How a Filipino Houseboy Became the Personal Chef of the Sultan

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Here’s an interesting article about how Chef Pablo “Boy” Logro became the personal chef to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos here in Oman.  This celebrity chef shares how he started out as an overseas Filipino worker during a speech at the recent awarding ceremony of the Model OFW Family of the Year Award organized by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).  You never know where destiny God may lead you, folks! 🙂

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4 responses to “How a Filipino Houseboy Became the Personal Chef of the Sultan

  1. A great story, but I’ve no idea what the quotes were…. the article was written in English and the quotes in what I assume is Filipino?!

    Either way – lucky man indeed!

    • Hey, Sythe! Yes, the quotes were in Tagalog (or “Filipino” as it’s also called). You can still get an idea of the story but it certainly would be good to have the quotes in English. Here are a few of the quotes translated:

      “”Ako din po ay nag-abroad ng 10 years sa the Sultanate of Oman.” – “I also worked 10 years abroad in the Sultanate of Oman”.

      “Kung saan siya naroon ako po ay kasama niya. The personal chef of His Majesty. Di ko akalain na naging chef ako ng His Majesty. Parang panagip” – “I’m with him wherever he goes.” – “It didn’t even come into my mind that I’m going to be the chef of His Majesty.”

      “Nag apply ako sa Oman di ko akalain na ang kumuha sa akin ay palasyo. Nag start ako as houseboy sa Quiapo until nag apply ako sa isang restaurant na hindi ko akalaing isang Spanish restaurant sa Makati. With that tinanggap naman ako kaya lang sabi galing ka ng Quiapo, dishwasher ka muli,” he said. – “I applied in Oman not knowing that it’s the palace who’s hiring me. I started as a houseboy in Quiapo until I applied in a restaurant and had no idea that it is a Spanish restaurant in Makati. They hired me, but because I’m from Quiapo, they put me as a dishwasher.”

      “”Hindi ko pa po alam ang sous chef noon. Ang akala ko taga-gawa ng sauce. Sabi ko kaya ko ito, taga gawa lang ng sauce,” – “I didn’t even know what is a sous chef before. I thought you are just making a sauce. So I told myself that I can do it; I’m just going to make a sauce anyway.”

      “Hindi ko akalain na ang sous chef pala ay managerial position na pala yun,” – “I didn’t know that sous chef means you are in a managerial position.”

      “So lumipad ako. Pagdating ko po nagulat ako. Para akong nanaginip, totoo ba ito? Yung chandelier, crystal at puno ng gold yung Muscat palace,” – “I flew to Oman. When I reached Oman, I was so surprised as if I’m just dreaming and asking myself if it is just a dream. The chandelier, crystal and lots of of gold is what you can see in Muscat Palace.”

      “Nagustuhan po niya yung ginawa ko yung stuffed avocado with shrimps. Nung kumain siya sabi, ‘Bablo’, akala ko sabi Diablo kasi wala palang ‘P’ doon sa Arab kaya Bablo. Natuwa. Sabi niya magmula ngayon, araw-araw nyang gagawin ito. Kaya 10 years po ako sa Oman, 10 years ko po ginawa yung stuffed avocado with shrimps,” – “He loved the stuffed avocado with shrimps that I made. When he ate it, he said ‘Bablo’. I thought he said “Devil” (Diablo) because I don’t know that they don’t have ‘p’ in Arabic; that’s why he called me “Bablo”. He was happy with the food that I prepared, so he told me that from now on I’m going to prepare it everyday. That’s why for the past 10 years I have been in Oman. I’ve been making that stuffed avocado with shrimps.”

      “Hindi ako pwedeng sitahin ng pulis sa sapagkat ang dala kong pagkain for His Majesty only” – ” The police can’t even pull me over because I’m the one who brings the food that’s for His Majesty only.”

      “At binigyan po ako ng bahay. Katabi ko po yung Consulate. Akala ng Consulate natin ay doctor ako dahil nakaputi po ako, kapitbahay ko po siya. ‘Hindi po. Kusinero po ako’ sabi kong ganun,” – “He even gave me a house just beside the Consulate. The Consul thought that I’m a doctor because I’m always wearing white clothes. I told him that I’m just a cook.”

