Tuesday, August 28, 2007


by:Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo)

Precy Villa’s love of good food and cooking drove her family to wear a restaurateur’s hat. Mrs. Villa had started doing business in 1977 where she sold different flavored traditional barbecue (sliced grilled meat) and displayed komiks for rent. Her income was just enough to compensate the needs of her 6 children until it flourished.

The family rented a place where they established their business but instability in the peace and order in the mid 1980s urged the owner to sell the lot where they used to rent so that they were forced to vacate and looked for another suitable location. Her husband was able to buy a lot somewhere in Ortouste Street, Cotabato City where they situated another business. This time a recreation-billiard hall. The income of the family was spent in the renovation of their house.

But Precy’s love for cooking couldn’t stop her. In 1984, she and her children started selling one of her specialties, the “native cassava cake”, which fitted the taste of Cotabateños. Until one regular customer of her barbecue gave them a break. She offered them to manage the PNB Canteen. Her daughter Vilma manned the business. It operated for two years but lack of knowledge in proper accounting lead to the failure of the business.

In 1996, with the initiative of her son Victor and his wife Susan, they opened a small restaurant in front of the Barter Trade at Governor Guttierez Avenue, named “Tsibugan ni Aling Precy”. For sometime the business did not take off quite well. It could be attributed to mismanagement due to the fact that most of them were employed in public and private firms hence couldn’t look after the business operation personally. They had no choice but to leave the management to the workers. Another reason might be that the location is not convenient. So Victor never stopped searching for the perfect spot. Until a family friend informed them of an available place along Sinsuat Avenue formerly leased by the 2nd Wave Corporation to Mr. Leonardo Yap. The said place was located between two leading food establishments in the area namely, Casa Blanca and Las Hermanas. With the concerted efforts of family members, Virgilio, being an electrical technician and Viviencio, a Mechanical Engineer, they worked in the renovation of the building. They did both the carpentry and electrical works. As a result, they were able to minimize their production cost.

18 August 1997, “Lutong Pinoy ni Aling Precy” was founded. They have started to operate the said business with a capital investment of Php 200,000.00. Mother Precy Villa and daughter Vilma took charge of the kitchen. They hired ten (10) workers needed to operate the restaurant and to service the clients. The concept of the business is to offer “pinoy lutong-bahay” type of food as well as serve native delicacies.

During its first year of operation it garnered an average of fifty (50) customers per day coming from all walks of life. They have observed that the customers are fond of chicken, thus they come up with a specialty. Mang Gorio Lechon Manok was introduced to the market and instantly became their primary and most sought-after product. Another added attraction is their unique Buko Halo-Halo (the Boracay style) which made its way to the market. Later, the business thrived and gained recognition for its pinoy and native ambiance.

When the business became stable, the family decided to have its legal identity acquired. After several attempts, the business name was finally approved as “Mang Gorio Bahay Kainan”. The idea came from the name of their father’s brother “Gregorio”. They shorten it with “Gorio” to make it sound more of a filipino.

The business was getting bigger, so the family felt the need to enhance their managerial skills in order to be more effective and competitive considering that more are getting into the restaurant business. In 18 April 1998, spouses Vir and Vilma attended a training seminar entitled “The Restaurant: From Concept to Operation” at the Culinary Arts, Manila. They learned the different strategies in running a restaurant and learned new cooking techniques which they applied upon their return from the training. To further ensure that they run the business in the right path, they seek the government’s assistance and intervention. They actively joined the Cotabato Small and Medium Enterprise Association (CSMEA, Inc.) and attended meetings and trainings conducted by the DTI, both managerial and skills.

The number of customers continued to grow until they felt the need to expand by putting up another branch. In 1999, they acquired a 300 square meter-lot in Almonte Street, where the Mang Gorio Plaza Branch was constructed. This establishment is a stone-throw away from Jollibee. Its total investment is more or less 3,000,000 pesos. It is a two-storey building wherein the first floor is utilized for restaurant operation and the second floor is used for special functions. The restaurant and function room are equipped with 40 tables of 160 seating capacity and is fully air-conditioned. The business is manned by 30 personnel. The said establishment acquired the same design concept which the main has. It was in 28 January 2002 that the Mang Gorio-Plaza Branch was launched.

During the 10th Mindanao Business Conference last September 2001 held here in Cotabato City, Mang Gorio Bahay Kainan was the recipient of the “2nd Prize Winner in Crab Cooking Presentation”. With this recognition, the said restaurant became one of Cotabato City’s pride.

Another milestone reached by the Villas is the establishment Mang Gorio Bahay Kainan along General Santos Drive in Koronadal City, South Cotabato which was inaugurated last 5 April 2003.

To date, Mang Gorio’s suppliers of beef and goat meat come from Midsayap. Gecko Enterprise of Cotabato City supplies its poultry products (chicken and eggs) and Cotabato Mega market for their vegetables and other cooking ingredients. They get their marine supplies from General Santos and Sarangani Province.

One of the objectives of Mang Gorio Bahay Kainan is to open a branch every year and envisions to be the leading local food chain in region XII. It hopes to share at least one-third of Jollibee’s market in the region. They are planning to invest 1 percent of its gross sales in establishing a marketing department for their firm that will look after the promotion and marketing of their product as it is believed that the lifeblood of a business depends a lot on effective marketing strategy. However, right now, they prioritize in the renovation of their main branch. Shaping it just like the other two branches. They wanted to have their own identity built based on filipino epic. From the uniforms worn by the staff to the ambiance, are made known to be the only one having the said concept region-wide.

This restaurant business is being run and managed by the family members and they intend to sustain and development the same with the hope to pass its management to their heirs as a legacy. The business, if not the main, will be one of the firm sources of livelihood for the family. Presently, sons Victor and Virgilio manage the human resource concerns. Another son Vivencio takes charge of ensuring the maintenance of the restaurant. Daughter Vilma Villa Reyes and husband Chirlo Reyes manage the Marbel Branch while another daughter Velina Villa Tobias and and husband Nestor Tobias handle the operation of the Plaza-Branch. Mother Precy on the other hand never stops learning more recipes and makes sure that the quality of their products is maintained.

I couldn’t help but remember what once Virgilio Villa quoted… “What choice you made of yesterday becomes what you are today and the choice you made today becomes your life tomorrow”.


Hi Joel.... I think that's my story I written for mang gorio .. during my work in DTI 12.... did you got it from our website....Jessica Abo

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