Eylmer Bartolome, Senior Customer Supply Chain Specialist, Atlanta
When you ask Eylmer Bartolome, senior customer supply chain specialist at Kids2 Atlanta, about his heritage, he beams with pride and happily shares the two most important aspects of the Filipino culture.
“You should know it is all about family and food. Everything is about the meal,” share Bartolome.
And that is what his childhood memories are made of, countless celebrations with family and friends enjoying food. He was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States as a teenager. He remembers the Filipino community in Louisiana was rather small, but that just made it easier to gather everyone for street parties where you could always find chicken adobo, what some consider the traditional dish of the Philippines.
Adobo may be a homeland favorite, but Eylmer prefers another dish: sinigang. It’s a Filipino citrus-based soup he can’t get enough of. In fact, it is his only requested meal when he visits his mom. “I can make it, but mom’s is always the best.”
The youngest of five, Eylmer’s parents wanted their children to be fluent in both Tagalog, the national language of Philippines, and English. He’s still fluent today in Tagalog. In 2010, he was visiting relatives in the Philippines and was proud of the compliments he was getting on his command of the Tagalog language. So, he was surprised when they told him to not speak on public transit!
“After I assured my cousins I still knew how to take the bus, they told me to get on the bus, pay my fare and not say a word. I was a little confused since they had said how good I sounded. They explained that while I looked and spoke like a local, some of the words I used were old and no longer used.”
It had only been a few years since he last visited and was surprised to hear how some words were “removed” from the language. Curious, Eylmer did his research and learned Tagalog was evolving as the country become a melting pot of Asia. His relatives had been worried using outdated language would make him a target for pick-pocketers. Eylmer got on the bus, didn’t speak, and safely made it to his other relatives home across town. That side of the family was happy to see him and impressed he still knew how to take public transit!
This month, Eylmer is celebrating his one-year work-iversary at Kids2. Part of the consumer services team, at the heart of his job is the supply chain. He ensures our customers get the products they ordered. Previously, he was working in the hospitality industry and was excited to make the switch to Kids2 last year. When he started in May 2021 the company was still working remotely. He said that had its challenges, but he has an amazing team that help onboard him and is always available and in close contact. It was nearly six months after he started when he finally met his team members in person. He says it’s been a fun ride so far and loves working for a great company with such welcoming colleagues around the world.
No doubt, the Filipino fondness for food lives deep within Eylmer. Outside of work you can find him in the kitchen trying out different recipes from around the world or simply re-creating recipes from his childhood, just not sinigang. He leaves that to his mom.
When not cooking, he enjoys being outside and spending time with his family. He lives in Atlanta with his partner, Torsten; 17-year old son, Dustin; two dogs, Eva and Shadow; and a ball python, Gumbo (yes, that is a snake).
“I enjoy just about any outdoor activity, especially, long walks with the dogs. Unfortunately, you can’t exactly walk a snake.”
Fun fact, he is a licensed private pilot. Oh, and he can crochet. His 88-year mother recently taught him how and he finished his first beanie hat not too long ago.
We asked Eylmer his thoughts on Asian Pacific Heritage month, he had this to say: “I am very proud and it makes me feel good to be able to share the Filipino culture and traditions with my colleagues.”
If you haven’t met Eylmer be sure to reach out. His love for his family, friends and life shines and he’ll teach you a few words in Tagalog…but not the outdated ones!