by : Hannah To
Gone are the days of bumming around from morning to night. This summer had been an incredibly busy one for me—not because it had to be, but because I wanted it to be. Nothing beats the gratification I get from helping other people while enjoying and learning at the same time.
Working for Jacinto and Lirio is a blast. I’ve certainly become more aware of the problems in our community; at the same time realize how beautiful and rich it is. I decided to work for Jacinto and Lirio because I wanted a backstage pass to the world of social entrepreneurship and the retail industry at the same time. I didn’t expect to learn so much from plainly marketing the products, and I owe that to the brand’s inspiring advocacy.
Upon working as an intern, I realized that pursuing a social enterprise isn’t a one-shot deal. There are a lot of factors to consider, and it isn’t as easy as creating a typical start-up business. Our items don’t sell out as fast as other commercial products, our direct partnership with the community is time-consuming, but the customers are happy and the community is served. The results are amazingly rewarding. I’m very thankful to work alongside a very responsible and motivated bunch. Not only are they serious with the tasks at hand, but they’re also very helpful and inspiring. I learned a lot from my fellow interns, too. These are the kind of people we should be cultivating ourselves into.
Our country—although it has been through a lot—is still very young. A lot of communities remain untapped, a lot of riches yet uncovered. There is beauty in the Philippines, therefore there is hope. I did not write this entry to talk about how I changed people’s lives, but how a certain group of people changed mine.
One day, my grandchildren will ask me to tell them my story. I’d want my story to be worth telling, so that they’d want theirs to be worth telling, as well. It’s never too early or too late to help the world become a better place. You can start small; start by internalizing the fact that we have a wealthy community, but we can do a lot more to make it even better. I never thought I’d learn so much in one summer.
(Hannah To is a business management major at Ateneo de Manila University. She interned with Jacinto & Lirio during the summer of 2012)