Major throwback: CAKE FIESTA MANILA 2019 Part I

I’ve been really away from this site for a long time. A lot of wonderful things have happened in my cake career since 2016, so I am going to be talking about them one by one. Super delayed, I know, but during this pandemic when gatherings are prohibited and traveling is not as easy at it used to be, I guess it is the perfect time to reminisce. Nothing exciting is basically happening nowadays, so let’s look back at the wonderful experiences we’ve had during the pre-pandemic times.

Me with Sachiko Windbiel, one of my favorite sugar artists who visited the first-ever Cake Fiesta Manila way back in 2019 at the SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia

Cake Fiesta Manila was held from November 15 to 17, 2019 at the SM Mall of Asia SMX Convention Center. I was so excited for the event. It was supposed to be the first and the biggest cake show in Asia, and I wanted to be part of it. My adrenaline and confidence was so high that I found myself registering for four display competition categories as soon as I saw the announcements on December 18, 2018.

Categories I joined at the first-ever Cake Fiesta Manila

Looking back now, it was such a bad decision to join four categories when I have to travel from Dumaguete to Manila by plane with all my entries (more on that later). I was so impulsive, but I had such faith in myself that I thought I would be able to bag a medal (haha, tough luck), but I gotta say this: my courage and confidence was incredible. In business as well as in any endeavor one might like to pursue, courage and confidence are very important things to have if you want to succeed.

So I had almost a year to prepare for this competition. (Un)fortunately, I got very busy with actual orders for my shop that I kept on putting off any real preparation for the display competition. In retrospect, I now greatly realize that joining a cake competition required a great deal of planning, especially if you have to transport your entries over long distances. Every move you have to make should be taken into account, and every possibility for disaster must be anticipated. Also, I now realize that I shouldn’t have gotten myself so carried away by the excitement of joining so many categories. I should have just focused my skills and effort on one specific category. Had I done that, then I wouldn’t have been overwhelmed. But whatever…what’s done is done, I’ve already paid for the competitions. So I had to whip up something ASAP.

Prepping my fondant toppers for the Celebration Cakes category
Preparing my doggy toppers for the Non-tasted Cupcakes Category

I decided to make a Carebears-themed birthday cake for the Celebration Cakes category and a dog-themed cake for the cupcakes category. Making the toppers consumed most of my time. I started preparing 2 weeks before leaving for Manila, and it was the most hectic two weeks I’ve ever had in my caking life. I had to juggle orders with my entries. I couldn’t ask the help of my assistants in making my entries. I was so stressed out that I ended up worn out by the time I decided to tackle my entries for the Themed Cookies Category and the Buttercream Cakes Category.

I ended up with half-baked and mediocre entries for the last two categories. I was in such a rush to just complete everything that I thought “Whatever!” and whipped up what I could whip up. My entries looked really amateurish, but what the heck! It’s time to go and pack!

Packing up and making sure everything stays safe and secure and undamaged during the trip was a whole different obstacle to tackle.

Packing up my topppers
My buttercream cake is inside the box, my cupcakes and fondant cake inside the orange cake carrier, and my cookies inside a plastic container in the green bag.

Despite the extreme care I took, some of the fondant toppers were slightly damaged when we reached our hotel. To make matters worse, I dropped the trolley handle while going out of the airport. That trolley contained my buttercream cake, so it was damaged badly. I brought a cake emergency cake kit for minor fixes, but the buttercream cake was just badly damaged. I had no choice but to still present it.

My fondant celebration cake and my cupcakes entries. I didn’t bother to take a photo of my embarassing buttercream cake.

This is now quite a long post. In the next post I’ll share more photos from the rest of my 2019 Cake Fiesta Manila experience. šŸ˜ƒ

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