Teaming Up: This Mobile Soup Kitchen is a Collaboration of Architecture, Graphic Design, and Fashion - Lifestyle Asia

The “Kain Tayo” jeepney can serve around 500 hungry people a day.

Rise Against Hunger Philippines (RAHP) launched a mobile jeepney soup kitchen and foodbank named “Kain Tayo.” The project is in support of the Kain Tayo Pilipinas movement, a private sector initiative to help solve the hunger problem experienced by more than 30 million Filipinos.

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RAHP is the first and only national foodbank in the country, and has a mission to support the nutritionally at-risk.

“This program enables us to step up and meet the rising challenges of hunger and malnutrition in the face of this pandemic,” explains RAHP’s executive director Jomar Fleras.

Fleras chose the jeepney for the flagship model which was refurbished with a full-functioning kitchen.

“It should be something that everyday Pinoys can identify with,” he explains. The jeepney’s exterior features a unique sticker skin, a collaborative effort with Manila’s top creatives.

Colorful symbolism

For the main body, Architect Deo Alam conceptualized a modern version of two Sarimanoks meeting at the front of the jeep, its body spreading toward the back.

“We wanted the design to be inclusive and easily appreciated by all Filipinos across the board,” Alam shares. “So we decided to go for the Sarimanok because it is a figure that has already emerged in the popular scene during the 90s, it is recognizable and relatable.”

The legend of the bird, the architect continues, makes the symbol even more special. “It is also known to carry a fish by its beak, which can be translated to the Sarimanok bringing food to the people,” he says.

This legendary Maranao bird, Alam adds, deserves a modern makeover so that it can continue to be relevant today. The mythical bird’s colors also served as inspiration for the design’s palette.

Alam took the lead in putting together the overall graphics for the jeepney’s exterior stickers. He tapped Nikko Arbillo, a team member from his own design company Deo Alrashid Alam Design Architecture, who incorporated Mauro Malang Santos’ cartoon characters adding humor to the visuals.

Fashion designer RJ Santos, meanwhile, lifted graphics from his own portfolio to create a whimsical wallpaper that borders the jeepney’s main body.

Meals and doses

The Pasig Elementary School grounds served as the venue for the launch, and invited 100 of the city’s transport drivers and their families. Through a donation from San Miguel Foundation, the transport drivers and families got free vaccinations.

“We’re happy to be working with Rise Against Hunger, our long-time partner in Better World Tondo, for the launch of the Kain Tayo mobile jeepney soup kitchen,” says San Miguel Foundation vice chairman and trustee Cecile Ang.

From left: San Miguel Foundation vice chairman and trustee Cecile Ang and Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto

“With Pasig as our host city, and on the occasion of San Miguel’s 131st anniversary, we wanted to give back by donating 2,000 vaccine doses to protect those belonging to the A5 category,” she says.

The launch’s beneficiaries also got to sample the arroz caldo cooked in the jeepney’s kitchen, which was manned by two volunteers from Better World Tondo.

Pasig’s civic workers and officials showed up in force for the launch, which culminated with the arrival of Mayor Vico Sotto. He thanked Rise Against Hunger for launching the mobile soup kitchen project.

Sigurado po ako na marami tayong matutulungan,” he says in a video message, “dito sa mobile soup kitchen na makakapag-serve ng hanggang limang daang tao kada araw.”

For more information including how to donate, contact Genna Mijares at [email protected]

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