Pinky Fernando: The Cake Maker of the Stars
Article and Photos by Alex Datu
“Gusto ko sana magtrabaho sa hospital para doon sana tapos kong kurso kaso sa isang hospital, isang nutritionist lang ang kailangan. Saka isa pa, ayaw ko mag-compute ng mga timbang ng pagkain. Akala ko kasi noon, puro bake ang pag-aralan ko kasi wala pa kasi ‘yung culinary noon. Ayaw kong Math at Algebra, kaya sabi ko ayaw ko noon.”
It’s not surprising why Martin Nievera personally called Pinky Fernando, the woman behind the success of Fernando’s Bakery, known as the “Cake Maker of the Stars.” We learned that she had made cakes for almost all the big stars in the industry. She accepts orders and delivers to ABS-CBN and GMA-7 for their stars’ birthdays. In Kapamilya alone, she has to make 50 cakes all year-round and same with Kapuso, she has to make 30 cakes. In addition to this, she makes 30 to 70 cakes for her clients, especially on weekends.
Pinky recalled that she started doing cakes for the stars way back in the late ‘80s, during the That’s Entertainment days. “Unang-una talaga, wala pang TV coverage noon. Siguro mga 1988 ‘yun. Birthday ni Manolet Ripol, at nasa Monday group siya. Ni-recommend akong common friend namin sa kanya na taga-Alabang kung saan siya nakatira. Malaki ‘yun dahil may three to four layers ito,” she reminisced.
She also baked the birthday cake of Ogie Alcasid for his 40th natal celebration. “Regalo ni Regine Velasquez ‘yun na ginanap sa Polo Club. Forty years old noon si Ogie. Tapos, ako din ang gumawa ng wedding cake ni Cacai Velasquez. Tapos, may movie ang GMA-7, My Lady Boss, ‘yung kina Marian Rivera at Richard Gutierrez. Pinatawag na ako noon ng GMA-7. ‘Yung malaking cake na ipinakita sa isang eksena kung saan sila lumabas,” she continued.
She also baked for Gary Valenciano during his concert series at the Music Museum. Same with his concert at Penthouse Live. “Na-invite ako noon ng Genesis sa kanilang dinner party sa kanilang bahay, nag-order silang cake tapos, dessert buffet ng mga cakes. ‘Yung mga guests pala ay taga-ASAP at doon nagsimula ang lahat sa pagkaroon kong connection sa show,” she added.
The lady baker shared that the first cake she made for ABS-CBN was for the birthday celebration of Jed Madela in ASAP. “Nag order ang Tribe of Jed Madela of USA, at bukod dito may regalo ako kay Jed na cup cake tower. Kasi ang inisip ko, ipapakain niya sa kanyang mga fans na umabot daw sa 250 ang members,” she recalled.
She also remembered that she baked her first celebrity cake for Gary Valenciano and for the first cup cake was for Jed Madela. “Tapos kinausap na akong E.P. ng ASAP na si Marcy Celito. Fifty daw ang kanilang artists at every week may nagbibirthday sa kanilang stars na nasa show, at gagawan ko ang mga ‘yun. Hindi ko napansin, naikot ko na ‘yung isang taon, naka-50 artists na pala ako,” she said.
Pinky also claimed that she baked her first-ever standee cake for Martin Nievera. She is proud to say that all her cake designs are original, from her own concept. This is the reason why she avoids posting her designs in the social media to avoid imitation.
In the middle of this interview, we casually mentioned the name of Sarah Geronimo. She admitted that she baked cakes for the singer on special occasions. We reminded her of a story about Mommy Divine (Sarah’s mom) that allegedly she used to bring home all the cakes without sharing some to the staff of the show.
“Hindi ganun si Mommy Divine dahil namimigay naman siya at yung iba lang ang inuwi niya. Nag-iiwan po sila ng certain cakes pero ‘yung iba po talagang inuuwi po nila. Minsan nga po ako ang naghahatid eh sa kanilang bahay. Mali po ‘yun. kung si Mommy Divine ‘yun baka nininega lang po siya kasi namimigay siya at ‘yung dinadala niya ay para sa fans day ni Sarah. Nagsi-share naman po siya,” the cake master insisted.
“Ginagawa ko pa rin ito kay Martin kung saan siya may party. Tapos kay Gary, inihahatid ko sa Antipolo kasi kung minsan may party doon o ibibigay daw sa charity. Ang laki ngang cakes ang kanyan giniwan, mga three layers pa nga ‘yun para sa staff, technicians at guards.”
A graduate in Nutrition and Dietician from Centro Escolar University (Mendiola), Pinky shared that since she was in grade six, she was already fascinated in cooking. Even at a young age, she was already baking cookies and delivered it in school canteens.
Fernado’s Bakery started in 1951 and at that time, it was managed by her grandpa, Papang Ambo. From there, she did not change the business name, and until now, they are still located at 785 Rizal Street, Sta. Barbara, Baliuag, Bulacan. Her family was known as the baker of original pandesal Baliuag, ensaymada, pande coco and other traditional breads.
“Nag-plano din ako na magkaroon ng branch, but after my interview with Korina Sanchez for her show, naisip kong tama siya dahil saturated na dito sa Manila. Sabi niya, kilalala naman ako, tinatawagan naman ako ng mga client ko, dapat naka-based nalang ako sa Bulacan. Tama naman kasi ang mga company ang tumatawag sa akin,” she ended.