Enchanted Farm Cafe
463 Commonwealth Ave.
0932 872 2427
Last night I had a the opportunity to attend the CSI night at Enchanted Farm Cafe in Quezon City. I couldn’t begin to talk about Enchanted Farm Cafe or its CSI night without first discussing Gawad Kalinga. However GK is a topic too vast to be shoehorned into a single post, so I will offer just a brief synopsis (I’m sure I’ll write about it much more in the future).
In Tagalog, Gawad Kalinga means to provide care. It is an organization founded by Tony Moleto, or Tito Tony, to end poverty in the Philippines and to restore dignity to the country’s poor. This is quite a tall order for a country that despite its GDP increase averaging over 4% per year from 2003-2009, actually saw an increase in poverty rates 24.9 26.5 during those same years¹. Many would put this number much higher.
Land for the Landless. Homes for the Homeless. Food for the Hungry.
This is just the beginning of what GK offers to affected communities. The GK Center for Social Innovations is a program within GK to create a business ecosystem that will benefit GK communities by creating a market for village products and employing its people. The GK CSI creates an environment that cultivates social entrepreneurs to build enterprises that will benefit those all the way down the supply chain.
I was prompted to go last night by one such social entrepreneur Julia Sevilla whose fair trade coffee brand Kape Maria supports local coffee growers and cooperatives. Julia spoke to us last night about how her brand came about.
Also speaking was Paul Rivera, who is a call center entrepreneur and CEO of a start up company called Kalibrr that teaches young Filipinos marketable skills in the tech field and assists them with job placement.
At the end we had the opportunity to listen to Tito Tony speak about the accomplishments of GK in recent years and his dreams for the future. He spoke with an infectious optimism about restoring livelihood and dignity to rural Filipinos.
Every Tuesday CSI night is a gathering of the minds at the Enchanted Farm Cafe. The cafe is a small, casual spot on the second floor of the Human Heart Nature, a social enterprise also in the GK family building on Commonwealth Ave. The cafe serves simple foods, many of which are sourced directly from GK’s farm in Bulacan from which the cafe is named.
In the spirit of Enchanted Farm Cafe’s mission of healthy, organic eating I broke from character and ordered the All Heart Burger, which is made from banana tree heart. They serve this with a small salad and kamote (sweet potato) fries for p100. The food is simple but good and thoughtfully prepared.
I also made a point to pick up some of Enchanted Farm’s hand-crafted cheeses on my way out.
I had the chance to meet with numerous people with GK and I feel I’m just scratching the surface. At the farm alone they have numerous local organic products including all sorts of fruits, vegetables, pork, poultry and cheeses.
It is awesome to me to see a group of people, not only engaged in bringing prosperity to rural communities, but also showing them how to bring on their own prosperity and do it in a way that is sustainable for the future.
As I said before the scope of this organization is far greater than what I can discuss in a single post. I leave a lot untold but will catch up with the topic again soon enough. I look forward to learning more about GK and visiting the farm which seems to represent all of Tito Tony’s hope and optimism for the future of this country.
Finally I am excited that they are taking so much interest in the quality and sustainability of their food chain. They are truly creating something that will benefit future generations in a way that was not conceived just a few decades ago. Through better growing, purchasing and eating we can create an industry.