also recalled her memories about the humble pinoy bread.
“We eat pandesal during the Japanese war — World War 2. That’s why lahat puro tipid,” recalled Monteverde.
“Ang mga kinakain namin saging, walang mga isda, walang bigas pero may pandesal. Also, memo-rable din ang pandesal sa akin kasi isa sa mga unang films ko din na nai-produce ay ‘Peter Pan-desal’ in1976 starring Niño Muhlach,” she added.
Meanwhile, as a continuation of the month-long celebration of Pandesal Month, Kamuning Bak-ery Café will be organizing the second part of free medical, dental and optical missions in its premises in Quezon City on October 27 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. The first one was held on October 6.
Ever since Flores bought and revived it four years ago, Kamuning Bakery Cafe had also donated four public school buildings in rural areas, like for Sta. Rosa Elementary School in historic seaside Balangiga town in Eastern Samar province, the Villa Bacolor Elementary School in Tarlac City of Tarlac province and others.