A Visit to the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm – Day 1

by Kendrick Lee (H4F)
Photos by Mr. Paolo Suapengco, HS English Teacher, XS HS Web Editor

As part of the Xavier curriculum, the seniors were tasked to examine an existing social business and attempt to integrate their own innovations. In line with this, Xavier School once again collaborated with Gawad Kalinga (GK), a social entrepreneurship organization based in the Philippines, in order to shed some light on said social businesses.

Last November 14, the seniors of Xavier School visited the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Bulacan, a place where sponsored social businesses are given the opportunity to thrive. The day began with speakers from both the XS and the GK community, all of whom spoke about how the field trip was to be a unique opportunity to learn about the benefits of social businesses firsthand. The students were then briefed on the guidelines for their academic assessments before the social businesses were introduced.

During a short meal, the seniors split into their respective groups and were given the opportunity to strategize and prioritize on which social businesses they favored to adapt. The drafting took place next when the seniors finally discovered which social business they were to examine. What followed was a talk from another GK representative. He explained how the Enchanted Farm came to be, as well the organization’s underlying purpose of “rediscovering” nature and appreciating the country’s abundance of natural resources.


The farm tour came next, and was definitely the highlight of the trip. The seniors once again split into their respective groups and strolled through the farm lot. Among the sights beheld were cross-breeding plantations, a small bee farm, a sturdy bamboo house, and a community of residential homes built by GK. It was also during the farm tour that the GK representatives were able to expound more on their exploration of renewable energy and their sustainable plans for the future. All in all, it gave the students a substantial perspective on what the Enchanted Farm was all about.

After lunch, the seniors were able to spend time with their chosen social entrepreneur and were enlightened by how the respective social businesses were operated. Each entrepreneur told a different story, and each business had a different rationale behind it. The session was allocated to arm the students with sufficient knowledge and inspire them to perceive possible innovations. Without a doubt, it was an endearing way to end day 1 of the Enchanted Farm trip.

 

 

By the end of the day, the seniors were able to leave with new insights and a new perspective on corporate businesses. The Enchanted Farm has shown the students that the country is still capable of so much more, but only if fellow-citizens would take the time to explore its vast untapped natural resources and use them to full potential. The Farm has also shown that involving the society in any business can help generate jobs and improve the living standards of those less unfortunate, thus mending the country’s problem of poverty.

The realization also starts to set in, that the social businesses began with viable ideas and compassionate hearts. The entrepreneurs have shown that anyone is capable of making a change in society, and that this change will only push through if those responsible stay focused and resilient. Last but not the least, the field trip, to an extent, reconnected the students with nature. Outside of the usual loud and busy city, the Farm provided a refreshing quiet and peaceful environment.

Day 2 is just a few weeks away, and hopefully, the seniors take the opportunity to make the most out of the experience. Surely, they are looking forward to one more day of learning about running a business, both from the corporate and social views.

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