A gentle heart, that’s Mark for sure. Always ready to help, no matter what. Day in day out you can find him at IFS/ MAAP, the training facility of IFS in the Philippines. Or behind his desk, taking care of administration, or in the kitchen stirring in pots and pans. Curious what a regular day of Mark looks like? Apparently there are no regular days…

Who is chef Mark?

  • Full name: Mark Mendoza Buloran
  • Function at IFS: Instructor & administration
  • Lives in: Taytay, Rizal Philippines
  • Nationality: Filipino
  • Birthday: 10th march 1984
  • Brothers or sisters: Two sisters, Melissa Buloran Velasquez & Kimberly Mendoza Ramos
  • Marital status: Single
  • Horoscope: Pisces

  • Hobbies: Planting; grooming my 6 pet dogs; cleaning my 100 gallons fish tank; spending time with nature
  • What makes Mark smile: When I see people uplifting others. That is priceless.
  • What makes Mark sad: A begging orphan child or animals that are harmed and abused.
  • Dream: To be an advocate for mental health in order to reduce the stigma and fight for change in the behavioral system. I want to uplift others, believing that this is what self- worth is all about.

5:00 AM – the day begins at IFS/MAAP training facility

There goes that alarm clock. I don’t snooze. I am that kind of person that immediately gets out of bed and immediately makes his bed. Of course I have to set the example to all of the trainees at IFS/MAAP. I take a moment to devote and reflect, before doing a short exercise and stretching. You know what they say about a healthy mind in a healthy body… After taking a shower I am ready for the day!

6:00 AM – First meal of the day

Every day starts with a good, sumptuous and healthy breakfast. I supervise the trainee chefs when they prepare the breakfast for the trainees and the IFS crew. Of course we serves Asian breakfast: rice, fried eggs, dried seafood and coffee. IFS also foresees continental and American breakfast. It varies based on the nationalities of our foreign trainees. After making breakfast we all eat together, because that’s what family does. And IFS is my family. Also the trainees become family. Taking meals together helps us to build up a relationship with them. It's important that everyone can open up and feel good in the group. That way we can get the best out of everyone.

7:45 AM – Daily team-up

Every day we review the activities for the upcoming day. This is a must, not only for me but for everyone. Each day we have different activities, duties and functions. Multi-tasking is our middle name ;) This way we can fill in for someone who is busy or not present without operations being interrupted.

8:00 AM – Secure accounting and financial report

Every week I do the recording of the financial transactions. Afterwards I send them to the IFS accountant to verify.

9:00 AM – Put on the chef’s hat

I attend the practical training in the galley where I assist trainee cooks. I love teaching. Sharing ideas, cooking, adjusting, sharing advice on how to make their tasks onboard pleasant and fulfilling. They just need to discover the right system, learn to be proactive and remember that change is constant. Our trainee cooks do not only receive practice, but also theory lessons. In the galley they can then convert the theory into practice.

11:30 AM - Lunch mess

A well-deserved lunch with all of us together to enjoy what we have been cooking in the morning. Normally for lunch we serve bread and butter, soup, salad, main course, potato dish and fruits in season. After we’ve enjoyed our varied menu, we make sure the galley is spic and span.

02:00 PM – What shall we do?

The time to plan the next day. At IFS/MAAP the days are well-filled with no dull moments. This means we also need structure and a clear planning. I love putting the puzzle together, organizing tasks and duties. Once that’s finished, I deal with the paper work and administration.

04:00 PM – Back to the galley

Back to the galley to prepare dinner with the trainee cooks. Every trainee can count on our support and guidance. Our instructors are always there to supervise and assist the trainees. They also receive a theoretical manual and cooking manual with all the recipes for the whole course: ingredients, quantity and procedure. We also add some extra recipes and healthy dishes that they can try onboard.

06:00 PM – Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning

Once we had our healthy and well-deserved dinner I supervise the general cleaning of the galley by the trainees. It is very important that the trainees follow all the guidelines concerning proper cleaning and sanitation and strictly apply the HACCP rules. Every day we inspect the galley. If the work isn’t done properly, the trainees have a long night ahead of them ;)

6:45 PM – Round up

Back in the office I post pictures on Facebook showing our daily activities and encode recipes to the IFS apps. Then I check my emails and run through the schedule of the next day before closing the door of the office behind me.

8:00 PM – Time for myself

I take some time for myself, wash up, talk with my loved ones and friends, check my Facebook and have a quiet time to devote. This how I regenerate strength from a busy and tiring day.

10:00 PM - Time with trainees

We have some time together with the trainees. We tell funny and serious stories, we talk about experiences onboard or family issues, we share our thoughts. This is a very important moment of the day. By being open with each other we build camaraderie and create a family bond. I know that the job of a cook on board is very stressful and demanding. I have been there. It is important for the trainees to know they can rely on us. In this world we are one big family and it’s important to express our concern and empathy to everyone.

11:00 PM - Long and peaceful rest ...

Good night

Training at IFS - MAAP

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