We are a family of six (dog not included).
My husband, myself and our four children.
We live in a small apartment near the kids’ school and we share a six seater plastic monoblock dining table, nothing fancy.
Since our house is small and our dining table is quite long, we usually push it against the wall and stack the monoblock chairs so we can make space when we need a quick trip to the comfort room or we need way to go back and forth upstairs. Every meal time we have to assemble it in place so we can all eat together. As time passes by, we all got tired of putting it back and putting it away. I decided that we should just eat in batches. Most of the time it’s the two small children first, then the two big sisters next and when they’ve all had their meals, it’s my husband and I’s turn. 🙂
And the result: no family eating time together.
Then one fine day I learned that family eating time is one of the most important activities of a family. It’s where all the family members gather together to catch up and talk. Eating together is not only for nutritional perspective, but from a psychological one as well.
That one fine day was when I went to Pampanga to attend the celebration of Mekeni Food Corporation’s Breakfestival.
Mekeni Food Corporation is a meat processing company based in Pampanga. It’s a familiar brand name in supermarkets. I know them best in their hotdogs. But during the Breakfestival event celebration I was also introduced to their breakfast line: the Chicken Longanisa, Belly Bacon, Classic Tocino, Native Longanisa.
Breakfestival is a celebration of breakfast with the family. The BreakFestival aims to get the family to enjoy breakfast together at least once or twice a week to strengthen family bonds.
Mr. Pruds shared the humble beginnings of Mekeni, he is the President and the CEO of Mekeni Corporation.
The story of Mekeni touched my heart. Their story is not the story of business success itself. It’s a story of family first, community next. Their story tells so much about respect, trust, hope, dream, love and it all began by sharing the dining table together.
As Mr. Pruds talk I couldn’t count how many times he said the word, Tatang, referring to his father who founded the business.
Sabi ni Tatang…
Ang turo sa amin ni Tatang…
Ang gusto ni Tatang…
It doesn’t take me long to realize how much admiration he has for his Tatang.
Mr. Pruds took over the business and continued his Tatang’s legacy to keep up their world class quality products and provide livelihood in their community in Porac, Pampanga.
I asked myself, how their Tatang brought together 5 children, all boys, to drop everything and help him fulfill his vision to expand the company and help their community. Mr. Pruds was working in Saudi when his Tatang called him to help him in the family business.
I asked myself, if one day I call my children and ask them to help me do something for the greater good of our people would they drop everything like Mr. Pruds does or would they hang up and tell me to go ask someone else about it? HEARTBREAKING!
My two big girls, ages 13 and 10, have not been talking to me often. I noticed that both of them only talks to me when they need something for school or if they are hungry. I thought maybe because we have lost touch, they have been spending a lot of time in school these days, I’m tied up with work. There’s no time in the day we could sit down and talk how our days went by.
If we continue to have poor family communication until they are all grown-up, I think I know what I will feel like when I’m all “old-up”. HEARTBREAK!
I told myself, I have to do something about it.
After my my trip to Pampanga I thought of doing Breakfestival at home. At least once every weekend, I arrange the table, put back the chairs and wake them early so we can eat breakfast together. For the past few weeks of doing this, I noticed my eldest daughter started telling me stories about school. She has been showing me photos she took at school from her mobile phone. I also learned the name of her new best friend. 🙂
My second daughter opened up about how sad she has been because her classmates calls her “Luisa-English”. My daughter speaks very good English, like a native English speaker. She doesn’t understand why her classmates call her “Luisa-English”. She feels bad about it and took it as an insult to her English. My husband and I assured her that nothing is wrong with her English and she should take great pride about it because no one in her class speaks good English like her. In fact, she’s so good she always get the Best English Speaker award in her class every quarter.
After a few weeks, during one of our Breakfestival, I asked her if her classmates still calls her “Luisa-English” she said yes but this time whenever they call her that name she would say “thank you”.
Wow, this Breakfestival is really working, we are not just strengthening our family bonds but also we are building our children’s self-esteem.
Thanks to Mr. Pruds and to Mekeni Food Corporation for sharing Breakfestival, it’s changing one family at a time. 🙂 It changed ours, I hope it will change yours too. 🙂
Thanks for dropping by! I hope you enjoy my story as much as my photos!
Start your Breakfestival soon!