University students from Baguio hailed as Tinapay Natin 2017 champions

The Filipinos’ love affair for bread has a long standing history and as we enjoy the different bread variants we have today, it is important to know the hard work and stories that come along with it. To develop this heightened sense of pride for local food, Pilmico and Max’s Corner Bakery strengthened its partnership to bring the annual Tinapay Natin Pinoy Bread Baking Competition to its grand finale.

The journey of passionate student and home bakers ran for three legs this year with the bake-offs held in Davao on September 30, 2017 for the Mindanao elimination leg, in Bacolod on October 6, 2017 for the Visayas stop, and in Baguio on October 14, 2017 for the Luzon elimination round.

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This year, the competition received impressive entries from student bakers and non-professional home bakers, a testament that bread continues to play a big role in many Filipino households today. The top teams per elimination leg comprise the final six teams. This year’s grand finalists are: Pancho Galvez, Jr. and Marven Mangubat (Davao), Richard Toloza and Aldrin Fajardo (Davao), Marc Wenz Vallente and Rey Mark Sinco (Iloilo), Ray Anthony Lachica and Mike Gerard Delin (Baguio), John Mark dela Cruz and Ella Joy Simeon (Baguio), and Aristotle Collado and Emmanuel Banco Jr. (Cavite).

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While the technical skills of the participants are important to the selection process, the judges also looked into the individual stories of the bread entries. The finalists’ creations were evaluated based on technique, creativity, and taste and texture.

 By the end of the final round, the judges saw that any one of them could take the championship — that’s how close the bake-off had become.

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Gelonie Yap, Assistant Vice President for Brand and Marketing of Pilmico, told the finalists:

“I would like to let you know how much we appreciate your skills and your creativity. Without your continued support for Tinapay Natin, we will not be here today and soon, conclude the event’s second year. Though we will choose only one winner today, we hope that this experience will encourage you to keep the tradition of bread-making alive, and while doing so, you all become the storytellers of your respective provinces or areas. I think all of you have become wonderful examples to everyone today.”

The top team who emerged were university students from Baguio, John Mark dela Cruz and Ella Joy Simeon. Their winning recipes were a mix of traditional and modern breads: Star Monay de Coconut, Berry Choco bread, and Mango Pandan bread.

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As the Grand Champions of Tinapay Natin, John and Ella received cash prizes and more importantly, the distinct honour of having their bread creations available through Max’s Corner Bakery nationwide as a limited offering.