This Bohol restaurant provides work for happy deaf employees

·2 min read
Seek The World creator Calvin Young communicating in sign language with a waitress at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. (Screen grab from Seek The World video)
Seek The World creator Calvin Young communicating in sign language with a waitress at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. (Screen grab from Seek The World video)

At a Western-themed restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, a staff of 38 deaf workers serves customers and cooks for them.

Diners at Garden Cafe can write down their orders on paper or their phones to show waiters.

They can also choose to have fun and order food using sign language – the menu has pictures that show you the sign language for various dishes.

A horsecart decoration at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines.  (Photo: Garden Cafe)
A horsecart decoration at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. (Photo: Garden Cafe)
Sisig at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines.  (Photo: Garden Cafe)
Sisig at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. (Photo: Garden Cafe)

The deaf-friendly Filipino restaurant was recently featured on Seek The World, a travel vlog channel by deaf creator Calvin Young which features stories about deaf communities around the world.

Besides providing a living for its deaf employees, the restaurant's income also goes toward supporting the education of deaf children in the provinces of Bohol and Leyte.

"We have 38 people working here," said a cook. "The deaf were trained and taught in Bohol, Philippines."

In case you're wondering, the video from Seek The World has no audio since it's a deaf-focused content platform.

According to Young, Garden Cafe was founded in 1984 by the Bohol Foundation for the Deaf and Disabled. The work opportunities at the restaurant help to prepare the workers for future employment. Garden Cafe's income supports 400 youth and students at schools for the deaf in Bohol.

Seek The World creator Calvin Young with the deaf staff at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. (Screen grab from Seek The World video)
Seek The World creator Calvin Young with the deaf staff at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. (Screen grab from Seek The World video)
The interior of at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. (Photo: Garden Cafe))
The interior of at Garden Cafe restaurant in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. (Photo: Garden Cafe))

Garden Cafe serves Western food as well as Filipino dishes.

The two-storey restaurant is decorated to evoke the old American Wild West. The upper floor features an Old West cowboy museum with real cowboy paraphernalia on display from Billings, Montana, USA.

"I was curious so I asked them if they enjoy working here," said Young. "They said they love it here! They said working here allows them to make money, support their families and afford housing. Also, the funds they earn are used to support students and grow their workforce. They seem so happy here so that's good!"

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