The Lowly Bibingka Becomes a Loved Filipino Brand
Ferino’s Bibingka is a Filipino brand well-loved for its delicious native cake called bibingka. It is a rice cake made and prepared from scratch using ground rice, eggs, and sugar.
It all began with Ceferino A. Francisco, Sr., or Mang Ferino, in pre-war Tondo, Manila. He founded Ferino’s Bibingka in October of 1938. His entrepreneurial spirit and delicious bibingka brought him from being a small-time peanut vendor to be a business owner. With the help of his wife Cristina, or Aling Tinay, they started cooking bibingka and puto-bumbong in the sidewalk in front of their rented apartment. They later moved to a nearby stall where they put up their own carinderia selling palabok, dinuguan, ginataan bilo-bilo, and other delicious Filipino merienda fare. During Christmas season, they sold out their special bibingka and puto-bumbong. After the war, Mang Ferino further improved the quality of his bibingka and offered it all year-round.
The growing popularity of their bibingka caught the attention of the management of the famous Manila Hotel. In 1957, the hotel management invited Mang Ferino and Aling Tinay to open their first full restaurant—the Ferino’s Caf—at the Acacia Lane of the Manila Hotel. Then, in the ‘70s, another branch was opened at the Fiesta Carnival in front of Araneta Coliseum through the invitation of Don Amado Araneta. From those two flagship branches, other Ferino’s restaurants soon followed.
When Mang Ferino passed away in 1975, most of his stores closed down. It was his eldest son, Alfredo Francisco, Sr., who revived the Ferino’s brand by opening a stall at Redemptorist Road in Baclaran in 1981. Many other stores were also opened, this time, as take-out counters and smaller restaurants with dine-ins, including the Ferino’s branches in Gilmore Avenue, Makati Avenue, SM Malls, and in California and New Jersey, USA.
To date, third generation Franciscos carry the family brand, Ferino’s Bibingka.
Ferino’s outlets you may remember:
Redemptorist, Baclaran (1981)
Makati Avenue (1985)
SM Malls in the ‘80s
New Jersey, USA (1991)
Laguna Seafood Supermarket, Los Angeles USA (1994)
Coldwater Los Angeles USA (1997)