The Woman Behind Manileña Sweets

My very first cake

My husband is a good cook.  Have you had his own version of adobe and bistek?  It is to die for!

My siblings bake and cook.  In fact, one of my sisters even attended a popular Philippine caker’s cake decorating classes when my nephews were still young.  She knew that making the cakes herself made the cakes more special – both for her and my nephews.  My younger sister likes experimenting and trying out recipes in the kitchen.  My brother has the taste for coming up with savory and unique dishes.  

My mom is a well-loved maker of cakes and baked goods in Calgary.  She may not be formally trained but the baked goods she whips up from her kitchen are mouth-watering and people crave for it. 

I also grew up with a grandfather who is an expert cook.  Hailing from the province of Pampanga, where a lot of good cooks come from, he made weekends when he was home really special.  To this day, I still miss his cooking.

These are the people who surround me.  So it is no wonder that I would also develop the knack for it.  It did come late to me, tho.  I didn’t get to touch a pot and ladle until I was in my 30s and living alone.  But here I am, 20 years after and I am proud to say, I can hold my own candle up against some of them.  

One of my most recent wedding/anniversary cakes

My love for baking came only about 10 years ago.  But this is the type of culinary side that I enjoy the most.  It showcases my love for artistry and for sweets.  I love a very good tasing buttercream with heavenly cake.  I love my breads soft and fluffy, my brownies enticing.  I also like playing with fondant to make figures and flowers.  This is my expression of who I am and what I love the most.  This is me… and now Manileña Cakes is reborn.  

This is now Manileña Sweets.  I am Gigi Manaloto-Refugia, and I make Love Edible.