Filipino family’s ‘hapag,’ pandemic experience inspires Gourmet Giving chefs to give back

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Photo from Globe

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — For Filipinos, the word “hapag” does not just mean the physical dining table. More than just a place to share food, it connotes an experience that fills the gut and warms the heart: that of sharing a delicious meal with people you love, relishing the time together as you exchange stories, laughter and at times even happy tears.

This is the inspiration behind Txoko Asador Restaurante Executive Chef Albert Mendoza’s special menu for “Gourmet Giving Series: A Fine Dining Thanksgiving Experience for the Hapag Movement,” which launches this month as part of the Globe-led movement’s holiday fundraiser for Filipino families who have little or none to share in their own “hapag.”

“What inspired us is the name of the movement— Hapag. Our idea is to have our customers dine like family, reaching out and passing on certain dishes and enjoying a meal together,” said Mendoza at the recent launch of the Gourmet Giving Series at The Globe Tower.

The special menu of the top-caliber modern Spanish restaurant in Makati is something to look forward to this month. It will include a 10-course tasting menu featuring the best of Basque and Castilian cuisine, with wine pairings to boot.

Multi-awarded Filipino-British Chef Josh Boutwood, meanwhile, said taking part in the Gourmet Giving series for the Hapag Movement is a way of giving back to the community as the industry continues to recover from the pandemic slump.

“Our industry was impacted during the pandemic. We also saw the stresses, heartaches of our team members as well during this time. As the economy is bouncing back, it’s the perfect time for us to collaborate with Fine Dining Club Philippines and Globe to do some good. We’re going to put a little bit of our hard work to this meaningful cause,” Boutwood said.

Mendoza’s Txoko Asador and Boutwood’s Ember, Helm and the Test Kitchen are among 12 top restaurants taking part in the Gourmet Giving Series, being held in partnership with the 23,300-strong Fine Dining Club Philippines Facebook community.

Gourmet Giving Series, explained Globe Digital and Social Strategy Head RG Orense, calls on foodies and fine dining enthusiasts to bring their passion offline to create real-world impact. “We are using the power of the social media community to help transform and uplift the lives of Hapag Movement beneficiaries. We believe that engaging with Facebook’s Fine Dining Club Philippines is leveraging the platform’s passion for food to also make a purposeful difference.”

In time for Thanksgiving, the Gourmet Giving Series will hold special dinner events from Nov. 20 to 30 in support of the Hapag Movement, a Globe-led initiative that delivers supplemental feeding and sustainable livelihood training for Filipino families experiencing involuntary hunger.

Txoco Asador’s special dinner for the Gourmet Giving series is scheduled for November 20, 2023 at ₱5,500 per person. Those who would like to get a taste of their special Hapag Movement menu may make reservations via 09560473224.

Photo from Globe

The Gourmet Giving Series will begin for Boutwood on Nov. 23 at the Test Kitchen, with a six-course tasting menu available at ₱5,800 per person. Please call 09772885751 for reservations.

Photo from Globe

Ember will hold its special Gourmet Giving Series dinner on Nov. 24, offering a six-course tasting menu for the first and only time at ₱5,800 per head. Reservations may be made via 09164201600.

Photo from Globe

And finally, Boutwood’s Helm will offer its special dinner on Nov. 25, with an eight-course tasting menu available for ₱6,900. For reservations, please call 09159098647.

Photo from Globe

“We are so grateful to have all the top chefs from Metro Manila support the Hapag Movement. Gourmet Giving Series is about being able to gather people together, break bread, and really spend time with family while giving back to those who have much less. We encourage all of you to get involved,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe Group Chief Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer.

To learn more about the Hapag Movement, visit