A contestant from Gandara town prepares the winning pastry recipe at the pastry skills competition in Catbalogan City on February 6, 2019.
(GMT/PIA-8 Samar)

CATBALOGAN CITY- Some 378 students recently graduated from the vocational skills training program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Samar Provincial Office.
The mass graduation ceremony was held on Feb. 6, 2019 at the social hall of St. Mary’s College in this city.
Among the graduates, 262 were beneficiaries of the Consuelo Foundation’s bread and pastry-making and cookery hot meals while 116 students were graduates of the special training for employment provided by the provincial government of Samar. They finished courses in bookkeeping, organic agriculture, tiles setting, and carpentry courses.
The graduates, who came from the cities of Calbayog and Catbalogan, and from the municipalities of Sta. Margarita, and Gandara, received certificates of competency and national certificate from TESDA.
Gema Reyes, 50, from Gandara, who graduated from bread and pastry said, “I am thankful for this opportunity. I will use what I learned to put up a small business in bread-making.”
“I will now have an additional source of income. This is very helpful to me and my family,” Reyes added.
On the same day of the graduation, TESDA also conducted food fair and skills competition to showcase the skills learned by the graduates.
For the food fair bread and pastry category competition, Catbalogan City placed first place, while Gandara, Calbayog and Sta. Margarita garnered the second, third and consolation, places, respectively.
On the other hand, Gandara won in the competition for the bread and pastry cookery category, while Catbalogan, Calbayog and Sta. Margarita got the second, third and consolation prizes, respectively.
For the skills competition for bread and pastry, Artemio Amita of Gandara garnered the first place while Jean Celmar, from Catbalogan City and Roselle Andaya who is from Calbayog City got the second and third spots.
For the cookery category, first place went to Jolena Alcober of Catbalogan City and Glenn Guantic of Gandara and Marlyn Gentallian of Calbayog City placed second and third.
The 3-in-1 event: Food Fair, Skills Competition and Mass Graduation was initiated by the TESDA and participated in by collaborating agencies and organizations such as Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Labor and Employment, Center for Community Transformation and the Balicuatro College of Arts and Trade. (NBQ/GMTabao/PIA Samar)