Travel with a purpose

Last September 27, Tuesday, our group was divided into two again: Marianne and Adriel searched for social enterprises here in Los Banos while Leslie, Alyosha and I traveled all the way to San Pablo. Alyosha and I also reached Nagcarlan in search of possible social enterprises stakeholders.

First, we visited the San Pablo City Hall. Luckily, the meeting among the presidents of various organizations from all the seven lakes has just finished. We were able to talk to the president of the Samahan ng Kababaihang Mangingisda at Bangkera sa Lawa ng Pandin, an all-women social enterprise on Pandin Lake. She briefly gave an overview on their organization. Leslie explained the purpose and intention of our group. The president was very willing to participate and to share their stories. She gave her contact details and said to contact her whenever needed except at night, weekends, and holidays. Some of the people left in the room after the meeting told us that we can also try KaLiPi. They suggested that we go to the Cooperative and Livelihood Department at the building near the covered court.

Next, we went to the Cooperative and Livelihood Department. Unfortunately, there was no one inside the room. There was a note outside stating that they are attending a workshop. We tried to search for other possible stakeholders. We went to the Public Information Office at the 8-storey building. The people were all so kind. They printed a copy of organizations – livelihood, educational, and even religious ones – and gave it to us. They referred us to the One-Stop Processing Center, specifically licensing department, if we  want a list of registered businesses/social enterprises in San Pablo.

Then, we went to the One-Stop Processing Center and asked at the information desk.  The people there asked what specific social enterprises we’re looking for. They suggested that if it’s agriculture, we should talk to Mr. Elmer Belen. A man accompanied us to the Negosyo Center.

At the Negosyo Center, we waited for Mr. Belen. We asked for a list of social enterprises in San Pablo. Mr. Ernesto Empemano even asked us to define social enterprise. After all the talking, they explained that it has only been two weeks since Negosyo Center San Pablo was opened. In fact, they are just starting to compile data. Before  we leave, they told us to give a copy of the list of social enterprises  we’ve found.

Moreover, we also went to the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs. According to the OSCA head, senior citizens used to be active and used to produced products. However due to personal matters, it stopped.

Also, we went to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) San Pablo. This is where I got the possible contact persons of KaLiPi and their contact details. I was able to get the number of the president of the KaLiPi, Mrs. Erlinda Pamilar. I texted her if I can interview her regarding KaLiPi. She replied in an instant and agreed.

After our “travel” in San Pablo, Alyosha and I went to Nagcarlan – from the suggestion of the “Titas” of OSCA.


Nagcarlan Municipal Hall at 4:30 PM. Photo by Alyosha Reyes

The people were very welcoming and open to interview.


Screenshot of photos with the ALS organizer and the municipal councilors. Screenshot by Alyosha Reyes. Photo by Als Nagcarlan (Facebook name).

They shared all their activities and plans. When they knew that their stories might get published in LB Times and showcased in Dito Sa Laguna (DSL), they were really happy and excited. They asked us if they can send articles. We were surprised on their reactions. They even asked if the DZLB is still airing. We were able to talk to the Alternative Learning System (ALS) organizer, and municipal councilors. They shared the story of how the Senior Citizen Center started. They have gave us a chance to enter the Senior Citizens’ Training Center, a building donated by ABS-CBN.


Senior Citizens’ Training Center in Nagcarlan, Laguna. Photo by Alyosha Reyes.


When we returned to San Pablo, I went to the house of the Mrs. Pamilar, the KaLiPi President for the interview. She gave me an overview of KaLiPi. I explained what will happen in Participatory Development Journalism including them acting as host in a video. She is very willing to participate. She told me that I should have went to their production location that day so that I was also able to meet the other members of KaLiPi. She was very kind and open to questions. When I asked her about the schedule of shooting of video, she told me that they can adjust the schedule of their production depending on my availability knowing that I have classes.

Overall, I admit that it was a tiring day. Nevertheless, it was all worth it. We were able to meet new people, go places, and most importantly find a partner social enterprise.


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