MAKATI CITY, Philippines – To celebrate three years of serving good food for a good cause since its renovation in 2011, the revitalized Coffee and Saints Café (C&S), a Caltex-Pugad Foundation livelihood project for migrant youths, is dishing out more flavorful and hearty meals named after saints and martyrs for loyal and new customers.
Photo above shows the bestselling King David’s Chicken, bathed with its sweet garlic sauce garnished with the café’s signature Ashitaba leaves. Ashitaba is known to treat high-blood pressure, gout and constipation. Vegetarians can recourse to ‘Vegetable Kare Kare ni Pedro Calungsod’; a new take on a popular Filipino dish made without meat but equally satisfying and more nutritious. ‘Kilawing Puso ng Saging ni Maria’ will delight customers with its spicy twist on a humble dish. ‘Isda ni San Pedro’ offers diners heavenly steamed fish dipped in lemon sauce. These budget-friendly meals are served with rice and priced between 50-100 pesos. Diners can wrap up with a cup of Moringa Coffee paired with Ashitaba cookies or Onion Hopia.
C&S is manned by migrant boys rescued by Don Bosco Pugad Center from a life of child labor, vagrancy, abuse and poverty. Chevron Philippines Inc.(CPI), which markets Caltex fuels and lubricants, in partnership with Pugad created the café in 2006 to provide training for the disadvantaged boys in proper waiter service, food preparation and other related skills. Market response exceeded expectations so that in 2011, Chevron infused additional capitalization to help Pugad renovate the coffee shop to cater to more customers with modern tastes. C&S to date provides a steady flow of income that helps sustain the foundation’s operations and support the 87 Pugad boys.
Since it was reopened in 2012, C&S has trained over 45 youth migrants, 95% of whom are currently employed. Alumni find work in first-class restaurants and hotels both locally and abroad.