2022 – until now

TESDA scholarships as part of the "Project "Professional training in the gastronomy sector and support for starting independent businesses in the Province of Bulacan"


The province of Bulacan is located in the northeast of the Philippine capital, Manila, in the central part of the island of Luzon. The area covered by this project includes the southern coastal part of the province, between the mouth of the Pampanga River and the northeastern outskirts of Manila. This area is characterized by strong industrial development, with a particular emphasis on the food industry. Additionally, there are plans for the construction of high-income residential neighborhoods, tourist residences, and a new international airport accompanied by a port area. These developments will have economic implications, such as the need for training people to seize the various employment opportunities that will arise from these infrastructures, especially for the less affluent population.

One sector that is emerging as an economically viable activity is certainly that of catering and gastronomy. For this reason, our project aims to reach as many people as possible, prioritizing women, to provide professional training in the field of gastronomy that focuses on the enhancement of local specialties. The modules offered will be: 144 hours for training as a baker and pastry chef, 200 hours for training as an NC II cook, 80 hours for cold meal preparations, and 40 hours for dessert preparation.

The project’s objective is to create the conditions for that part of the population that is at risk of being marginalized or excluded from the development dynamics of this region and thus contribute to countering the trends of increasing socioeconomic disparities among the population, which are already evident.

During the pandemic, many people lost their jobs, exacerbating the problem of poverty to which they were subject.

There will also be a support phase for those who intend to start an independent business. They will be helped to develop direct contacts with local producers and small businesses, eventually creating local agri-food mini-supply chains.

Project Partners:

  • Culture Ticino Network of Lugano
  • Korphil Center Training Center in Bulacan
  • Culture Ticino Network and Philippines Association in Paombong/Philippines
  • Bignasca SA Bakery and Pastry Shop in Sonvico


The Culture Ticino Network Association of Lugano began a valuable collaboration in 2022 with the Bignasca SA Bakery and Pastry Shop in Sonvico to raise funds to finance TESDA scholarships in the Philippines.

Thanks to this collaboration, in 2022, the “Gioia Esotica” dessert was born, which can be purchased at the Bignasca SA bakery in Pregassona or through our Association.

In November 2023, also in collaboration with Bignasca SA bakery in Sonvico, a second solidarity product called “Tropical cake” is launched, made with pineapples and coconuts from the Philippines.

Donations and contributions to support the project:

Associazione Culture Ticino Network, Lugano

IBAN: CH140024724710719501F


2020 – until now

Foundation of our sister association, Culture Ticino Network and Philippines Association in Paombong, and COVID-19 Emergency

In January 2020, during her humanitarian trip, our President A. Margherita Maffeis-Natale founded the Culture Ticino Network & Philippines Association in Paombong, which is still locally presided over by our devoted Jennefer Espinosa, who had been a volunteer with our association in Lugano since 2017.

During the 2020-2021 pandemic, our association in Ticino and our sister association in the Philippines – in collaboration with other local partners – distributed food parcels, medicines, and school supplies to over 4000 needy families in the Bulacan Region.

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2019 – until now

"Laptop Labdoo" Project, donation of laptops and educational software, at the Central Elementary School in Paombong

On January 9, 2019, our President visited the “Central Elementary School” in Paombong, which has 1840 students and about 50 teachers. On this occasion, our Association started a new educational project by delivering the first two LABDOO laptops, which had educational software installed on them. We are confident that these laptops will help in the education of the young students.

This project is ongoing, and in the meantime, an additional 5 LABDOO laptops have been delivered. Furthermore, during the pandemic, our Association donated school supplies locally through our local partner.

2017 – 2020

Sustainable project in Paombong: Multifunctional center, daily meals for malnourished children, collaboration with local producers

The project was initiated in 2017 in collaboration with the local partner and is led by Maria Lota Gonzales Martin, the founder of the Children of Paombong Philippines Association (COPPA). Its objective is to establish a multifunctional center in Paombong where food, medical examinations, and cultural-artistic activities can be provided to the most needy children and students.


  • Administrative functions through a coordinator on-site.
  • Development of nutrition and sustainability programs.
  • Education and livelihood programs.
  • Activities and projects promoting a culture of peace.

In the years 2018-2019, our Association also supported the COPPA association by funding daily meals for malnourished children.

Our President, A. Margherita Maffeis-Natale, regularly traveled to the Philippines during these years and met various authorities, foundations, architects, and personalities to further explore the feasibility of the project.

Several site visits to existing facilities were also conducted to assess rental costs. In 2019/2020, the project was updated to make it more sustainable, with a particular focus on local producers.

With the outbreak of the pandemic, this project was temporarily suspended.


"Food and Poverty Project": Assistance to the Bethany House Sto. Niño Orphanage in Guiguinto, Philippines:

In the years 2015 and 2016, our Association supported the Bethany House Sto. Niño Orphanage in Guiguinto, in the province of Bulacan, by providing funds, food, and medicines.

The Bethany House Sto. Niño Orphanage is a facility run by nuns and is under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Malolos. It houses over 40 children ranging in age from 0 to 12 years old. It is a small facility that survives and carries out its valuable work through donations and sponsors, relying on solidarity as its vital resource.

The Culture Ticino Network Association, thanks to Jennefer Espinosa, a volunteer at the orphanage, became aware of this situation and immediately took action to provide support to this facility. The proceeds from our cultural and solidarity initiatives were specifically allocated to support this young community.

Let's help them

In January 2017, our president Margherita Maffeis visited the orphanage and was pleased to see that, thanks in part to significant funding from other sponsors, the facility had been renovated. This project created a more welcoming space for the children, where they could play and study.

In 2019, our President visited the facility again and donated sacks of rice to the children and teenagers there.

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February 2019


February 2018


March-April 2017

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