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Gerry "Mr. Ube" Chua approaches life and work with gratitude and grace

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Gerry Chua approaches life and work with 
Gratitude and grace
By Walter Ang
March-April 2009 issue
Asian Dragon Magazine

To fans of ube hopia, the man who invented it is endearingly and simply known as Mr. Ube. Gerry Chua, the man behind the delectable delicacy, is owner and manager of Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli, a small empire that counts several branches in Manila and exports its products all over the world.

Rotund and gregarious, Gerry also owns Chuankee Eatery, a popular restaurant offering humble Fujian staples like fish soup and kiampong (salted rice with mushrooms and peanuts); Café Mezzanine, a coffeeshop whose profits are donated to the Binondo and Paco Volunteer Fire Search and Rescue Brigade; and, recently, Mr. Ube, a tony restaurant featuring noodles as its main draw.

The tale of Gerry's success is the stuff of television soaps and is a testament to his tenacity and conviction. In the early 1900s, Chua's grandfather Chua Chiu Hong, a farmer from China who came to the P…