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A Life Of An Iloilo Restaurateur With Her Toyota Hilux

Chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing, an Iloilo restaurateur, fin

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Iloilo restaurateur finds meaning in her menu with her Toyota Hilux

Iloilo restaurateur finds meaning in her menu with her Toyota Hilux

Chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing remains tough on every road in the new normal

Today’s pandemic has caused numerous businesses, especially in the Hospitality and Food & Beverage industries, to face challenges in their operations. One of the many restaurateurs affected was Chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing of Iloilo City, the founder and Executive Chef of Al Dente Group of Restaurants.

With uncertainty and anxiety looming, it was in great light when Chef Pauline was asked if she could provide food packs for the frontliners. She gladly obliged and this gave her more reason to keep her restaurants going. 

Chef Pauline recreates Ilonggo cooking by adding a unique twist to Iloilo’s popular dishes. Dedicated to delivering the same quality meals daily amidst the challenges, she wakes up in the wee hours of dawn (as early as 1:00am!), hops in her trusty Toyota Hilux and heads straight to the Iloilo Fishing Port to get first pick on the day’s fresh catch.  

Though supplies are limited, she likes to take on the challenge and get creative, “It is so hard to get supplies these days. I had to make sure the food would not spoil easily. I just make use of what supplies are available,” Chef Pauline said.

Word got out and more groups from private sectors started tapping her to ask for help in providing meals for more doctors, nurses, security guards, military, firemen and pharmacists. The growing number of heads to provide for meant buying in bulk and more meal packs to distribute.

Chef Pauline said that her Hilux allows her to load and deliver at least 700 meal packs a day. She distributes more on busier days, with her record at 2,500 packs.

“One time we gave away 2,500 packs for the families in three barangays. We only had five hours to do it with limited staff, but i just prayed that we will deliver on time since it was needed by 10am for distribution. I am so lucky to have many friends who donated to my cause, some even donating their “time” to help pack,” she said.

Good thing Chef Pauline gets help from her trusted friends and her equally trusted vehicle.

“We always make sure that we have reliable transportation that can last all throughout the day, with our days starting very early at 1:00am to cooking, packing and distribution starting 4:30pm till late. My Hilux is very convenient since it has a huge bed space, perfect to carry all the market haul that gets cooked and prepared into hundreds of food packs and distributed all over Iloilo,” Chef added. 

 “My Hilux has become an essential part of the whole Bayanihan operation, my Hilux is definitely my workhorse,” quips Chef.

Just like the Hilux, Chef Pauline is multi-faceted and is tough to take on any road. She is a devoted wife and mother of two, superb hostess, fashionista, philanthropist, and lauded as a distinguished restaurateur and businesswoman of Iloilo City.

The New Hilux, which has been launched recently by Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), is now available in all Toyota dealerships across Western Visayas: Toyota Iloilo, Toyota Roxas, Toyota Aklan, and Toyota Negros. With TMP’s One Price Policy across the country, you are sure to get the best value wherever you get your Hilux, so it’s best to inquire at the dealership nearest you. You may also view the New Hilux at the safety of your own home, through the Toyota Virtual Showroom. Simply go to www.toyota.com.ph/showroom, select Hilux, check pricing, and send your inquiry instantly to your dealer in Region VI.