Eight communities, including six from Mindanao, will get to jumpstart their own projects such as ecotourism sites and heritage and wellness villages to help uplift the lives of their people through “The Quest for Love,” a nationwide search that will soon air on ABS-CBN’s “G Diaries,” hosted by Gina Lopez.
Gina introduced the eight winners of the search in a press conference on Thursday (July 19) in ABS-CBN’s Dolphy Theater. They are Lake Sebu Indigenous Women Weavers Association from South Cotabato that proposed to establish a heritage village for the T’boli tribe to drive economic development in the community; Health Futures Foundations, Inc., also from South Cotabato, that wants to setup a wellness village for the Bla’an tribe; Zamboanga’s Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, which presented an ecotourism initiative for the benefit of the Sama-Bangui tribe; Maguindanao’s Busikong Greenland Multi-purpose Cooperative that will build a center for integrated organic farming to help reduce poverty in the ARMM; and Bukidnon’s Federation of KapeMaramag, which hopes to provide marketing and employment opportunities for Maramag coffee farmers.
Completing the winners’ list are Sorsogon’s Aggrupation of Advocates for Environmental Protection that proposed various ecotourism projects like a marine sanctuary and beach park in Bulusan; Benguet’s University of Cordilleras who wants to promote sustainable agro-ecotourism for the community; and Tawi Tawi’s Mindanao State University that intends to promote Simunul Island as a tourist destination.
Launched last March, “The Quest for Love” is a project of the Investments in Loving Organizations for Village Economies (ILOVE) Foundation founded by Gina. It aims to promote widespread social and environmental development by providing communities with financial and technical support to start their own social enterprises.
In attendance in the event were partner organizations and social investors of ILove Foundation and “Quest for Love” mentors led by former Asian Institute of Management dean Prof. Eduardo Morato, who chaired the panel of judges that selected the eight winners.
According to Gina, “Quest for Love” hopes to empower communities in the remotest areas of the country and transform them into successful and sustainable sites for agro industries, forestry, fisheries, or ecotourism.
“By giving these organizations guidance and access to resources, we help them stand on their own and take charge of their future,” she said.
All finalists will receive P 100,000, undergo ILOVE Foundation’s mentoring and support program, and have a direct access to government support from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Tourism (DOT), Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of National Defense (DND), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The eight were chosen after a day-long deliberation held also on Thursday, where 16 organizations shortlisted from 128 applicants online got to pitch their ideas to a panel of social investors.
Filipinos can watch their journey towards bringing their dream projects to life soon on “G Diaries,” Gina’s award-winning advocacy program that features success stories of community development in some of the most scenic destinations in the Philippines. Overseeing the production of the reality TV-type features are productions units behind ABS-CBN’s world-class entertainment programs.
Joining them are mentors like actor and restauranteur Marvin Agustin, social entrepreneur Illac Diaz, business experts John Aguilar, Marvin Beduya, Jeannie Javelosa, and Chit Juan, sustainability advocate Reena Francisco, sociologist Czarina Medina-Guce, Human Nature founder Anna Meloto-Wilk, and Bootleg Innovation Design co-founder Aaron Panlilio.
“G Diaries” airs every second Sunday of the month before “ASAP” on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN HD. Watch online on iwantv.com.ph or skyondemand.com.ph. Visit QuestforLove.ph for more information and follow @GdiariesPH on Twitter and @GDiaries on Faceboo