A Weekend At The GK Enchanted Farm

I had the chance to attend the GK Enchanted Farm Blogger’s weekend last April, and it was a delightful learning experience!

The GK Enchanted Farm Village University.
The GK Enchanted Farm Village University.

The GK Enchanted Farm is a 34-hectare land in Brgy. Encanto, in Angat, Bulacan. It is being turned into the first Farm-Village University in the world. Aimed to end povert by 2014, Gawad Kalinga, or what we fondly call GK, hopes to raise a new generation of Filipinos who are self-reliant and self-sufficient. The Farm-Village University is about business industries and innovation with inclusion.  They will be launching SEED – School for Entrepreneurial Development by August. This would be a 2-year program that aims to produce more Filipino Entrepreneurs.

Tony Meloto, a.k.a. Tito Tony, the founder of Gawad Kalinga gave a talk about the GK farm and improving the lives of the poor by working hand in hand with them.
Tony Meloto, a.k.a. Tito Tony, the founder of Gawad Kalinga gave a talk about the GK farm and improving the lives of the poor by working hand in hand with them.

The GK founder, Tony Meloto, says that the Philippines can be the 16th biggest economy by the year 2030. With the abundance of resources, we just need to realize that there is a lot of opportunity for everyone.

With that vision, one will come to realize that there is a big gap between the rich and the poor. There are people that are rich in education, resources and opportunities. And there are those struggling to make a living to bring food on their tables. The GK Enchanted farm aims to bridge the gap. Tito Tony and the social entrepreneurs showed us that it really is possible. The GK Enchanted Farm helps in partnering the brilliant minds of the enterprising youth with the genius of the poor.

During the Blogger’s weekend, I had a chance to meet the young Social Entrepreneurs in the Farm. Each of them have community partners that are working really hard to make their Social Enterprise a success.

Alvie Benitez of the the Golden Duck toured us around during the first day. We visited the Golden Duck, Plush and Play, Gourmet Keso and Hamon Social Enterprises. There was a demo on Cacao processing, and the Theo+Philo set-up smelled so good with the freshly ground cacao. I also got a chance to make a block of white cheese in the Gourmet Keso demo. And before the day was over, Alvie discussed more about the process of making salted eggs. The next day when we toured further the prototype farm showed us difference between the itik, pato and bibe. Too bad, the duck burgers weren’t available that time, but the Golden Eggs were just so perfect with fresh organic tomatoes they served during our meals there.

The farm is a work in progress, and there are still structures there being developed. But there are several convention halls and pavillions that may be rented for conferences or seminars. They also organize Kiddie Camps and Social Entrepreneur Camps for professionals and students. Rooms and dorms available for those who would like to stay overnight. And a welcoming surprise is an infinity pool near the Shell Center Cabins where you can take a dip after a hard day’s work at the farm.

I had information overload that weekend, and my mind just kept on wandering about the possibilities of me owning a small business that would help other people too. I could imagine being able to learn and do more. I’m thinking about enrolling in the entrepreneur camp soon. I really can’t wait to be back there!

If you’d like to learn more about the GK Enchanted Farm and the various activities and programs they offer, please visit this link.

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