441 JPMAP’s Baking Workshop with A-HA Learning Center
Written by Secretary, Glenn Costales
Someone once said, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” That advice couldn’t have been any timelier for the U! team as they prepared for a ‘delectable’ Sunday along with students from the Junior People Management Association of the Philippines (JPMAP).
Comprising of member schools from all over the Philippines, JPMAP is a national organization of students who aim to be outstanding ‘people managers’ in the future. It was a first for U! to partner with them in their corporate social responsibility initiative.
The student-volunteers came in groves to meet the kids from Baranggay Valenzuela in Makati City. Led by Ate laraine Marcelo, these kids are part of the community’s after-school program supporting their education and values formation. It was evident that the day would not lack any enthusiasm from both the volunteers and the kids. Well before the program started, everyone was already friendly with one another engaging in animated conversations and ‘selfies.’
With the event finally underway, the kids hurriedly looked for their partner-kuyas or ates. The first 5 pairs that came together then took front and center for an impromptu dance number (which funnily enough made some of the volunteers somehow regret being one of the first). Nevertheless, the entire group ended up having a blast from the spontaneous (not to mention and amusing) performances.
Afterwards, the volunteers and kids were grouped into five (5) teams. This was of course to get the kids into the team atmosphere with their kuyas and ates. They spent the next few minutes answering the getting-to-know questions to really make everyone comfortable.
The event’s featured activity was immediately next up. Chef Paul Samson of The Cookery Place led the group in a delightful baking workshop. The day’s menu consisted of a graham inspired dessert with chocolate icing, as well as a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting. With of some of the volunteers and kids helping, Chef Paul explained the ingredients needed and the steps in creating the tasty treats.
After a few instructions, the groups then tried their hand in making their own desserts. Each team was given their own set of ingredients like graham crackers, buttercream frosting and sprinkles to add color to their sponge cake. The volunteers and kids got creative in their designs after Kuya Harvard announced that the best-designed cake would be getting a prize. With the task completed, the teams set aside their brightly colored sweets to get ready for the next activity.
The teams then played the original U!-game called Shape It Up. In this ‘retooled’ game, the teams were given a string of yarn which everyone had to hold on to. They then were given a specific shape to form using the yarn (i.e. star, crown, square, etc.). The team that finished first and did so creatively got the point. After several rounds, each team managed to win a couple of points making it a close contest. The game ended though with one team winning 3 points and getting prizes for their kids.
The teams soon settled down to enjoy their lunch, getting a taste as well of some of the desserts they made. Kuya Harvard also announced the team with the winning design. All of them were wonderfully created but one stood out and had to ‘take the cake.’
Before parting ways, the kids received their gifts from the day’s sponsors. The volunteers then received a tight embrace from the kids as an appreciation before finally seeing them off.
It’s a blessing to see people getting engaged to this cause at a young age. U! is truly thankful to JPMAP for spending their Sunday with the kids of Baranggay Valenzuela. U! also sincerely appreciates Ate Laraine Marcelo and Chef Paul for lending their time to the event.