Mary Rae Floresca | Negosentro.com | Working abroad is not something new to Filipinos.We always aim to achieve something in life aside from helping our family. In the early 2000s, nurse jobs were a hype abroad, but now, there are more popular job. One of which is working in a cruise ship. Here are some snippets and significant experiences on working as an Assistant Pastry Chef in the ship, as told by Wendy Rivera Cuevas.
Success starts where you polish your skills. After an internship in one of the best “cupcakeries” in Metro Manila, Cupcakes by Sonja, she was hired a decorator in a cakeshop and stayed for more than two years in a cruise ship. Her career with Sonja Ocampo opened so many doors to her, according to Wendy. She continued to search for agencies that could hire her to work in the cruise ship. She recalled, “I sent an application to every agency then luckily I received a call from Holland America Line. But really getting here was such a long long long long process. Mahirap sa mahirap makapasok, sa dami ng trainings and exams, hindi rin biro ang gagastusin mo.”
After tedious process of getting in, she is now an Assistant Pastry Chef. Not surprisingly, a lot of Pinoys are also working in the kitchen. Her supervisor or the Executive Pastry Chef is a fellow Filipino and their Executive Chef is a German. Apparently, depending on the company, their Executives shuffle for a period of time so they have to adjust every time there would be a change. Her job requires a keen attention to detail. She said that her company practices excellence. They even do food tastings everyday to perfect a “plate.” She shared, “We have to deliver a plated dessert to a thousand guests. So how can we do that for a thousand guests? I’m making sure every small details per plate is in good condition and complete like on the description of the menu. I’m usually the one who checks the menu for the day, example, we have 7 days Cruise, so for 7 days Cruise we have different menu per day, and per day we have 7 desserts in the menu. So everyday I’m the one who’s responsible for the preparation of the finished product so that it can be delivered to the guests with perfection.”
Working with different cultures is always a challenge when you work abroad. Wendy recalled, “You’re dealing with different people, cultures, and races. You have to bring gallons of patience, hahaha it’s really hard kasi nga we have different beliefs and way of communicating.” She added that a few races are not fluent with English and that is quite a barrier at work.
Despite of adjusting with different cultures, bosses and nerve-wracking duties in the kitchen, she gets to travel and explore the world. Shall we mention that she’s been to Israel, Rio De Janeiro, Corcovado, Hamburg, Germany, Santorini Greece, Antarctica, Sydney Opera House and Alaska? Phew!
Wendy wishes to pursue her career as a chef and eventually, with her passion in the art of pastry, she will put up her own training center especially in Pastry Arts. She advised, “But the good thing is, when you are actually doing what you love even how hard it would be, at the end of the day you see yourself smiling. Di ba sobrang sarap? bonus pa yung free travel ko, I found my passion and I’m really grateful for that. What’s important is your work continues to be fuelled by doing what you love the most.”