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Original Spirit of 67 in concert for a cause

*This article was posted on Manila Standard Today last September 8, 2015. For the online version, click HERE 

The spirit lives on and on Oct. 2, the music of the Original Spirit of ’67 becomes an instrument of an awakening that will greatly impact communities and the economy.

The band will be at the Pavillion AB of Wack Wack Golf and Country Club for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm.

Dubbed “Imagine”, the show aims to generate awareness of the farm’s ongoing development programs and to introduce the School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development otherwise known as SEED Philippines.

Touted as the first farm village university in the world, SEED Philippines is the first school for social entrepreneurship in the country to provide an innovative, education-based solution to rural development through education and hands-on learning. The event also aims to encourage individuals and/or companies to donate a classroom, a dormitory, or sponsor a scholarship to deserving students.

 Tony Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc, or simply GK; One of Seed's scholars

“The show is about building a Filipino dream,” says Tony Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK), a Philippine-based movement that aims to end poverty for five million families by first restoring the dignity of the poor, at the press conference for the concert at Shangri-la Makati. 

He adds, “Can you imagine the Philippines as the hub for social entrepreneurs in Asia? Can you imagine the country rising from poverty by creating inclusive wealth? Can you imagine the country with no social divide because the best educated Filipinos are using their genius to bring out the genius of the poor? Can you imagine a Philippines without poverty simply because its citizens would no longer allow it? That’s what this whole concert is all about. Not just imagining it’s actually doing, making it happen.”

Young and happy students at Gawad Enchated Farm, where Seed is located

At a roundtable discussion later, he introduces a 20-year old French guy whom he calls Louis, saying he used to be a model for the French edition of Cosmopilitan. He came to the Philippines for an internship program with GK and is now one of several volunteers from other countries imparting their knowledge to the students of SEED.

Louis is a student at Paris’ top business school HEC, and now completely devotes his time and talent to helping two promising but underprivileged Filipino youths to begin a poultry business.

“Louis was attracted to the Philippines not because of Boracay or Palawan, but because of the character of the Filipino,” Meloto explains. “He learned about GK’s work through partnerships we have established with 32 European universities, 22 of which are French, which now attracts an average of 250 interns every year.

 The volunteers at Gawad Farm with Louis (extreme left, standing)

“The platform aims to promote social entrepreneurship for inclusive growth, bridging Europe through internships and humanitarian service with the Asian market to discover the vast opportunities in the emerging economies, with the Philippines as the hub.

“Louis, whose villa outside Paris I had a chance to visit, wakes up everyday now with his two Filipino business partners to feed and clean 500 chickens. He is also building the business plan for the venture with the aim of making it world class using the knowledge he brings from his country. Now do you see how the brightest of our poor and the brightest of the rich from outside the Philippines makes a perfect partnership?”

Farm village university

A first of its kind, GK Enchanted Farm is part of the organization’s new phase in innovation that integrates sustainability in the rural communities through agriculture and the emerging field of social businesses. Its first prototype is found in Angat, Bulacan.

“Our ambition is simple: in 10 years time, many children of the poor will become successful business owners, not laborers. The basic problem of education is we are educated not to become producers but as consumers. We are educated to be job seekers, not job givers. GK Enchanted Farm addresses the root of the problem which is the lack of development in the rural countryside in partnership with the Philippine government and the private sector, and with strong linkages with universities in the country and abroad. The organization intends to raise 500,000 social entrepreneurs by the year 2024 to create inclusive businesses with a big social relevance and a focus on agri-business.

An enchanting evening

Joining the Original Spirit of 67 at the benefit concert are the GK Enchanted Farm student choir and the former street children of Tatalon, a slum area along Araneta Avenue, Quezon City where a GK Village is also present. These kids are now college students and graduates, and have formed a chorale group that has toured Singapore twice. Other activities lined up for the show are exhibit installations for the different advocacies of GK with tour guides explaining details of the different sections. There will also be product booths to drive sales for the GK artisans.

Finally, Meloto concludes, “This concert is about Filipinos dreaming together. It’s about miracles of solidarity. Our generation join today’s generation in building a society where no one is left behind to remain poor. I imagine a country where the streets will be safe for our children because there will be less slums, there will be less informal settlers, there will be less homeless people.”

For more information on ticket sales, please call (02) 886 4950 or email For inquiries on donations to Gawad Kalinga, you may contact Angela Monique Angelo at


* Selling a Dream that Can Come True by Margaux Salcedo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
* Gawad Kalinga concert to benefit young wealth-creators from impoverished families by Tricia Aquino (Interaksyon)
* GK holds ‘Imagine’ benefit concert for SEED scholars by Edison Joseph Gonzales (Malaya)
* Spirit of ’67 in GK show (Philippine Star)
* 'Imagine' benefit concert by Dolly Anne Carvajal (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
* Benefit concert for Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm (Business Mirror)
* Concert to benefit GK farm students (Tempo)
* Original Spirit of 67 in concert for a cause (Manila Standard Today)

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