Photo From Kawa Pilipinas Facebook Page
Photo From Kawa Pilipinas Facebook Page.

Benilde welcomes KAWA Pilipinas at MFC

Cocreating lives through food revolution, KAWA Pilipinas marks new beginnings housed under Benilde’s Miguel Febres Cordero (MFC) Building at the Taft Campus.

By Mikaela Amira Barrosa, and Sofia Ferrer | Wednesday, 1 May 2024

KAWA Pilipinas, a community kitchen founded by actress and activist Ms. Mae Paner, has partnered with De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in continuing its mission of serving people through food, especially to people deprived of liberty, homeless, children, and the elderly. They began their first day of operations at the Miguel Febres Cordero (MFC) Building located at Benilde’s Taft Campus on Apr. 20, having served 1,827 food bowls of champorado to several communities.


In a Facebook post by KAWA Pilipinas on Apr. 22, they shared their sentiments as they enter a new chapter. Following a successful first day, they plan to continue operations every Saturday, cooking for selected communities and facilitating pick-ups at various city jails. 


In an interview with The Benildean, Ms. Paner shared KAWA’s previous challenges after being ejected from their previous location. 


“It’s like a prayer that’s answered, because this is a much, much better home than what we used to have. We used to be in Pasay [...] We were in the garage. That's where we operated our kitchen from, and then, now, here [in MFC], this is a real professional kitchen,” she explained.


Their transfer to MFC was made possible in coordination with Benilde’s Vice President for Administration, Mr. Noni Odulio, who offered them a space to fulfill their mission and values.


“I think your [Benildean] values and our [KAWA] values will go hand in hand in fulfilling our vision and our mission, which is actually to be the hub of—you know—generative work that will actually help alleviate hunger,” Ms. Paner mentioned.


Now that KAWA has formed its connection with Benilde, Ms. Paner shared their excitement, saying, “I think our presence in this institution will actually give even more credence to what we do because of the identity of La Salle and at the same time, I hope we can also build value for the community.” 


“We had to rise up to the challenge of being in an institution like La Salle. So, we’re here to accept the challenge,” Ms. Paner added.  


KAWA Pilipinas calls on the Benildean community to take part in this community work. “The intent of doing KAWA work is more than chopping vegetables, cooking, or serving food—the KAWA experience makes you understand the problem of hunger, and how you, as a Benildean, can be part of the solution.”


They welcome students to engage in various forms of volunteerism, whether it may be in creative works, marketing, finance or culinary. “Any department, when you get to understand the operation of KAWA, can be most welcome for them to actually learn [and] see how their course can actually enrich them if they allow themselves to go beyond [their] comfort zones.”


Other than volunteers, KAWA Pilipinas, which started in August 2020, is actively encouraging cash donations for purchasing ingredients and tools. One of their partners, Jollibee Group Foundation, provides them with ingredients. Through donations and partnerships, KAWA Pilipinas maintains its ability to provide meals to those in need.


With KAWA’s journey further expanding through Benilde, Ms. Paner hopes this will open up more doors for them to help fulfill their mission. 


In the words of Ms. Paner, “Food should unite us all.”


KAWA Pilipinas are accepting donations through various payment channels:

BPI Savings

KAWA Pilipinas Foundation, Inc.




They may also be reached through their Facebook and Instagram pages.

Last updated: Tuesday, 7 May 2024