Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Finding Inspiration at GK Enchanted Farm

The few days leading to this weekend was a bit hectic, but It turned out to be life changing.

After setting up an event the weekend prior, it turned out that I only have 3 days to do another set-up at the GK Enchanted Farm.  They have dedicated a small portion of the ARK Angel Center for Arts and Culture to our CEO Archie King.

By Monday, I designed the small area making sure that its doable by Wednesday.  Our design team provided me with a carpenter and my reliable graphic artist sends the photos for production in time for my target installation.

I initially wanted to prepare the area Tuesday to save time, but the rain Manila poured hard  that afternoon prompting me to postpone the visit the next day.  My plan was to bring the carpenter in the morning for all the framing and painting works, and have Allan, our all around purchasing assistant bring the printed tarps in the afternoon.

We left the office around 10 AM arriving at the GK Enchanted Farm by lunchtime.  Food options in the farm are limited to the Berjaya Cafe.  They have a buffet that costs 350php per person serving meals from locally grown and raised ingredients.  I find it a bit too pricey, but we thought we don't have any other choice, and I don't want to drive back to either Angat or Pandi.

It was already dark when we finished with the painting works, and the frames.  There's no light in our area, but luckily I have the Christmas light prototypes in my car to help the workers at least see something.  The pictures arrived around 7:30 in the evening and we finished installing them around 9:30.

We were so tired that the only thing we want to do after is to take the long drive back home.  We didn't even stop for dinner since most of the establishments were closed anyway.  I wasn't even able to check the quality of our work because we really can't see anything anymore.  I decided to drive back two days after to make last minute touch ups and install lights.

When I arrived the afternoon two days after, the 2nd Day of the Social Business Summit is well on its way.  The Enchanted Farm has transformed into a busy fair grounds with tents showcasing products from different Socio Entrepreneurs and different Government Agencies.  Also, invited speakers are using the area where I need to work on.  

Luckily, I arrived during their break.  I was able to install and plugged in the lights I purchased in Dapitan that livens one corner with the shadows created on the walls.  

With natural lighting, the imperfections of our installations are now visible.  There are a few paint scratches, staple gun marks are clearly seen and some pictures are tilted.  I tried covering the scratches using a black marker and the staple gun marks with electric tape, but I cannot do anything on the tilted image, especially when they started the program.  The area is right beside the stage, and I will just distract the audience with the noise from my staple gun.

While I was doing my thing on the corner, I was able to catch the talk of Secretary Proceso Alcala of the Department of Agriculture, but what struck me was introduction made by Thomas Graham, the author of the book The Genius of the Poor, for the DOT Asec. Benito Bengson Jr.

Grabbed from GK Enchanted Farm FB Page

He was telling the audience about the time he went back to the United Kingdom and was telling his friends about his experience in the Philippines to the point of getting emotional.  Of course the way it was narrated was more  engaging.  He enumerated the many qualities of Filipinos exemplified in Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm that made me extremely proud of my country.

From that time, I stopped working and grabbed myself a seat beside the stage to listen to the other speakers.

The Almario Sisters

Being a designer, Im a fan of their works.  I follow their segment on a show being aired at the Lifestyle Channel.  I love how they gather artists and designers to come up with world class furniture from our locally sourced materials.  Their creative minds raised the standards of our products to being world class at the same time helping the efforts of Gawad Kalinga to end poverty.

Maria Ressa and Rappler

I'm not going to miss this rare chance of hearing her speak.  She talked about the power of social media, on how it can influence emotions and ultimately change.  

After the afternoon sessions, delegates for the summit were invited to the evening event that included a fashion show and socials.  I decided to drive back home, since our event is tomorrow, and I still have a lot of touch ups to do.  What greeted me as I drove past EDSA were the flooded streets of Manila.  What was normally a 2 hour drive to Bulacan ended up 6 hours.  Good thing I had Buco Martin from Plush & Play to accompany me.

I had to get up early the next day.  Since I wasn't really able to finish preparing the exhibit area the day before, I decided to bring the carpenter with me to do the remaining task.  The event was scheduled at 10 AM so we left Manila at 5:30 in the morning.  We were back in Bulacan around 7AM and immediately started working.  We finished just in time for our CEO's arrival.

This is something I have realised recently about my boss.  I am aware of his involvement with Gawad Kalinga, but I did know how extensive it was.  I'm seeing pictures of projects as far as Antique in the Visayas.  For this event, Gawad Kalinga is honouring Archie King for providing the Center for Arts in Culture called Arch Angel at the Enchanted Farm.

Present during the ribbon cutting is the founder of Gawad Kalinga, Tony Meloto, Super Model and GK Advocate Georgina Wilson, and of course our CEO Archie King. He inspired the crowd with his message on dreaming big. 

Georgina Wilson gave an emotional speech during the opening ceremony.  She mentioned how she's fortunate and that many things are given to her.  But then, she realised that some of these things were not really good.   What's good with the tagline "Walang Iwanan" is that her experience in GK humbled her.  In a way, she wasn't left behind as well.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent touring the Farm.  

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