A Meaningful Summer at Jacinto & LIrio

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)

Mythbuster : A Jacinto & Lirio Internship Experiment

new story Jacinto&Lirio

by: Lia Malferrari 

There’s a show on the Discovery Channel called Mythbusters where the most common myths are either proven to be true or busted. The team goes through a series of experiments to see if there is any substance behind what could have been a rumor grossly blown out of proportion or an actual fact passed from one generation to the next. I enjoy that show because (1) I always love learning new things especially about things I thought I already understood, and (2) the team’s quips and personalities are just so fun to watch.

My summer at Jacinto & Lirio was sort of like that, a summer of learning new things about stuff I thought I already learned in school and while working, and of being surrounded by a team with great personalities (J&L board & fellow interns included) who were fun to be around. As for the myths to be busted? Let’s tackle them below one by one.

Myth: It’s too late to start over 

I’m 24, graduated in 2008 with a degree in Business Administration and you could only imagine that applying for an internship at my age and time in my life (I graduated 4 years ago, which is already an entire college life for someone else) was not easy. I had already worked at one of the top companies in the country where I was receiving a substantial pay and awesome benefits package and did not know if I could go back to something unpaid and usually reserved for incoming 4th year students. What pushed me to send that email to Noreen (J&L CEO) asking if I could still participate was that nagging feeling at the bottom of my stomach that somehow this experience would change my life and open me up to new experiences and to a world I was not a part of before, and that what I gain working for them in experience would be worth so much more than working freelance instead during my free time. I realized through my work with Jacinto and Lirio that it is never too late to start over, change the path, and enter a new world. You just need the willingness to give up a lot of things, lower your pride, and open your mind to possibilities.

Myth: That businessmen (usually pictured in their Armani suits and Alligator dress shoes – and usually male), are nothing but power hungry piranhas who feed on the less fortunate and work toward nothing but profit, profit, profit.

As a woman into business myself, and a daughter of a self-made entrepreneur, this was never a myth I believed in. But I know, ever since my days in college, that a lot of people outside the business world have that misconception that businessmen are nothing but corporate slave drivers (and why are they always male as default?) who don’t care about anything except making money. Maybe all those people should get to know our world a little more and maybe they should start with the social entrepreneurs I’ve met during my internship. Never before have I seen more powerful women taking a stand against global issues and working on uplifting our pride as a nation until I entered the world of Social Entrepreneurship. Women like Noreen and Anne have showed me that there are businesses who legitimately care (and not just for their CSR / Marketing campaigns) about others and try to make a difference in the world. And although it is natural for a business to care about profits, there is so much more that drives the business to continue. To take a quote from Gawad Kalinga – Less for self, more for others, enough for all, and these businesswomen I met over the summer embody this philosophy to the core.