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Heart Bakery, ‘the recipe for change’

By: NESTOR B. RAMIREZ October 03,2017 - 10:31 PM


It is not every day that you get inspiration from people who, through societal stereotype, are considered subject to condemnation due to committing infractions against the law and social norms.

Last Wednesday, I was a spectator to the graduation ceremony for the bread and pastry skills training inside the Cebu City Jail Female Dormitory in Barangay Kalunasan where 30 inmates were awarded the National Certification II (NC-II) by the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

Not only were the female inmates trained on how to bake pastries and bread courtesy of the University of San Jose – Recoletos.

They were also given equipment in order to operate their own bakery inside the jail facility and earn something while waiting for the resolution of their respective cases.

The ceremony was like any other graduation: complete with the awarding of certificates, medals for the distinguished finishers and a speech from one of the graduates in response to the messages delivered by guests and benefactors.

It is safe to describe the ceremony as heartwarming because the recipients of the project were not able to hide the excitement, happiness, delight and the hope for a better future after listening to the messages of the benefactors present during the ceremony.

There were some finishers of the skills training program who were unable to hide their emotions and were seen wiping tears from their eyes during the ceremony, maybe perhaps because of their delight that despite what happened to them, they were given another chance to change their destiny through baking.

One of the inmates/jail boarders designated to deliver their response to the benefactors likened her stay in the correctional as that of a baker who refused to follow the recipe set by the master baker. That instead of producing tasty bread, they fell short in life.

She admitted that once in their lives they were like the baker who did not follow the recipe which is why they went astray for not following the formula and thus they ended up in the facility.

The hope for a brighter tomorrow was written all over the faces of the female jail boarders anticipating that what they have indulged inside the facility would be used as a means of earning their upkeep when the time comes that they will be released from the cramped jail.

While witnessing the emotionally charged ceremony, the rampant extrajudicial killings suddenly crossed my mind. I could only shake my head at the thought.

If the individuals that have given me an ounce of inspiration for finishing their skills training inside the jail facility were subjected to street justice, surely their hope for a brighter tomorrow is doomed.

What I have witnessed last week is proof that no matter how despised the person is, there is always a chance for change. As long as somebody will journey with them during the dark hours, their likelihood to reintegrate into the mainstream society is high.

Yes, the name of their bakeshop is “Heart Bakery” because it is there that they wanted to knead the ingredients of love following the right recipe of life to become a useful member of the family and society.

If we cultivate love instead of hatred, we are giving everyone a shot at the second chance; but if we allow abhorrence, lies, insults and deceit to dominate governance more of our own people and family members will be butchered for the simple reason that they have not followed the recipe set by the master baker.

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TAGS: Bakery, change, Heart, THE

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