Rina Silayan Go | HS 79

During the 70’s, mothers who knew better made sure that their daughters were hauled off to piano or ballet lessons.  As this was the decade that saw the sprouting of Dunkin’ Donuts and Shakey’s Pizza, all would-be Makarovas had to fend off gastronomic indulgences.  Talent must rule over the body.  Mia Mañosa was a budding ballerina during that era.

Mia Mañosa landed a contract with Atlanta Ballet after its artistic director watched her perform with Philippine Ballet Theater.  She danced with Atlanta Ballet for 11 years and went on to pursue a career in Europe.  She landed a contract in Dortmund, Germany and later with Bonn Ballet.

Mia recounts the hard life of a dancer.  She describes how tough it can be on one’s insides.  They are constantly sized up for talent and physique.

One of her auditions in Switzerland, started out with 200 girls.  Eliminations began with plies and tendus and extended to pointe combinations and partnering.  Two hours later they were down to six girls and Mia was one of them.  Then, in the interview portion, they noticed that her biodata stated she was 30 years old.  She was promptly eliminated.

Such was the cruel, competitive world of ballet.

Yet she persisted, proving her passion over and over again, no matter what the cost.

After eight years of knee injuries and two minor surgeries, the pain became unbearable.  At times, it kept her from performing.  Eventually she had to give up her one true love altogether.  Mia painfully hung up her ballet shoes, little knowing that it would be the beginning of a climb to greater heights.


As I know Mia, she must have packed all of her expressive artist’s emotion into the back of her mind and run as far away as she could in order to forget the ballet world.

She found interest in restaurants which led her to finish a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management at Stratton College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  All the while, this passionate lady worked the night shift while in college.  Her hard work paid off and she has been highly compensated.  She is proud of how she became a “people person”.

After her employment in Ansley Golf Club in Atlanta, working her way up from restaurant assistant manager, banquet manager, membership director to assistant general manager, Mia was invited to be the General Manager of Dharma Blue, a restaurant in Pensacola, Florida.  The restaurant offered fresh seafood from the Gulf, as well as steaks and had a sushi bar.  She was offered partnership with the company and eventually opened Camille’s in Destin, Florida; Chuck’s Fish in Tuscaloosa and in Birmingham, Alabama.

She has specialized in setting up and fixing the restaurant systems.  She insists on being hands-on and prides herself in being honest, hardworking and diligent, to ensure a total dining experience coupled with excellent service.  This assures her restaurants of repeat customer and highly regarded reputations.

Mia is currently Head of Restaurant Operations for PYC Foods Corporation.  Her depth of experience in owning and running several restaurants in the US for more than 20 years comes into full play.  With her superb skill sets, Mia partners with a number of talented chefs to create concepts driven by passion, skill, and innovation, among others are Pardon My French, Fleur, One World Butchers, and The Tattooed Baker, with at least four more restaurants set to open within the year. 

Mia has always valued her education and believes that this has propelled her to new heights at work.  Couple this with the discipline she developed as a ballet dancer, she’s able to execute tasks flawlessly, accompanied by an innate fine touch.  She has re-invented herself in the most superb manner, never looking back, discovering new loves and passions, over and over again.

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