A Walk to Remember Around the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm
Since it was our first time to visit the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm, the GK volunteers suggested we take a tour around the Farm, meet other GK volunteers, and visit the places that some have come to call their home.
Our first stop was the Golden Duck hut. Golden Duck is a social enterprise based at the GK Enchanted Farm, which produces 100% Premium Duck Products from the Philippines. One of the GK volunteers helping to run this local enterprise is Clément who flew in all the way from France.
According to his Golden Duck tale, duck products in the Philippines such as eggs and meat are not fully utilized despite the fact that our country produces much of them, mostly for farming. The entrepreneurs behind Golden Duck aim to use duck products and branch out to a wider market to fully utilize a commodity well within the Filipino farmer’s reach.
As we bid adieu to Clément, we greet bonjour to another French native volunteer, Fabien, who runs the local social enterprise, Plush and Play. This homegrown business was born in the GK Enchanted Farm, highlighting the undervalued sewing skills of the women or “nanays” living in Gawad Kalinga communities to make hand-stitched stuffed toys.
Fabien wanted to create something for little kids to play with, hence he came up with the idea to produce toys. This is also good news for women who now have this productive livelihood activity conveniently within their Gawad Kalinga community. This little toy company with cute veggie-themed stuffed toys that have names like Manny Pakwan, Jessica Saging or Pan Talong appeals to both young and new, local and foreign.
Further down the lane across the many colorful houses built by GK volunteers is the Bamboo Palace. What’s amazing about this structure is that aside from its appealing aesthetic, it was built using locally produced native Philippine materials.
The Bamboo Palace can be used for events, corporate functions, photo shoots, et cetera. With beautiful and naturally raw interiors like these, who wouldn’t opt for the Bamboo Palace for their pre-nuptial shoot? Its beauty is not only limited to its interiors, the Bamboo Palace is also surrounded by lush greenery and bountiful plant life.
Just a stone’s throw away from the Bamboo Palace is the Lifebank Center for Bayanihan Economics.
This quaint citadel is where workshops and classes for aspiring farmers and agriculturists will be held. Farming lands and plots surround the Lifebank Center. Sir Jay mentions that they are inviting younger individuals to learn about farming and train with them at the GK Enchanted Farm, with the hopes of appealing younger audiences to this livelihood which is a main source of sustenance for an agricultural country.