Meet Rainbow Centre's Beneficiaries
A story behind Filmer's passion for cakes
An alumnus of Rainbow Centre, Filmer Tan was born with pilocytic astrocytoma, a rare form of brain tumour, and has undergone five major surgeries. His father Mr Galvin Tan switched to a job with flexible hours as a cab driver to spend more time caring for his son. Noting Filmer’s passion for cakes as a teen, Mr Tan learnt how to bake chiffon cakes from scratch, passing on his skills to his son. And together with his wife, they started Filmer’s Chiffon Cakes, a home business supported by Rainbow Centre’s Micro Business Academy for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Filmer’s limited ability with his left hand posed several challenges, such as cutting fruits, cracking an egg or folding the batter. Mr Tan went out of his way to source for suitable equipment to help him with the tasks. Months of experimenting and practice later, Filmer can now handle 70% of the entire baking process.
Mr Tan’s ultimate aim is for Filmer to gain not only financial independence, but to also be independent in the kitchen— perhaps Filmer could one day cook a full meal for himself. “I try not to hold him back from opportunities to learn. I believe that parents of children with special needs need to be open-minded and explore options for them.”
Meet Zurah's Emak and Nenek
History of Kuih Tepung Pelita Zurah
The Kuih Tepung Pelita Zurah, named after Rainbow Centre alumnus Zurah, is a delicious pandan-flavoured dessert in a tub, guaranteed to cool you down on a hot day!
Many years before Zurah was born, her grandmother (Nenek) inherited the traditional recipe for Daun Pisang (banana-leaf boat) Kuih Tepung Pelita from her relative in Shah Alam, Selangor. She started selling this popular dessert, quickly gaining popularity among crowds at the Geylang Serai and Simei market stalls during the Ramadan period. Shortly after, Zurah’s mother (Emak) started learning to make the kuih. Emak then got married and Zurah was born in the year 2000!
Twenty seven years after their popular kuih debuted at Pasar Geylang Serai, Zurah graduated from Rainbow Centre. To care for Zurah, Emak left her full-time job. Worried for Zurah’s future livelihood, Emak was motivated to revive Nenek’s old recipe to earn a living with Zurah at home and engage her with purposeful activities. This includes Zurah learning skills such as cutting and washing the pandan leaves to make fresh pandan extract, and carefully pasting the brand's logo onto each tub.
Beyond reviving a heritage kuih that’s rare in Singapore today, Emak innovated the kuih into a tub form that blends modern-day convenience yet preserving its rich, fresh flavour. From the months of innovation and testing, we now have the signature kuih named after Zurah - the smooth and refreshing Kuih Tepung Pelita Zurah with pandan-infused sugar syrup in a tub! By popular demand, Emak also started to offer bubur som-som (coconut cream pudding) with white sugar or gula melaka syrup.
Emak and Zurah sincerely hope that you will enjoy every mouthful of their delicious and lovingly hand-crafted kuih.