Campus-wide search begins; gets bigger, better Jolly University champions start the climb to successful careers


Deeply rooted in its commitment to recognize and harness the potentials of future industry leaders, the Jolly University (JU)—a private company-initiated campaign under JOLLY, one of the leading brands in canned foods and vegetables industry—has been providing students with competitive training and workshop opportunities through an annual campus-wide search.

Following the Jolly University program’s success for the past two years, Jun Cochanco, President of Fly Ace Corporation, exclusive distributor of Jolly Food Line, said the company is very proud to be part of an initiative that builds and well-positions career-driven, empowered youth-leaders.

“We are happy to invest in this program which positively impacts and leverages students’ future professional careers. Because they gain learning beyond the four corners of the classroom, students get practical know-how, values formation and the crucial mentorship which give them the competitive edge. Having all these focused support and training opportunities greatly solidify the foundation of their future careers or in launching their own businesses. Which is why we highly encourage students to join Jolly University; it’s a great opportunity that they shouldn’t miss,” he said.

Now on its third year, the Jolly University goes all out once more, this time with a broadened competition format to tap in more young culinary talents who want to develop their creativity and entrepreneurial leadership capabilities.

“What sets the Jolly University apart from other culinary competitions is that it trains students in crafting effective business planning; it’s a complete immersion. It also acts as a great motivational boost, for them to engage in a program that fuels their innate passion to excel. Which is why every year, we highlight a boot camp for participants to gain key learning that help them prepare well ahead for careers and real-world work environments,” said Marilou Acuña, Jolly Senior Product Manager.

More exciting features for JOLLY University Year 3

The Year 3 kick-off on January 2016 is touted to be bigger and better, as Jolly University will be a more expansive and “individual-focused” campus search. Apart from the bootcamp, next year’s program will introduce a new individual category for the cook-off challenge and a congress.

“We are highlighting individual talents and capabilities this year. As much as it is fun and entertaining to have group competitions, Jolly University brings out the full leadership potentials of a person during individual participation,” said Chef Mitchie.

Another exciting new component is the Jolly University Congress. “Besides the live cooking competition, attendees will be engaged with activities, interactive booths, jobfair and workshops by key speakers from top industries which will help participants in their future careers or food business,” she added.

While still primarily aimed at tapping collegiate trainees, Ralph Rebulanan, Jolly’s Product Associate, stressed the goal is to make next year’s Jolly University campus search and learning program more inclusive and far-reaching.

“The program is continuously growing, and we are devising ways to expand its audience reach. We are looking at the possibility of inviting and showcasing a younger segment, like senior high school students,” he said.

As Jolly University enters its third year, let us look back at the winners of Year 2 and see how their group’s journey continues to inspire JU’s advocacy of empowering the younger generation.

Wholistic transformation

A passion for culinary arts is only the first step towards a successful professional cooking career. But for the Year 2 champions of Jolly University—University of Sto. Tomas HRM students CJ Asiddao, Rian Cajiles and Monique Siguenza—their climb to a future career in the food industry is easier as they are now equipped with the competitive edge and right mindset to stand out early on in their lives.

Apart from the prestige and cash prize,  20-year-old CJ revealed that the biggest rewards were the lessons, motivation and the vast opportunities that opened up to them.

“We learned a lot from our Jolly University Boot Camp experience. We got to listen to key industry experts who conducted talks and workshops on various topics, from culinary to mentorships on leadership, creativity, business planning and personality enhancement. The program did not only enhance our college portfolio; it made us well-rounded in so many ways as we discover ourselves more,” he noted.

Along with intense hands-on intense culinary trainings under Jolly University Head Master Chef Mitchie Sison, part of their prize as Grand Champions include taping four cooking shows for Jolly  Food Line (which will be exclusively featured in the Jolly ‘s official Facebook page, Jolly Eats, and website ) and undergoing a crash course on professional food styling and photography wherein the photos will be published in, magazines, and newspapers, to name a few.

Career-building advantage

On their way to receiving their diplomas, CJ, Rian and Monique are now focused on starting their solo careers. Twenty-year-old Rian is aiming to expand their family business using what he has learned from the Jolly University Boot Camp. “Personally, it gave me plenty of opportunities to put what I’ve learned into practice, especially in crafting strategic business plans for our bakery,” he shared.

As their way of giving back, the team has been actively spreading the mission of Jolly University to various student communities via workshops, conferences and cook-off activities. With this, they were recognized by their alma mater for bringing pride to the school and for greatly inspiring fellow students through their outstanding accomplishments.

Sweet finish

Come graduation day, the Jolly ambassadors are excited to start climbing the steps of their career goals, eager to enter the competitive food industry with an increased confidence.

“I used to have reservations and doubts whether I can do it. But through Jolly University, I’m motivated to follow my dream of becoming a professional chef.  I know I’m on the right path. I’m ready and excited to face the future!” said Monique, as she plans to further her culinary mastery at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

“We are so blessed and very thankful to the people behind Jolly University. Not only did we find mentors who patiently guided us in this incredible self journey; they were very supportive to our endeavors even after winning the grand championship title,” added CJ.

“We wish for the continued success of this life-changing program so that more students will be given the opportunity to empower themselves and be inspired in following their dreams,” concluded Rian.

Online application forms for Jolly University Year 3 can be downloaded at and Jolly Eats (Facebook) and will be accepted beginning November 2015. For more updates on Jolly University, visit Also like its official FB fanpage (Jolly Eats) or follow via Twitter and Instagram @jollyeatsph.