A perfect one-stop shop for visitors in the Philippines, Mabuhay Restop guests get to sample Philippine culture and enjoy exceptional Philippine experiences in one stop through local home-style FOOD, cultural SHOWS with a modern twist, eye-opening SOCIAL TOURS, topnotch Filipino ARTWORKS, and community MERCHANDISE, while also contributing to nation-building through Gawad Kalinga, GKonomics and other organizations.
A social tourism enterprise inspired by faith and patriotism, Mabuhay Restop aims to showcase the best of the Philippines and the beauty of the Filipino through its various creative offerings.
Mabuhay Restop is a proof-of-concept of the Filipino "bayanihan" culture.
WHO WE ARE
The team behind Mabuhay Restop are longtime volunteers and residents of Gawad Kalinga driven by a deep desire to showcase Philippine culture and build cultural heroism to help the country realize her fullest potential.
Mabuhay Restop is led by two ladies from very different backgrounds and quite far apart in age, but who are bound by a shared commitment to promote love of God and country.
Rose Isada Cabrera, Owner
Rose is a "balikbayan" (returning Filipino resident) from the USA, a lawyer by profession who graduated from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law, after obtaining a bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems (magna cum laude), minors in Public Administration and Speech Communication from California Polytechnic State University. She practiced commercial law in Los Angeles, California for 10 years. She served as Executive Director for ANCOP Gawad Kalinga Foundation USA from 2002-2008, spearheading and growing the Gawad Kalinga network in the United States. Today, she is the Enterprises Director of GKonomics, a social impact investor that builds social businesses for marginalized communities. As a social entrepreneur herself with Mabuhay Restop, her inspiring story of sacrifice and joyful service is reflected in the mission of Mabuhay Restop.
Marilyn Salvacion, Manager
Mara is a resident of GK Paradise Heights, also known as Smokey Mountain, whose hard work and dedication have earned her part ownership of Mabuhay Restop, as well the responsibility to run it under the tutelage of her mentor, Rose. Born in Tacloban, Leyte, Mara moved to Manila with her family in search of a better future, only to end up in the slums of Smokey Mountain. With her parents' support, she studied hard and was able to finish college. When Gawad Kalinga came to her community, she volunteered and it changed her life forever. She first worked for GKonomics for two years, having the five headstrong founders of GKonomics as her bosses, but the experience served her well because she learned so much from them. Soon after, one of the founders (Rose) offered her to work in the new social enterprise she was setting up which became Mabuhay Restop. She has since risen through the ranks and is continuing her professional and personal growth.
Most of the staff of Mabuhay Restop are from GK communities and so are members of the Mabuhay Performing Arts Group. They have been given valuable training and workshops by the Bayanihan Folkloric Dance Company, Ballet Philippines, Nestor U. Torre, Ryan Cayabyab and the Ryan Cayabyab Singers, Professor Rico Toledo, and a couple of members are even scholars majoring in Theater Arts at prestigious MINT College, with professional artists as their mentors. Other staff members are scholars at Manila Instutute for Culinary Arts and Residential Services (MICARS) and MINT College. Part of Mabuhay Restop's plan is to continue to train and open up opportunities to the marginalized so they may lift their families out of poverty and be instruments of positive change in their communities.
Mabuhay Restop is also a product of "bayanihan" with some of the best Filipino artists and professionals lending their expertise to help us get started, and we are very grateful for their help. Truly "the best for the least".
- Topnotch theater-writer and director, Mr. Nestor U. Torre, serves as a volunteer consultant for Mabuhay Restop because he shares our mission and vision as well.
- Maestro Ryan Cayabyab has also lent his musical genius to Mabuhay Restop by composing the theme song for one of the Mabuhay Restop shows (Tita Beauty) and also giving some of his valuable music sheets for the "I am Filipino" exhibit.
- Branding expert Ric Gindap of Design for Tomorrow designed the logo of Mabuhay Restop and has provided guidance to Mabuhay Restop's graphic artist.
- Fashion designer JC Buendia designed some of our staff's and tour guide uniforms.
- Public Relations expert Amor Maclang and her firm Geiser-Maclang have helped Mabuhay Restop gain initial public awareness through press-conferences and media exposure they helped arrange.
- Architect Bong Recio, advertising guru Chiqui Lara, strategist Pris Santos and Armi Consunji, designer Ivy Almario, art expert Felicia Ravago, writer Atty. Alex Lacson, together with architect Sylvia Rieta and interior designer Douglas Bravo of LasVegas, have provided valuable assistance to Mabuhay Restop as we were starting out.
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO
Our vision is to be a leading facilitator for the discovery of the richness of Philippine arts & culture and a cultivator of opportunities for nation-building through tourism.