Issue of September 17, 2017
Mt. Province

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Baguio’s Café Yagam is finalist in Google biz stories
by Ofelia C. Empian

CORDILLERA CUISINE -- Kalinga native Carla Rosito-Dulnuan, owner of Cafe Yagam, has made it her advocacy to bring to the fore, authentic Cordillera cuisines such as pinikpikan, binungor, pinuneg, along with the arabica coffee among others that truly captures the taste of the region. Cafa Yagam attracts various local and foreign visitors who want to get a taste of Cordilleran culture through food. -- Ofelia Empian

One of Baguio’s homegrown coffee shops, Café Yagam, is among the top nine among thousands of entries worldwide in the 2017 search for “Google Business Stories.” 

Carla Rosito-Dulnuan, owner of Café Yagam said it was probably the main objective of their cafe that propelled them to be part of the finalists, which is “experiencing Cordillera culture through food.”

“We are the only one (among the top nine) that zeroed in on cultural promotion through food,” Rosito-Dulnuan said.

Most of the finalists in the competition are social enterprises from Asia such as the Virtualahan, a fellow Filipino enterprise based in Davao that trains and employs people who experience employment discrimination due to a medical condition or disability and helps them connect to prospective employers.

The Google business stories by the Google business group, is an annual competition that looks for businesses that have inspiring stories and are making an impact in their society and how the online tools and platforms of Google aid them in their endeavors.

Café Yagam, established in mid-2014, has been specializing in Cordillera cuisine such as pinikpikan, binungor and pinuneg or the Cordilleran blood sausage and of course, Cordilleran Arabica coffee.

Rosito-Dulnuan, a native of Kalinga, said most of their customers ordering the local cuisines are tourists especially European and Japanese backpackers who are “more adventurous” find these regional cuisines exotic or familiar to their tastes.

“Basically, these are the kinds of food we offer because this is what I know how to cook, this is what I grew up with,” she said, adding the wooden homey interior of Café Yagam adds to the “ili” (village)-feel of the place.

She said they started the cafe through word-of-mouth with the help of friends and families but later, discovered the power of the Internet as an efficient tool to make Café Yagam known to customers.

She said she started attending Google group events in 2012 where she also met Google Business Group (GBG) Baguio Community Project Manager Vincent Tabor who later helped them use the various Internet platforms to better connect to customers.

Tabor said out of thousands of entries, it was cut down to 24 then to the top nine finalists.

From the finalists, there will be three entrepreneurs that will be chosen and will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Google IO tech event in the U.S.A. next year. 

Tabor said the entries would be judged through its inspirational quality, impact and innovative use of Google products.

The winners will be determined through voting in the Internet where voting closed on Sept. 14 and will be announced morning of Sept. 16.

GBG is a community of business professionals sharing knowledge about Google web technologies for business success.

GBG chapters are present in Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Czech Republic, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uganda.

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