Dr. Emiliano Hudtohan

Educator, Business Writer, Industry Expert and Entrepreneur

Noel’s BBQ at Agno

This is the third and the last of a series on Agno entrepreneurs. Team Karina Albert with Monica Go, Isa Hernandez, Trisha Sy Tu, and Abby Yap and Team Gerard Francis A. Khoo with Edsel S. Betita II, John Loyd M. Fernandez, Koh Minseung and Fuzheng Huang interviewed Noel Urbina, owner and operator of Noel’s BBQ.

After Noel’s father retired, he was given the opportunity to work in a renowned barbecue food establishment on Roxas Boulevard. There, he was exposed to a variety of assignments—kitchen helper, assistant cook, master butcher, banquet waiter and driver. In 2006, he became an entrepreneur to maximize his labor with equivalent monetary return. His experience in the food industry led him to a market niche at Agno.

Delicious advantage

According to Isabel Hernandez, “If one were to browse through student blogs and the like, one may have seen students rave about Noel Urbina Barbecue.”

Noel’s barbecue is very popular among De La Salle students. His promo entitles DLSU Santugon and Tapat members who buy P100 worth of food to one free barbecue. Today, he claims that he increased price only once since the day of his opening and it was only P2. This explains why he has loyal customers. A student commented “Having a P7 barbecue, P8 rice, and P12 drink, what else could you ask for? It is very cheap.”

In his sixth year, he is confident that a new barbecue franchise in front of Br. Andrew Hall does not pose a threat. He said, “Hindi problema ang competition. Lalo pa nga lumakas ang negosyo ko. Noon, 20 kilos lang; ngayon umabot na sa 30 kilos a day.” He attributes his competitive advantage to low pricing and authentic, original Pinoy barbecue taste.

When asked about the opening of a supermarket-residential building along Agno, he said, “Walang problema ‘yan kasi ang presyo ko at ang lasa ng barbecue nandyan na.” The food industry is a growing business that serves the growing student population like that of DLSU. It seems like Noel has an inner compass that helps him understand Porter’s five forces and other strategic management tools for sustainable business.


Noel’s BBQ has caught the attention of media and GMA’s Chris Tiu and Love Anover featured him on television as food entrepreneur. Through Chris Tiu, his place was repainted; now it looks very attractive.

As prime mover of the enterprise, he leads by example. From 4 a.m.. to 10 p.m., he executes the function of planning, leading, organizing and controlling. Every morning, he goes to Paco wet market to buy meat and ingredients. With P5,000 cash out in the morning, he makes around a four-digit profit at the end of the day.

He works hard for the money; this ‘smoky BBQ business’ is his hanapbuhay, which also provides employment to his family and neighbors. He operates with minimal motivation and supervision over five family members who are committed to the enterprise. One of them is his wife who slices the meat, does the marinating and puts them into bamboo skewers and four other members are relatives who serve the customers. The other five are cooks and helpers who are paid on a monthly basis. He treats them as family members and on Sundays, he gathers them for a common meal. They look upon him as a democratic leader who treats them fairly and cares for their wellbeing.

Some suggested that Noel expand his popular barbecue business. He said he is not keen on branching out elsewhere. Instead, he wants to expand his operation in Agno by adding a second story to his current location. However, he is hesitant to pursue this project because he does not own the land.

Food solution

Noel is a fine example of a successful entrepreneur who manages his food business well. Thus far, his barbecue business is sustainable. The food is there and there are customers who come because they have to eat. Even with dwindling resources, students cannot forego a meal; it is a must. And so, Noel provides them with a solution. Abby Yap affirms, “If I don’t have [much] money, or if my friends and I are broke, we’d eat there. The best barbecue ever! Not to mention, they are very hospitable to customers, which adds more points to their advantage.”


The De La Salle Center for Professional Development for Business and Economics launched the Pastoral Management Program for Parish Priests on March 22-23, 2012 at RCBC Tower II, Makati City. DLSU, in partnership with the CBCP, initially offered the PMP4PP to develop leadership and management competencies of diocesan priests by focusing on parish management as a human enterprise. It was attended by 34 Catholic priests from the Diocese of Daet, the military chaplains, and priests from various dioceses in Metro Manila. To name a few, CBCP secretary-general Msgr. Joselito de Asis, Msgr. Nestor Cervo of Manila Cathedral, Rev. Fr. Ogie Orpiada of the Sacred Heart Makati parish and Rev. Fr. Joshue Tumamak, AFP chaplain attended the seminar. Team leader Dr. Jaime Cempron (Pastoral Framework), Prof. Leo Ortiz (PLOC), Dr. Emil Hudtohan (Social Development and Communication) Dr. Tess Ramiro (Wellness and Conflict Management), Dr. Sammy Yap (Cannon Law and Finance), and Prof. Alben Bartolome (Information Technology) were the resource speakers and facilitators. Upon request, DLSU PMP4PP team is available for diocesan engagement nationwide. Please contact the Office of CPDBE Director Joy Rabo and ask for Aileen Negrillo at telephone numbers 02 524 4611 local 316 and 02 753 4617. The program is being offered on the occasion of the 100th year of De La Salle presence in the Philippines, the 112th anniversary of the sainthood and 296th death anniversary of St. John Baptist de la Salle, Patron of Teachers.

(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/April/30)

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