Raida Galang keeps a fine balance between her creative pursuits
By Fiona Patricia S. Escandor
GROWING up in the midst of her family’s wooden interiors manufacturing enterprise, Raida Galang once dreamed of one day contributing her own designs to its product lines, be it in doors or in balustrades, and ultimately to hone and sustain the name her dad built from the ground up.
Fascinated with versatility etched in design, she says that was essentially what inspired her to study interior design in her college years, claiming, “I could not imagine doing other than what I have grown to love.”
Raida now assumes the corporate secretary post for the biz, Ramagal Door & Sash Manufacturing, assisting in several aspects, from technical operations to creatives. As she envisioned, one of the projects she is working on is a new collection of door designs she hopes to materialize by the end of the year.
But Raida, with her knack for all things creative and crafty, is hardly stopping there.
Trained in the Academy of International Culinary Arts, the 23-year-old is an aspiring chef as well. She is currently conceptualizing a healthy selection of commercial breads for a growing chain of neighborhood bakeries — another enterprise managed by her family. Then topping it off is her own Miss Musubi, a food venture she launched earlier this year and has since made its presence known in local bazaars.
These two passions, despite being worlds apart, have captivated Raida since she was a child, And over the years, both have been further nurtured by her travel experiences. Her designs, for instance, reflect cultures she encounters abroad while her cooking — both the quality and the act itself — inspired by foreign flavors. “I experienced the different cuisines and how unique each one is abroad. So I grew an interest in culinary arts and started cooking at home. I’d cook in my free time or when I’m stressed,” she shares.
As she immersed herself in culinary, Raida encountered the spam musubi, a bring-along food popular in Hawaii, which she now uses as her main product for Miss Musubi. It’s basically breakfast meat and rice wrapped in nori, with hints of special sauces inside. “I like it because it’s like American sushi, a mixture of US and Japan. I thought it’s a good idea for bring-along food in the Philippines because we love rice. Plus, it’s easy to prepare.”
Raida prepped the recipe earlier this year and had the label registered in May. She has participated in food bazaars like Hyper Cebu and Banilad Town Centre’s Cebu Food Market, and next up in her to-do list is opening stalls inside university cafeterias soon. “I think cooking is like magic because with food, you create a special connection with people,” she adds.
Projects and more
This year, another milestone for the budding designer and chef was having been inducted to the Board of Directors of her organization, JCI Cebu Sinulog, of which she is also the secretary general. “For 2015, we plan to carry on coastal areas and reef cleaning projects, tourism projects, and community seminars. We’re still in our annual planning stage but we’re excited for everything in store for the coming year.” All these she manages to juggle with efficiency, as she moves from the office desk to the kitchen counter, from drawing pens to rolling pins.
Summing up the lessons she has gained from both her passions, she shares, “I interned for Archt. Francisco Noel while I was studying and he explained to me how we should be unique in providing something others do not offer. Then on the other hand, a chef in a restaurant I apprenticed for told me to keep things simple. He taught me how food can be made delicious using simple ingredients, and that it’s the balance of ingredients that bring out the flavor. Now, my outlook is creating unique products balanced with calculated simplicity.”
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome | Make-up: Carlo Damolo
Hair Styling: Jerwin Bastatas | Locale: Coffee Prince – Cebu