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Alagang AyalaLand: Helping livelihood programs prosper in Ayala Malls

/ 01:12 PM October 17, 2021
Likha Initiative

Likha Initiative

Before the pandemic overturned our lives, the month of October would find me in a whirlwind of activities.

It is during this time that I would hold the Red Charity Gala with my co-chair Kaye Tinga. The annual fundraising event was something I always looked forward to, as it meant not only highlighting the creativity of our local designers but also getting to contribute to the worthy charities that we have chosen to support.

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Regrettably, my RCG partner Kaye and I decided to end our successful charity event due to these difficult times. It does not mean putting a halt to our philanthropic projects though. We’re certain to come up with a new one as we adapt to the new normal.

That said, I find it immensely wonderful and inspiring how companies are doing their share in helping Filipinos amid the pandemic. Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), for instance, has been assisting vulnerable sectors through Alagang AyalaLand program. Aside from providing disaster relief and promoting a sustainable environment, Alagang AyalaLand offers livelihood opportunities to social enterprises by giving them their own spaces, rent-free, in ALI developments where they can grow their businesses.

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Bukid ni Bogs

Bukid ni Bogs

One such social enterprise is Bukid ni Bogs, a Zamboanga-based organic farm and soap-making business. Its main thrust is to elevate the status of women farmers while teaching everyone about the importance of an organic way of life.

“With the help of Alagang AyalaLand, we’ll be able to share our stories and advocacies to a wider audience. We owe all of this success to our loyal patrons who continue to fuel our passion of preserving our communities and the environment,” said founder Bogs Castro.

Pure Bites, a provider of healthier food choices such as salad meals, nutrient-filled smoothies and tofu dishes, aligns with Ayala Land’s program to promote healthy eating among Filipinos. For Marianne Dagohoy, Alagang AyalaLand has not only paved the way for her family’s small business to prosper but also allowed her to provide employment opportunities to some who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Another small business that received support is HandKraftPH. Established by Michael Santos and Michael Byron Quevada, the community-oriented business employs more than 40 weavers who lost their sources of livelihood during the pandemic. HandKraftPH produces beautifully woven baskets made of buri and abaca, to be used as planters and organizers in homes.

HandKraftPH

HandKraftPH

According to Santos and Quevada, “We keep telling our customers about how the Alagang AyalaLand program has provided us with the platform to share our heritage as we help a small community. Our weavers became more hard working and excited since they know that their works will be made available not only in typical ‘bazaars or tiangges’, but in an Ayala Mall such as Glorietta in Makati.”

A volunteer-led initiative organized by Debbie Bartolo, Likha Initiative advocates a zero-waste community. It conducts workshops and mentorship programs, and works on educating the public on waste management. To cope with the community members’ loss of income due to the pandemic, Likha Initiative eventually shifted to creating local products such as recycled backpacks, purses, straw bags, scrunchies, hair clips, bucket hats and even monokinis. All are produced aligned with the group’s environment protection ethos.

“We have been blessed to partner with Ayala Malls as this creates an opportunity for the mothers in urban poor areas to have additional income, and to ease the unemployment and financial constraints faced by the families. It also became an avenue for empowerment for the mothers who have found their spaces for creation and income generation,” Bartolo said.

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ALI vice president and head of Alagang AyalaLand Council Manny A. Blas shared, “We hope to help the community by starting a sustainable program focused on livelihood creation. Through our developments, primarily our malls, we want to provide social enterprises with direct access to potential customers, and inspire them to promote their unique, locally authentic products.”

There are now more than 300 social enterprises being supported through the program and they are primarily in 32 Ayala Malls nationwide.

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TAGS: Alagang AyalaLand, Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), Ayala Malls, Business, column, livelihood programs, local designers, My Square Meter, property
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