The dad bakers of homegrown food chain Conti’s Bakeshop and Restaurant are a special kind of hero. They are tough and soft and sweet at the same time, both at work and at home. They are not just a part of the team that whips up the brand’s beloved cakes and pastries by the thousands daily at the Conti’s commissary.
They are fathers who work hard to provide their families with a better life while helping other families all over the country mark their special occasions, and even ordinary moments, with delightful celebrations.
Some of them have faced tough times in life but were able to succeed because of their love for family, determination, and courage.
“Kailangan ko talaga ng trabaho para ma suportahan ko ang pamilya ko, kaya ‘di na ako nag-atubili pa,” recalls Limwil Galdiano of his humble beginnings in the bakeshop founded 25 years ago and owned by the Conti sisters of Batangas. “Sabi ko sa sarili, sige, kakayanin ko ‘to.”
Limwil has been with Conti’s for almost a decade now. Back in 2013, he was already a father to a 6-year-old son. He had also been a cook for 10 years. What he did not have any experience yet at the time was baking.
“Go for a change,” he says in retrospect. “Hindi lang po sapat ‘yung nag eexcel ka sa isang bagay. Kelangan din po nating lumabas sa comfort zone natin at mag explore at sumubok ng ibang skills.”
Conti’s gave Limwil that perfect opportunity to widen his skills and broaden his horizon as a professional. Most importantly, it helped him make a better living for his family.
Taking on the challenge has paid off. Today, Limwil takes utmost satisfaction and pride in his work as a Conti’s baker because he knows that his talent and skills bring smiles to the faces of strangers.
“Kahit may pressure, kahit pagod, nakakagana pong magtrabaho pag nakikita mong nauubos lahat ng napoproduce namin at pinipilahan po ‘yung stores,” he beams. “Nakakaproud po.”
Like Limwil, fellow Conti’s dad baker Renato Sanorjo had been working in the kitchen of a fast-food chain prior to joining Conti’s. The big difference was he was very far from his family as the job was in Saudi Arabia.
“Madami talagang pagsubok na pwedeng harapin at bilang tatay,” Renato says. “Mas mahirap ‘yung kapag hindi mo kapiling ang anak at pamilya mo.”
Although financial support is important, the former OFW emphasizes the importance of being physically present to create a deeper connection with your children.
“Bilang isang haligi ng tahanan, dapat matatag ka, masipag ka, matiyaga ka para masuportahan o maibigay mo ang pangangailangan ng pamilya mo. Hindi lang materyal kundi pati ‘yung sa pisikal at emosyonal para maging maayos at maganda ang kinabukasan nila.”
These very same sentiments are shared by Edmond Alcoran, a longtime Conti’s employee who started out as an assistant baker and now holds the position of Officer-in-Charge of Production. “Maraming challenges financially, emotionally, and physically,” he echoes. “So ang pinakamaganda ay kapag sa huli, nalagpasan niyo ang pagsubok sa buhay.”
One of the biggest challenges that Edmond had to surmount as a father came early this year when his third child was born prematurely. “Kakaibang pagsubok ang pinagdaanan ko,” he notes. “Pero dahil na rin sa karanasan ko sa pagiging ama ng unang dalawang anak ko, at ‘yung mga natutunan ko sa trabaho, nakaya namin ng asawa ko ang mga hamon.”
Edmond says patience and having a clear direction are very important both as a baker and as a father. “Hindi pwedeng magmadali ka. As a baker kasi, merong standard procedure. Kelangan may patience ka na sundin ‘yun. Kelangan i-manage natin lahat ‘yun para may direction. Ganun din sa pagiging tatay. Kelangan ang mahabang pasensya. Kelangan ang tibay ng loob.”
Meeting big challenges is never easy. Even though men need all the help they can get. Fortunately for the dad bakers of Conti’s, the company’s family-oriented philosophy not only makes them grow but also makes them glow.
“Sa Conti’s, challenges are a means to constantly improve, to make ourselves better and make relationships tighter,” notes Angie Conti-Martinez, one of the three sisters who founded Conti’s 25 years ago. “We are happy to be part of the professional and personal journeys of our dad bakers and are proud of their achievements in the company and in their families.”
There is no perfect father, just as there is no one way to be a good father. Dads, just like cakes, come in all shapes, sizes, and parenting styles. But no matter what and who they are, dads are everyday superheroes who deserve to be celebrated on Father’s Day but every single day – with Conti’s cakes for a truly delightful celebration.
To know more about Conti’s Bakeshop & Restaurant, visit their website at http://www.contis.ph/ or check out their Facebook (@contisph) and Instagram (@contis_ph) pages.
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