I met my beautiful friend Gladys Baltazar-Mallillin when both of us were eager young girls studying Communications at the Ateneo de Manila University. Even then, she was very artistic and maternal. 🙂 Years later, she would create Springbake by Gladys, a home-based business that, as she would say, produces “chocolate desserts and bite-sized delights created by hand and borne in the sweet chaos of my kitchen.” Gladys’ delicious chocolate cake has been included in Inquirer Lifestyle’s Top 50 Best Desserts of 2010, and more recently, in the Inquirer Lifestyle Best Desserts Book. (More on that later.) But aside from being a gifted baker, Gladys is also a talented artist. Here, she welcomes us to her studio, the sanctuary where she finds peace especially after a long day’s work.
In her words:
Aside from my kitchen, which is my source of comfort and creativity, it is my studio on the 3rd floor of our house, which I “built” after my Dad passed away last 2011, that gives me room to breathe. It is a room extension on our roof deck that I designed with stucco walls, painted white, surrounded with wind chimes and accented with old recycled wood.
My favorite spot in the room is where I can stand by the East window and face the mountains of Rizal, watch sunrises and moonrises, and breathe in the fresh air of Marikina.
My hands are my most precious tools. I call them tireless hands, always creating, always tinkering. They are calloused and scarred with small oven burns and cuts but they are my tools for self-expression and creativity.
This craft-yoga-meditation-prayer room also serves as a place to hold small parties and DVD marathons.
The room opens to a pocket garden where I’ve planted herbs and flowering vines.
One of my dreams is to create pottery. I also want to learn how to carve wood and build small trinket boxes with only joineries to hold them together. Another dream is to have an herb farm with surrounding fruit-bearing trees and flowers. With it I could make handmade soaps and flavored vinegars and oils.
I have yet to finish this labor of love (unfinished ceiling, no shutters to cover the 6 x 2-foot window, etc.), but maybe I’d like to keep it that way for now, forever-evolving.
There is not one moment when I don’t thank God for all the blessings that I’ve received, for my God-given talents, for the support of family and friends, for my dependable yaya who makes it possible for me to work and have a small business and still have time for my kids, for my reliable car that makes errands and cake deliveries uncomplicated, for every single person who orders my baked goods and for all the opportunities for happiness.
To order Gladys’ decadent Chocolate Cake, go to her Facebook Page here.
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