Rose Isada Cabrera and Marilyn Salvacion
Mabuhay Restop: Promoting Cultural Heroism
Rose Isada Cabrera and Marilyn Salvacion have one of the most successful stories between mentor and apprentice: Rose, the supportive teacher, Marilyn, the passionate student.
The end product, or the start of their great relationship at the very least, is Mabuhay Restop, a unique one-stop shop that combines food, arts, culture and entertainment to promote Philippine tourism.
“I got to travel all over the country that I only used to dream of. It was more than I could ever imagine when I get this job, and I am forever grateful. This is the fulfillment of my dreams,” says Marilyn, a resident of Smokey Mountain who used to be one of the volunteers of Mabuhay Restop.
Today, she is not only the manager of this charming restaurant/tourist spot/events place but also part owner – all thanks to Rose, who is also the social enterprise director and one of the founders of Gkonomics, the enterprise arm of Gawad Kalinga.
Mabuhay Restop, located in the iconic Rizal Park, is a “shop for visitors in the Philippines, where guests get to sample Philippine culture and enjoy exceptional Philippine experiences in a one-stop destination through local home-style dishes, cultural shows with a modern twist, and eye-opening social tours. “The establishment also promotes Filipino artworks, and community merchandise made by Gawad Kalinga communities.
What’s beautiful about this business venture, is that the team running Mabuhay Restop are mostly volunteers and residents of Gawad Kalinga, people closest to the heart of Rose Cabrera, a lawyer by profession who was based in the US for more than 20 years. “Living in the US for more than half my life, I still look forward to coming home and I felt there was a dearth of places where you can celebrate Philippine arts and culture. I set up Mabuhay Restop to promote cultural heroism, where people can enjoy and experience how it is to be a Filipino.”
Source: Philippine Panorama
Sunday Magazine of the Manila Bulletin
23 October 2016