Philip Ray Oyco: The Millennial Entrepreneur Cooking His Way to Success
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Generation Y or popularly known as the Millennials -- those born from 1981 to 1996 -- would rather put up their own business and be successful on their own rather than work in a company and climb their way up the corporate ladder, according to an article in Forbes magazine, citing a survey done by Bentley University.
The survey showed that 67 percent of the respondents said they wanted to start their own business, while only 13 percent wanted to become successful in the corporate world, according to the article published in November 2014.
One such Millennial is Philip Ray Oyco, 25, who started his own business, a food stall called Felipe's Chicken Fillet at BFF Diner, the food park that opened in November 2017 along J.P. Rizal in Lamuan, Marikina. His business was inspired by his love for cooking and eating favorite Filipino food fares, especially after a tiring game of basketball.
Aside from his passion for cooking, the six-foot tall basketball enthusiast has a business acumen because after just a few months, he acquired another food stall inside BFF Diner called Floring’s.
Felipe’s is famous for its chicken fillet but of course, crispy pata, chicken skin, spam fries and other “putok-batok” dishes, a Filipino term for oily, fatty, all-meat food that can be unhealthy, especially when one eats then a lot and more often. But Philip does not mind the term, noting that there are people who really want to eat so-called “putok-batok” dishes.
But more than the “putok-batok” term, he said the food items in his stall, which he personally cooks, are comfort food. They are also his favorites.
“The food concept of Felipe’s is simple and nothing fancy. It’s comfort food ng mga Pinoy (slang for Filipinos) like chicken fillet. They are the kind of food na kainakain naming magbabarkada after maglaro ng basketball,” Philip said.
“Each item on the menu ay nakain ko na somewhere at nasarapan ako. So I tried to cook my version of them dito sa Felipe’s. Like iyong chicken skin. May nakain na akong chicken skin na masarap sa may kanto ng Meralco. Dinagdagan ko na lang ng ibang ingredients hanggang sa mabuo ko siya,” he added.
Dressed in a black shirt and jersey shorts and wearing a cap, Philip looks more like a happy-go-lucky young man than an entrepreneur who wants to succeed in his own business, using his own skills, on his own terms. But during the interview, punctuated by laughers and jokes, he is serious and determined to make it.
In fact, not even a year has passed since he started his food business, he is already contemplating his next move, very CEO-like if you ask me.
“Ang plano ko, by the grace of God, makapag-branch out ako somewhere. Like put up a take out counter ng crispy pata o ng chicken fillet. Pwede rin pong stand alone restaurant. Bahala na,” said Philip, who is a member “since birth” of the Marikina Foursquare Gospel Church, whose members include his cousin, Michael Oyco, who manages the food park, and the entire board of BFF Diner.
Asked why the name Felipe’s, he said matter-of-factly that that’s the name his father used every time he was mad at him. “Kasi kapag galit iyong tatay ko, he calls me Felipe.”
Philip’s decision to go into business is as interesting as the name of one of his food stalls (he’s got to, but more on that later).
Jack of All Trades
The 25-year-old entrepreneur is a sort of a Jack-of-all-trades kind of person.
After finishing hospitality management at Asian College, he worked as a call center agent, barista and receptionist. Then he went to Dubai for work, but it did not work out. When he went back home, an opportunity to put up a food stall at BFF Diner landed on his lap and just like in a basketball, he grabbed it right away and took a shot.
“Everything started because I love to eat and got curious about what I eat. So I got into cooking. So hobby lang po talaga siya (cooking). I took up hospitality management but really focused on the cooking side,” said Philip. “Then nag-open iyong opportunity (to go into the food business) so I went ahead driven by the love and passion sa pagluluto.”
After a few months operating Felipe’s as a cook and sometimes, the one tending the stall, the owner of another food stall, Floring’s that sold barbecues and other grilled Pinoy favorites, had to leave the country. So Philip decided to buy it. The two stalls complement each other, not only in terms of food, but also in manpower.
“Nagagamit ko rin dahil ang kakulangan ng isang stall, napupunan ng sa isa. Mga ingredients. Sa manpower since magkatabi lang sila. Kaya kung aalis ang isa to take a break, iyong katabi muna ang magbabantay,” said Philip.
At the time of the interview, it was Philip himself who was manning the Felipe’s stall, while an employee was tending Floring’s.
“Ngayon ako mismo tumatao sa stall. Seven days a week. Para controlled lahat. Lahat ng nasa recipe, ako ang nagluluto. Inspired by food from the outside. Mostly, Filipino food, iyong mga paborito ng pamily tulad ng crispy pata,” he said.
Food items at both Felipe’s and Floring’s are affordable. Barbecues are P50 per stick, while rice meals such as chicken fillet are priced at P70 to P150. The famous crispy pata, all of its 1.2 kilogram weight, can be had at P400 and can be shared by three to five persons, depending on their appetite.
643 J.P. Rizal St., Lamuan, Marikina City
0917 608 5207
Monday to Saturday – 4pm to 12 midnight
Sundays – 12 noon to 2pm and 4pm to 11pm
For more about Felipe’s, please check out its Facebook page -- https://www.facebook.com/FelipesChickenFillet/
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