Gawad Kalinga: Making a change in others lives

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be”

This song by Whitney Houston clearly encapsulates the experience I had last Saturday wherein I was given the rare privilege to be invited as one of their guest bloggers to witness one of the most anticipated and exciting events this year which would surely change lives of people.

Blogger friends with Mr. Archie King and Tanya Llana of Victoria Court

Due to some delays caused by the traffic along the way, we just arrived in the nick of time while Mr. Archie King (Son of Mr. Angelo King; Owner of Victoria Court and a chain of hotels) was already cutting the ribbon. Some movers and shakers of the business industry and some government dignitaries were also present to grace the event like Ms. Viel Aquino (Sister of our President), Georgina Wilson (celebrity model and endorser), Tony Meloto (Founder of Gawad Kalinga). Star studded right? 😀

Arch Angel Center Ribbon Cutting with Mr. Archie King, Mr. Tony Meloto and Georgina Wilson
Arch Angel Center Ribbon Cutting with Mr. Archie King, Mr. Tony Meloto and Georgina Wilson
Mr. Tony Meloto, Mr. Archie King and Georgina Wilson during the ribbon cutting ceremony
Welcome Bloggers and Media personnel to the Inaguration of the Archangel Center for Arts and Culture

 

I wasn’t really familiar how this event would pan out since I was quite new to the idea of this  so called “Enchanted Farm” I just knew that I used to volunteer around 2 years ago in one of those house building projects of Gawad Kalinga before in our church where we took turns passing the buckets full of cement and helped each other paint the walls, cement the floors and in turn build a house for the downtrodden facets of society.

Upon checking their Website I got a clearer mindset on what the Enchanted Farm was all about:

“The GK Enchanted Farm is Gawad Kalinga’s platform to raise social entrepreneurs, help our local farmers and create wealth in the countryside. As we learned that the road out of poverty is a continuing journey and therefore, providing homes is merely the beginning, we also realized that our country is abundant with resources (land included) that we can harness for every Filipino to continuously lead a life with dignity. We envision the GK Enchanted farm to be three things: (1) a farm village university, (2) a silicon valley for social entrepreneurship, and (3) a ‘Disneyland’ for social tourism.”

How did this one of a kind partnership between Mr. Meloto and Mr. King come about you may ask? Well ask no more. 😀 I will brief you in about their history here:

The partnership of Gawad Kalinga and the Angelo King Foundation started back in 2006 to build livelihood centers in different Gawad Kalinga communities all over the country. From there, the vision and advocacy of Gawad Kalinga and its battle of “Walang Iwanan” has been very close to Archie King’s heart.

Archie King Book Signing
Archie King Book Signing

Last 2013, The Arch Angel Center for Arts and Culture in the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm was built in partnership with Victoria Court and Hotel La Corona to celebrate the Spirit of Bayanihan and the Miracles of Solidarity. Here, Gawad Kalinga holds various summits and talks about social-economic issues and provide talented speakers and professionals to share their knowledge.

Archie King at the Arch Angel Center
Archie King at the Arch Angel Center

Last Saturday dated October 4, 2014 marked the Inauguration of the Arch Angel Center for Arts and Culture. The formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was done by Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto, Top Model & Celebrity Host Georgina Wilson and Victoria Court CEO Archie King. During his speech, Mr. King congratulates Gawad Kalinga for the past 11 years and is very much inspired by the leadership and is amazed by the volunteerism of everyone who makes the village a reality.

As Gawad Kalinga embarks on its 2nd phase of development, the Arch Angel Center for Arts and Culture serves as a reminder of the sacrifice and Heroism of everyday Filipinos who contribute in nation building.

Archie King, Tony Meloto and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan
Archie King, Tony Meloto and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan

The 32 Hectare land was filled with lush green fields and various plantations for different crops. We toured around 16 hectares of the place under the sweltering heat of the sun. We got to see the real deal and how our people struggled to rise above poverty by creating sustainable developments which would incorporate the “Entrepreneurial Mindset” in them.

Archie King with the SEED Students
Archie King with the SEED Students

Everyone was cordial and amicable there and our tour guide told us some stories about the farm, how it all came about from a simple dream and also shared some anecdotes to us about Mr. Meloto and his advocacy which influenced a lot of people from all walks of life. He is truly an inspiration. What can I do in this farm you might ask? Well ask no more because a wide array of activities are there for you, your friends and your family to truly enjoy and have an awesome experience at the same time also making a difference in the lives of our fellow countrymen. Here’s some of those things you can do while at the farm:

-FARM TOURS

-BUFFET LUNCH (fresh vegetables, free-range meat, rice and juicy fruits for a hearty buffet lunch).

-SOCIAL ENTERPRISE DEMOS (Be a social entrepreneur for a day and try your hand at making farm-based products like: cheese, mushrooms, chocolate, plush toys, salted eggs, tea and more)!

-FARMING ACTIVITIES (digging, planting, watering, carrying things around the farm)

For more information feel free to get in touch with them via these social media websites:

Facebook   and also their Twitter Account.

We also got a chance to taste some of their delicacies and much prided over products from all their all organic produce in the farm like some Duck Burgers, The Lemon Grass flavored Bayani Brew which is way better than most iced teas, beverages and refreshments being served in most establishments and hotels by a mile! 😀 (Plus it’s more healthier! ) We also got to chew on some all natural chili from their back yard and also got to smell the various types of grass growing on their back yards. This is by so far one event and advocacy I would forever treasure 🙂

Bloggers having a photo op
Bloggers having a photo op

 

 

 

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