When the pandemic hit, many of us gravitated toward kindness. Out sprang professionals who started fundraising campaigns, organisations that initiated volunteer programmes, and individuals who donated whenever and wherever they could.
Bayanihan continues to stay at the heart of the Filipino — and it shouldn’t take a global crisis to practise this. Fortunately, even post-pandemic, we have plenty of options to back those in need. We can start by supporting local businesses, including these cafes and restaurants in Metro Manila with heartwarming advocacies.
Restaurants and cafes in Metro Manila that hire and equip PWDs
Grappling against labels and stereotypes, many Filipinos with disabilities continue to significantly contribute to the nation’s workforce. But despite local and national laws for PWDs (e.g., Republic Act No. 1052 mandates that “No PWD shall be denied access to opportunities for suitable employment.”), those in the food and beverage industry face tight challenges in career building.
Fast-paced and customer-facing, the F&B industry often lacks the safe spaces for anyone with physical, mental, cognitive, learning, or sensory impairments. But, for these cafes and restaurants in Metro Manila that choose to challenge the stigma, hiring PWDs has more than benefited the business.
1. GypsyMaginhawa by Chef Waya
Formerly Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe on Roces Avenue, GypsyMaginhawa by Chef Waya Araos now sits on Maginhawa Street, obvious as it is still graced with unique furniture and art pieces. It was initially founded as a transition lab for students of Open Hand School, a vocational culinary school for young adults with special needs, to put their skills to the test. While the Roces branch closed down due to the pandemic, GypsyMaginhawa continues to uphold its principles of inclusivity — also while offering mouth-watering global flavours.
Address: 28 Maginhawa Street, Diliman, Quezon City
In this silent ice cream shop, “deaf” is a label worn with pride right below the name tags of its servers. Having partnered with the College of Saint Benilde’s School for the Deaf, Elait! hires deaf people who’ve missed job opportunities due to discrimination against people with special needs. Aside from employing staff who are deaf, Elait! also serves creative infographics to educate customers about sign language and deaf sensitivity.
Find its addresses here.
Bringing the same values as Elait!, Overdoughs is the former’s counterpart for baked treats. It hires PWD employees, particularly deaf Pinoys, to prepare and serve delicious food to its customers. The dessert hub specialises in gourmet cookies, artisanal doughnuts, and sourdough pizzas.
Find its addresses here.
4. Hisbeans Coffee
With the mission to dispel the stigma against people with special needs, Hisbeans Coffee proves that everyone with a good heart can serve people excellently. Hailing from South Korea, this charming cafe trains and hires PWDs, particularly those with mental disabilities.
Address: 116, Timog Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City 1103 Metro Manila
Metro Manila restaurants and cafes that support local artisans
Business is business, many employers say. But to some cafes and restaurants in Metro Manila, advocacies take precedence over all. While coming up with creative solutions to keep themselves afloat, these establishments continue to stay true to their values — supporting sustainability, local resources, and fellow Filipinos.
True to its name, AdvoCafe packages advocacy in a quaint coffee shop. A non-profit social enterprise, this cafe donates all its net proceeds to different initiatives that benefit indigenous peoples. Alongside their programs for education and livelihood, AdvoCafe also supports an eco-friendly process of coffee production.
Address: Ground Floor, Rhn Magsaysay Commercial Complex, Dr. F. Quintos Street, Malate
6. Half Saints
Inspired by the diverse flavours of the Philippines, Half Saints pays homage to our local destinations. Aside from sharing the tastes of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, the coffee shop also targets to source all its ingredients from local suppliers.
Address: G/F The Ignacia Place 62 Sgt. Esguerra Ave., Quezon City
7. Earth Kitchen
Dedicated to supporting small businesses and indigenous communities, Earth Kitchen sources its ingredients locally and sustainably. Partnered with Got Heart Foundation and Hizon’s Catering, the farm-to-table restaurant allows local fisherfolks and farmers to benefit largely from every purchase. Its menu boasts organic and fresh ingredients free from chemicals and synthetic flavouring; if you can’t decide which dish to order, try out the succulent beef kebabs.
Address: Lot 10 B-10 Katipunan Ave. Ext., White Plains, Quezon City
8. The Giving Cafe
As you walk into The Giving Cafe, you’ll instantly find yourself marvelling at the Filipino-inspired interior. These details align with the cafe’s advocacy: to bring tribute to the Philippines through beauty and flavour. More than its stunning decor, The Giving Cafe also offers local coffee with the mission to highlight sustainable and local farming in the Philippines.
Address: Sheridan corner Pines Streets, Mandaluyong, Philippines