Banding together: I just visited a farm school!

Today was my second visit to the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan — a hub for social enterprise and community-building inspired and fueled by the indomitable spirit of Gawad Kalinga.

I have much to process from this afternoon, but for now, before it disappears, I want to commit to words my heart’s jump for joy at finding out about The Enchanted Farm Village University.

GK Enchanted Farm May2014 (16)

The first of its kind in the world, this is a university meant to harness our collective knowledge in agriculture and entrepreneurship. It currently has 80 scholars from neighboring barangays who will undergo 2 years of university-level training: mornings for academics, afternoons for entrepreneurship, and the rest for field work. By the end of the 2-year program, these 80 students will have started their own farm-based social enterprises. And the best part? They’re already starting this August 2014!

GK Enchanted Farm May2014 (113)

I met Tito Tony Meloto today. He’s the man with the vision for GK. He’s a jolly fellow with a very hearty laugh. I think most successful, big-hearted people have big, hearty laughs.

GK Enchanted Farm May2014 (10)

He spoke of his staunch belief in hybrids — getting the best of both (sometimes more than two) worlds.  This is the way forward to thrive globally: holistic, inclusive growth that is not afraid to learn entirely new ways of doing, seeing, living.

GK Enchanted Farm May2014 (137)

He said this farm university (they plan to eventually develop a full four-year course) will catapult the Filipino into the global scene because it will develop and train us in our core competencies. We are an agricultural nation with so much land. It’s about time we claimed our place in the world as such. The battle of the future will be for food, and here we are poised for abundant food production.

GK Enchanted Farm May2014 (138)

GK Enchanted Farm May2014 (139)

The GK Farm, on its own, is attracting people from all over the Philippines and the world. These are groups and individuals, rich and poor, who are working side-by-side, talking heart-to-heart about making real effective changes that can be replicated and scaled up.

GK Enchanted Farm May2014 (140)

GK Enchanted Farm May2014 (141)

This university is wildly exciting because it will begin the domino exponential growth that only comes from TRAINING people.

And I am personally invested in this because it’s been my dream to build such a place: I’ve talked about the Montalut Art and Innovation School countless times.

So many exciting things happening these days! What a time to be alive!  Stay tuned, I feel there are great things ahead and at hand.

Thanks for the encounter today. Truly was a gift.



Pictures from my first visit to the GK Enchanted farm in January 2012.

The  Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm facebook page