      “Kaya natuwa po ako. Yung tiwala ng hari ay sa Pilipino. Very proud as a Filipino sapagkat magaling tayong magtrabaho,” – “That is why I’m happy – because the king trusts Pilipino. I’m very proud as a Filipino because we are good in our job.”

      “Ang buhay ng isang OFW ay hindi natin alam kung anong destinasyon,” – “The life being OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker), we really don’t know what is our destination.”

      “Ipinagmamalaki po ng His Majesty na yung chef, in Arabic, is Filipino. His name is Bablo. Binibigyan po ako ng tip napakarami $5,000 to $6,000. Hindi ko po binibilang sa harapan, pupunta po ako sa CR doon ko po binibilang. Totoo po yan. Sa dami po nagulat ako,” – “His Majesty is always bragging that his chef is a Filipino and his name is Bablo. He is even giving me a very big tip $5,000 to $6,000. I’m not counting it in front of him. I always count it inside the toilet, and very surprised because it’s really a big amount.”

      “Mapalad po tayong mga Pilipino OFW kung tayo po ay mabait din sa ating ginagawa. May prize po yun.” – If we as a Pilipino OFW will be kind and good in our job, we will be blessed. There is a prize for it.”

      Kayo po tayong mga Pilipino kung tayo ay binibigyan ng titulo ng King o kahit sinomang amo, ang ginagawa ko po I have to come early, then I have to come home late para ma-recognize ako ng boss ko na mabait ako at masipag,” – “That’s why as a Pilipino once we have a chance to be honored by the king or any employer, what I did is that I come to work early, then I have to come home late so that my boss can recognize that I’m kind and industrious.”

      “Hanggang sa isanama na pamilya ko. You want to bring your family? Sino bang ayaw? isinama ko pamilya. Libre lahat mula sa pagkain, sasakyan, gasolina, electricity etc, etc. libre lahat.” – “Then I brought my family to Oman and everything is free.”

      “Kapag marami kang pera, puro labas walang dumarating kahit mababang pwesto tinanggap ko dahil ayaw kong mabawasan. Then, after 5 years na promote ako, the first Filipino executive chef in a five star hotel that is Diamond Hotel, ako po yun,” – “If you know that you have lots of money you tend to spend more, so even a low position job I accepted because I don’t want my savings to be spent. Then, after 5 yrs I was promoted as 1st Filipino executive chef in a five star hotel, that is the Diamond Hotel.

      Kung anuman yung trabaho natin sa larangan ng pagiging OFW, forget your ego. – So we should forget our ego no matter what kind of job we have as an OFW.

      Dahil pag may ego ka hindi mo marating ang gusto,” – Because if your ego comes first, you cannot accomplish anything.”

      “Lakas ng loob. Kahit di po ako graduate, I’m only an elementary graduate, UE ako graduate kung baga sa university: University of Experience. Hindi hadlang and kahirapan, hindi hadlang ang homesickness. if you want to be somebody, gusto mong maging entrepreneur, mag business ka sa Pilipnas, this is the place. Napakaganda ng ating bansa, nandyan lahat. Paano natin gagawin? Sipag, dasal at magpakumbaba.” – Just a great courage. Even though I’m not a college graduate, just finish my elementary, I’m a graduate student as you call it in a ‘University of Experience’. Being poor is not a hindrance, even homesickness, if you want to be somebody, if you want to be an entrepreneur, Philippines is good for business. Our country is very beautiful. How can we do it? Be industrious, pray and be humble.”

      “Yun lang. Pakapalan ng mukha. Di ka dapat mahiya. Ito’y chance mo,” – You need to be strong and don’t be shy. If there is a chance for you, grab it.”

      “Hardwork and dedication yun lang ang kailangan natin. Believe. Maniwala ka sa sarili mo. Ako maliit, maitim pero akala mo pag naglakad ako mabilis dahil hindi ko iniinda ang pagod.” -Hardwork and dedication – that’s all we need. Believe in yourself. I am small, dark, and I walk fast as if I’m not tired at all.”

      (A BIG thanks to my lovely wife for translating this, line by line! 🙂 )

  2. May all being relieved.
    Thanks Andy for sharing this wonderful story.

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