Meet the Filipina Entrepreneur in Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2020

Forbes recognizes the incredible work of this young entrepreneur, which gives us hope for a brighter and better future.

In a time of crisis, there is always something positive that comes out of it, a light cracking from the perception of darkness if you will. Similar could be said of a Filipina chef and entrepreneur who launched a groundbreaking project that eventually landed her in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2020. Meet Louise Mabulo, the woman who founded The Cacao Project to help farmers in the sustainable production of cacao.

As a United Nations Youth Ambassador, Louise proves to be a ray of hope in these trying times. Through her work, she is showing that much is still needed for breakthroughs in the agriculture industry. Yet she has already ignited the torch, proudly carrying it as she continues her remarkable journey.

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LEFT: Louise Mabulo. RIGHT: The Cacao Project plants the seedlings on this unused land in Camarines Sur. (Photos from Great Image and The Medium)

Empowering Local Communities

When typhoon Nina struck Louise’s hometown in Bicol, she noticed how cacao trees withstood the typhoon. Her observation sparked the interest to highlight the importance of farming and sustainable development. With growing advocacy, she started The Cacao Project, gathering indigenous farmers from San Fernando, Camarines Sur. The venture provides them with cacao seedlings and the training needed to grow these high-value and resilient crops. After all, cacao trees are high in demand and can be productive for 20 to 25 years. Apart from cacao, the project also provides farmers short-term crops like pumpkin, bok choy, and okra.

As they are already working on agriculture, why not broaden the scope to care for the environment? Through the tree-planting efforts, they were able to revive two water sources in the barren lands of Camarines Sur. This is only the beginning of the positive impact of the venture on the farmers and their families, and of course, the environment.

Louise at the United Nations Headquarters. (Photo from her Instagram)

Through these incredible works, Louise garnered several awards. She was recognized as a Young Champion of the Earth in 2019, a Youth Ambassador in the United Nations Youth Assembly in 2018, and became the outstanding one at the 21st session of the assembly.

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Louise preparing a Filipino-style meal with ingredients coming from her own farm and grilled giant squid from a nearby shore in her province. (Photo from her Instagram)

Navigating the Culinary World

Louise may be known as an agricultural advocate, but did you know she is also a chef? And a successful one at that, having won the Best Dessert in Asia Award at the Disciples des Escoffier Young Talent Trophy in Hong Kong. This important culinary competition encourages the training of the top young chefs with less than five years of kitchen experience.

If you are a fan of Junior MasterChef, you may have watched then-12-year-old Louise who became a finalist in the reality TV show. She took what she learned from this experience and is growing up to be a season chef-in-the-making. At present, she started The Culinary Lounge, a farm-to-table kitchen studio. She teaches a mix of young chefs, seasoned cooks, and housewives the art of creating sumptuous dishes.

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(Photo from Louise’s website)

At 21, Louise Mabulo is already wearing a belt of awards and exceptional accomplishments. Her meaningful life reminds us there is hope for the future, especially for agriculture. We couldn’t wait to see what other inspiring and groundbreaking initiatives she will come up with for the world.

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