The Philippines’ historic landmark hotel served as the perfect venue for a work immersion held recently for six foreign students from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), organized through a partnership with one of the country’s pioneer culinary education institutes—the Center for Culinary Arts, Manila (CCA, Manila).
The Philippine-Canadian Collaborative International Training and Education Efforts was launched in 2008. This year marks the third time that NAIT sent its students to the Philippines for a one-month work immersion. The students from NAIT, namely Albert Nobbs, Sean McAra, Austin Schwabe, Sarah May Drury, Soleil Justiniano, and Tuyen Lai came to the Philippines for an immersive experience at The Manila Hotel. They were accompanied by Chef Vinod Varshney, Program Chairperson at NAIT's School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, who is also a renowned culinary instructor and manager of the award-winning Culinary Team NAIT.
The Manila Hotel President Atty. Jose D. Lina, Jr. welcomed the foreign students and told the CCA, Manila delegation that “(Manila Hotel) is honored to be the setting of the apprenticeship of NAIT students as they can learn from the best hospitality practices of the hotel. We are always glad to welcome CCA, Manila for future apprenticeship programs.”
The Manila Hotel experience
The students were delegated several tasks in the hotel’s different kitchens on rotating shifts. They were very appreciative of what they learned and absorbed everything well. They were open to different experiences and trying local food. The young students were also exposed to the vibrant atmosphere at Manila Hotel’s busy kitchens while simultaneously serving banquets for thousands of guests.
This was confirmed by the students during a thanksgiving/ send-off dinner who said that the experience "was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." “The hospitality of the people of the Philippines is very heartwarming and I guarantee to be back,” said Nobbs. “There are so many wonderful things about the country that we will tell our friends in Canada.”
Another student, Justiniano, said, “This experience was really priceless, not just because we stayed in a five-star hotel for a month but because we really learned so many things and met some really nice people.”
All the students came to the Philippines as students from NAIT but they departed the country as friends as they have bonded and became close with one another.
Chef Vinod, on his part, once again expressed his gratitude for CCA, Manila for once again hosting the students of NAIT. "The hospitality of the people, especially the people of CCA, is amazing. Our students have learned a lot and they will surely bring back all these remarkable stories home. We thank the management of CCA led by Badjie Trinidad and Dr. Veritas Luna for welcoming NAIT with open arms."
Aside from their work immersion, the students also noted the fun experiences they had in trying out different restaurants, tourist attractions, entertainment hubs, and malls around Metro Manila. The standout attribute however, is the legendary Filipino hospitality which they witnessed everywhere.
For inquiries on CCA, Manila, call 218-8566 or e-mail: [email protected]