Pilmico and TESDA Champion Women and Sustainability

In celebration of National Women’s Month, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Women’s Center (TESDA Women’s Center), headed by TESDA Women’s Center Chief Mylene Somera, partnered with Pilmico Foods Corporation (Pilmico) to launch their newest signature bread, “Juana Banana.” They named the bread after Juana, to represent all Filipino women.  

Chef Carla Valencia, Pilmico’s Technical Service Manager for Flour, created the recipe for “Juana Banana.” The bread is made with bananas, including their peels and vegetables like malunggay, pumpkin, and carrots, making it a healthier pastry alternative. It is baked with premium quality “Sun Moon Star” bread flour from Pilmico, filled with butter, and topped with a crispy cookie crust. 

Pilmico’s Chef Carla Valencia made Juana Banana using bananas, including its peel, which is rich in antioxidants. She also added vegetables to make it a nutrient-packed pastry.

According to Chef Carla, she developed the banana bread recipe with sustainability in mind. “For two years, I’ve been trying to incorporate banana peels in bread during some of our TESDA Women’s Center baking demonstrations. We usually throw out the banana peels, but many people have used them for viands and banana chips. To reduce food waste and make the recipe more sustainable, I also came up with the idea of using banana peels in developing “Juana Banana,” she shared. 

Pilmico and TESDA employees join the launch of “Juana Banana” at Cafe Juana on March 8, 2024, to celebrate International Women’s Day. 

On March 8th, International Women’s Day, Cafe Juana at TESDA Women’s Center offered a complimentary “Juana Banana” bread to customers who wore any purple color in their attire. The bread will also be added to Cafe Juana’s menu moving forward.

“This is a very welcome opportunity for TESDA to learn how to do these innovations, using food waste and turning it into something that can help generate income for our constituents. Moving forward, we want TESDA to be more innovative sa lahat ng bagay (in all aspects). We want to think out of the box,” said Mr. Abe Arenga, TESDA Chief of Staff. 

A Flourishing Partnership Since 2018 

Pilmico and TESDA Women’s Center’s Wooden Spoon Training Center empower women who are aspiring to become bakery owners.

The TESDA Women’s Center prioritizes women enrollees, implementing a 9:1 ratio of women to men in the classes. As part of the  Wooden Spoon Business Innovation program, newly certified TESDA trainees are equipped with baking skills and knowledge and encouraged to continue learning about entrepreneurship and developing their business mindset. 

Mylene Somera expressed her gratitude to Pilmico for their flourishing partnership throughout the years, “We thank Pilmico and the Aboitiz Foundation for supporting TESDA Women’s Center’s programs. We’ve been partners since 2018 when we launched the Wooden Spoon Training Center. The launch is very timely since we’ve been thinking, paano magkakaroon ng collaboration (ang TESDA at Pilmico) in terms of product development and it’s finally here. (The launch is very timely since we’ve been thinking about how TESDA and Pilmico can collaborate further in terms of product development, and it’s finally here),” she said. 

The UNESCO-UNEVOC recognized Wooden Spoon Training Center in the TESDA Women’s Center as one of ten business innovation centers in 2019, acknowledging its commitment to innovation, especially in entrepreneurship.