Meet Nowie and Odette Potenciano of the Sunny Side Group in Boracay

One of the famous island's community-builders who do more than what is called for, when the going gets tough

The Sunny Side Cafe serves what is hands down the best breakfast in Boracay from their popular perch on the beachfront of Station 3. Its owners, Nowie and Odette Potenciano, have grown The Sunny Side Group into five separate restaurant concepts that employ more than fifty people.

During the six-month, island-wide shutdown, the welfare of those workers was foremost in the minds of the Potencianos. Not wanting to have their staff face six months without income, they sent a shout-out to their friends in the industry to find temporary work for their kitchen and front-of-house staff. They also organized pop-ups in Manila for Sunny Side, Coco Mama and a couple of their concepts from Station X. The main goal was always to help the staff, whose fares to and from Manila and housing in the city Nowie and Odette shouldered.

Now that they have returned and Boracay is starting to regain a steady stream of tourists, The Sunny Side Group is helping things along by offering incentives such as free potable water refills in their establishments as members of a Philippines-wide initiative called Plastic Battle, which is made in partnership with Save Philippine Seas and SEA Movement.

It is a testament to the care and responsibility the duo take — not just as business owners, but as community builders — that they do more than what is called for when the going gets tough.

This article first appeared in the March 2019 issue of Smile magazine.

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Written by

Patricia Barcelon

Photographed by

Sonny Thakur

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