Humanity Fair: A Great Day for Human Nature

February 2, 2013 – Human Nature’s Humanity Fair. Despite some logistical difficulties, my close friend Tippi and I still made it! Success!

We made it to Bulacan at around 12:30, just in time for lunch. I can officially say I’ve had longganisa that’s “Enchanted,” and it wasn’t bad at all. Plus some Bayani Brew which is exactly the kind of iced tea that I like – iced tea that doesn’t taste like iced tea. Haha! If you’re familiar with the taste of lemongrass, it’s soooorta something like that, with a little more tanginess.

The rest of the time, Tippi and I spent going around the Enchanted Farm‘s Bamboo Palace, looking at different social enterprises and lusting for things we had no money to buy :)) Here’s some of the things we saw:

Agricool – cause farming is the new cool.

Jacinto & Lirio, which I learned actually means Hyacinth & Lily in Spanish. Well-designed bags, notebooks, etc. – all made from sustainable, eco-friendly plant leather. I would’ve gotten one if I wasn’t saving! Rawr.

Karpentoys 🙂 Which totally throw me back to childhood. Everything looks like they were done by the same people who painted pre-school walls way back when. Fiber and bamboo toys from GK community residents.

Risque Designs by Tal. Seriously, these are works of art – designs by Tal combined with craftsmanship from local communities. Most of everything have limited availability and the really special ones are one of a kind. The shoe on the top picture, made by Paete wood carvers, is up for auction, to support Musmos kids. It’s called “Lady of Devotion,” and the design up close is beautiful.

Coffee and chocolate! Two of my favorite things. These are local so we have an obligation to indulge! Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates, Cafe de Sug (only for the brave), and Kape Maria. I strongly recommend Kape Maria’s Pulag brew. Chocolatey and rich, and not too heart-stopping.

Domesticity 🙂 Things to ramp up the coziness.

Two community-based products that combine cute and functional. (Cuteional? Haha). Habi Footwear and Mori Notes.

Lumago Designs from Dumaguete. Accessories all made from recycled items – paper, ukay-ukay clothes, etc. Made by a community of Dumaguete women themselves 🙂 If you’re there, visit their community center!

The fair drew in a pretty large crowd, which is a great sign that the “new” kind of consumer that Anna Meloto-Wilk talked about during her talk really is emerging. The new kind of consumer, according to her, is a consumer that doesn’t just look at the best price and the best quality, but about the best contribution they can make to hard-working communities. The lady beside me on the van home had three full, heavy-looking bags of products she bought at the fair and I wanted to shake her hand, but I was shy 🙂

Because we were late, it was a really short stay and we missed the trade lectures, but getting to catch Anna Meloto-Wilk’s speech (and the Kape Maria coffee we bought) made it worth it. I shot a really far video so, here’s a quote instead:

The right kind of economy is a positive economy – an inclusive one that reconnects with the communities, one wherein the poor are part of our assets and they’re not seen as liabilities, and one where economic growth is trickled down, and not just trickled down but really shared with the rest of the country…

Now more than ever, we see the rise of the new consumers… Profit and purpose have to go hand in hand… Now more than ever, you Filipino consumers are choosing products that really help the Philippines, that help the environment, that help communities as well.

Inspiring 🙂

More and more, meeting the people I meet, I really feel like this is going to be a good year for social enterprises and start-ups in general. Being helpful is the new kind of hip, and it’s the new kind of profitable. Maybe it’s time for me to start my own social enterprise? Haha!

The possibilities are exciting.

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