Yesterday, I went with volunteers from the Thousand Books Project to the Gawad Kalinga (“GK”) Enchanted Farm in Bulacan.
I joined the field trip they held for some kids from a GK community because I wanted to learn the ropes of volunteerism from them. But honestly, I think I enjoyed the field trip more than the kids did!
When we got to the GK Enchanted Farm, we were surprised that the GK founder, Tito Tony Meloto himself, was there to give us an orientation.
While listening to him talk, we sensed his genuineness of wanting to help and to make a difference in the lives of the Filipino people, especially the poor. He also inspired us so much that we caught the fire to make a difference ourselves for our country.
Personally, he woke up some of my dreams that had become dormant because of discouragement, practicality, and being realistic.
I want to share with you some of my takeaways from yesterday’s field trip. But, before that, I want to honor the Thousand Books Project team.
“Filipinos are not second-class citizens.” — Tony Meloto
Tito Tony said that we have been looking down on ourselves for too long. Our colonial mentality made us think that we are an inferior race compared to westerners and our asian neighbors.
We are not. We are just as first-class as they are. We are just as talented and as smart as they are. We are just as hard-working.
It’s time that we become proud of our nationality beyond boxing and beauty pageants.
What we Filipinos are doing here and abroad are world-class. Filipino employees are world-class. Filipino products are world-class.
It’s time that we support locally-made products from the stuff we use everyday to the food we eat and even to the clothes we wear. They are at par with products made abroad!
In fact, I bought these plush toys yesterday and I can say that they are very well-made compared to plush toys from other countries, which by the way are many times more expensive.
Nationalism is more than just about of achievements in sports and other competitions. It’s about being proud of who we are and patronizing what we create.
For business people, nationalism also means buying raw materials from the Philippines. Our country is definitely abundant with high quality resources. It’s about making businesses’ supply chain 100% Filipino.
Oh, and don't forget hiring Filipino talents.
On Nation-Building and Social Entrepreneurship
“The reason why we are not progressing as a nation is because we don’t have many entrepreneurs.” — Tony Meloto
Most of us strive to become employees… of international companies nonetheless. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But, we have to have an entrepreneurial mindset not only to make more money and build businesses, but also to create things that can lift us up as a nation, to provide jobs, and to move humanity forward.
We cannot stop at striving only for ourselves and our own families, but also for the people around us. We have to go the extra mile.
We also need more people who are willing to sacrifice for the country.
Aside from more entrepreneurs, we also need more engineers who can actually engineer and create new products and technology.
We need more teachers who can inspire the future generation of Filipinos.
We need more Filipinos who can create for the country.
More importantly, now, more than ever, we need more Filipinos who are willing to forego the possibility of earning more abroad to stay here and advance the country in any way they can.
Maybe you don’t have any plans of becoming an entrepreneur and, again, there’s nothing wrong with that. But, you can support the country in any way you can. A very close friend of mine is very happy and content being an employee and she doesn’t have any plans of leaving her day job. But, she co-started the Thousand Books Project for under-privileged kids. That’s still having an entrepreneurial mindset. (You can read her story here.)
As an employee, you may also be in the position to impact your company’s supply chain and deal with more social enterprises and/or Filipino companies. Social entrepreneurship is also not just about building businesses, hiring the poor, and giving away most of the profits. Social entrepreneurship is also about helping the poor through the supply chain.
No matter who you are or what you do, there is something you can do for the nation.
This is a Proudly Filipino Blog
Yes, I am proudly Filipino and from this day forward, I will make use of this blog to promote nationalism, social entrepreneurship, and nation-building. Writing is what I can do for my country.
When I am finally doing this full-time, this blog will feature more Filipino entrepreneurs and social enterprises in the future.
Someday, this blog will also expand and hire Filipino writers.
Do you wish to support this Filipino project? I will greatly appreciate your support by subscribing here. Ten percent of paid subscriptions will go to our church community and another 41 percent will go to building houses and communities. Join me in my mission to build 1,000 houses for 1,000 families!
“What can you do?”
"Gawad Kalinga is known more in France than here in the Philippines.” — Tony Meloto
I am a (frustrated) writer. My writing and influence still isn’t much really. I also don’t have the means to provide a single job to another Filipino writer. But, what I have, I will make use of to make a difference.
If this post can help make even one person aware of nationalism, social entrepreneurship, and nation-building, that would be more than enough for me. Hopefully, this blog can also help promote the works of GK and make them more known here than in France!
This blog also is not for everyone. One of the aims of this blog is to challenge the Filipino young professional to step out of his comfort zone and pursue entrepreneurship as his way of life, even on the side.
But, now that I’m more aware of social entrepreneurship, I’m challenging the Filipino young professional to become social entrepreneurs and/or support social enterprises.
Here are some of the social enterprises you can support by buying (and promoting) their products:
I am a dealer of Human Nature myself. I use and sell Human Nature products. That’s one of the things I do as an entrepreneur. In case you want to become a social entrepreneur by selling Human Nature products, you can apply here.
Right now, raising awareness is all I can do and there's a lot more social enterprises out there. It’s not much, but if this blog can influence more Filipinos to do something for their country and for the poor, then this blog has fulfilled its mission.
Hopefully, this blog can help start a “bayanihan,” the Filipino term for collectively getting things done and helping each other. We’re the only nation to have a term for that.
How about you? What can you do? For the country? For the poor?
What can you do in your job that can promote nationalism, social entrepreneurship, and nation-building?
What you do matters in the grand scheme of things.