Luneta Ice Cream was launched in 2015 by the couple Rhea Topacio and Dennis Rogacion. It is the first Filipino Ice Cream made in Europe distributed to selected Filipino retailers and restaurants in Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. It has been instrumental in voiding the feeling of “home-sickness” among the Filipinos who has been out of the Philippines and away from their families.“It is the symbol of togetherness, home and hope to be with their loved ones again.” Luneta Ice Cream produces flavors and product lines that provide diversity in the Filipino tastes and entices other cultures to try and enjoy it as well. Initially, LIC catered to the almost 20 thousand Filipinos in the Netherlands, a small part of Germany and Luxembourg. With the growing market, Luneta Ice Cream is aiming to be available to more Filipinos Worldwide.
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Sariling Atin Conquering Taste Buds Abroad
By Rey Beltran
Recently, Filipino cuisine has been making headlines abroad. Apparently, our local dishes have hit the jackpot among casual diners and foodies. From the well-known adobo to the more complex sinigang, our native dishes and filipino recipes have indeed come so far. Thanks to Filipinos living abroad, they have kept the Filipino spirit alive through cooking. It’s a Pinoy pride thing; it has enabled the enterprising spirit of the Filipinos working and living abroad to share our dishes with foreigners.
What makes our dishes special? No matter how simple or complicated Filipino dishes are, you know that aside from it takes time and effort to prepare these dishes, love is an extra ingredient in preparing them. That’s why the term lutong bahay has always been the word-of-mouth that drove our dishes to the forefront of the culinary world.
That aside, lutong bahay gives that vibe of love, care and deliciousness you only get when food is home cooked. You always look forward to having your meals at home after a long day. These dishes have found its home abroad and they are fast becoming favorites by foreign taste buds too.
Then there’s the dessert. From the simple minatamis na saging to the all-time summer favorite halo-halo, and the most popular purple ube halaya, these desserts are prepared at home. What more if your dessert is an ice cream tailored fit to suit the Filipino taste buds? Pinoy ice cream! I remember my grandfather used to make ice cream for us. And that’s always been a treat! Flavors like ube and mango, or buco pandan, and other local ingredients… that’s what makes it Filipino. That’s what makes it sariling atin. And bringing that culture abroad, that Pinoy pride, is the entrepreneurial spirit of every Filipino.
In The Netherlands, Luneta Ice Cream has been promoting the Filipino culture, that sense of sariling atin, through its ice cream with native flavors like mango, ube, buco pandan, macapuno… truly authentic Filipino ice cream! What makes it truly Pinoy is that it’s personally managed and made by its owners. The right ingredient that makes any Filipino food authentic and real. That kind of claim can only be made by Luneta Ice Cream.
“We have thought of bringing smiles to our fellow Pinoys here. So we ventured into making Pinoy ice cream. Thus was born Luneta Ice Cream. From the basic of ice cream flavors to our new offerings, all of these are borne out of our love and pride for our home country,” Rhea Topacio, Luneta Ice Cream’s Managing Partner, says in an interview.
“We want to share this passion with you, to bring that taste of authentic Filipino ice cream,” Dennis Rogacion, Luneta Ice Cream’s other partner, interpolates. “That kind of care and meticulousness that is a throwback to all things Pinoy when it comes to preparing food, that’s what Luneta Ice Cream is all about. We want to inspire the Filipinos here, that they’re not alone in working towards success. We are working on our success. So they can do it too!” Dennis adds.
Many Filipinos are trying to find the right combination to succeed, wherever they are; whether it’s work or putting up a business. Some have brought native dishes to commercially share it, some have even found their niche and established their own restaurants and catering services. And they’ve found support among the Filipino communities and the locals there.
Whatever the case may be, with the number of Filipinos working and living abroad, you already have a market for the Filipino dish, be it main course or dessert. Proof that our sariling atin has a place in the global dining table.