Sweet dream turns real! Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara shares inspiring story of Albayana cake decorator


It is never too late to find your true calling.

Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara has this message to his constituents as he shared the inspiring story of an Albay native who discovered her true calling later in life: being a cake decorator.

On Facebook, Bichara shared the story of Rea Cruz who migrated to Australia and later decided to become a housewife to focus on her children.

It was during this time that she discovered her passion for baking and talent for cake decorating, which she shared to other bakers when she went home to Albay for a vacation.

She still has bigger dreams, including that of putting up a culinary school in her province.

We don’t doubt that with determination, this would become a reality!

“DISCOVERING A GIFT: THE STORY OF A WORLD-CLASS ALBAYANA CAKE DECORATOR Meet Rea Cruz, an Albayana who has discovered her creative side and launched a career in cake decorating when she embraced the calling of being a housewife in Australia.In 2004, when cake decorating has not yet crossed her mind, Rea was one of several entrepreneurs who established Pepperland Hotel in Legazpi City. She led a team who experienced labor pains in launching a hotel business that changed the hospitality business in the province of Albay.Rea considers herself a late bloomer who discovered her creative gifts when she left the Philippines in 2006 and migrated to Australia with her family. She is married to Rejie Cruz, who—as a former employee in the tourism department of the provincial government of Albay—helped draft the tourism code of the province. They were blessed with three children: Nastasja Danielle, 18; Jerome, 16; and Sophia, 10.As soon as the family arrived Australia, the couple were employed by BHP, one of the largest mining companies in the world. Later, Rea moved to a telecom company where she worked until 2010.Seeing that her children demand more time from her, she decided to sacrifice her career and concentrate on raising her three kids. Running the household gave her a sense of fulfillment. It also gave her some free time. So when her children are at school, Rea would boot up her computer and watch videos on baking. She then started buying baking supplies and equipment, and attempted baking for her family. It was trial-and-error at first, but she finally succeeded due to the support of her family—who were also her biggest food critics.Soon, she found herself baking large cakes with various themes for friends and family. She did not stop improving her works of art until she was satisfied. Despite praises from friends and family members that her cakes looked perfectly nice and delicious, Rea would still doubt whether she did a fine job. Friends, however, had no doubts about her talent so they asked her to teach them how to bake. She must have been a great teacher so her following grew, leading to more cake decorating seminars where she was the instructor.In November 2017, Rea and her family went home to Albay for a short vacation. It was not purely rest and recreation as she was invited to conduct a cake decorating seminar for bakers of Graceland, Baker’s Plaza, and Red Platter.It was then that Rea felt that her true calling was to teach cake decorating. Inasmuch as she is an excellent baker, she sees herself more of a teacher than a pastry chef. She dreams of establishing a school for culinary arts someday in Albay to help more people unleash their potentials at baking.But that will remain a dream for now because she still has commitments in Australia. Fortunately, though, she is on vacation in the Philippines this week. You can catch Rea Cruz as she talks on the skills and techniques on cake decorating on Tuesday, November 28, at Pepperland Hotel in Legazpi City. For more inquiries contact the hotel at (052) 4818000 and (0920) 9605750.By: Atty. Rochelle Marie Cortez Roxas,” he shared.

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