Becoming student entrepreneurs for a weekend, thanks to Gawad Kalinga | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

THE GROUP behind Duck Delights donated part of their proceeds to “Yolanda” survivors. DAVID ONGCHOCO
THE GROUP behind Duck Delights donated part of their proceeds to “Yolanda” survivors. DAVID ONGCHOCO

Becoming an entrepreneur is a dream that a lot of people have started to chase. Who wouldn’t want to create their own product and be their own boss?


With success stories of self-made men such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, and, locally, Henry Sy, Manny Pangilinan and John Gokongwei who have changed the way we live, I, too, dream of one day becoming an entrepreneur.


These last two months, senior students from Xavier School were able to live this dream and try their hand at starting their own businesses, with a third-quarter curriculum centered on social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and authentic development.


Arduous process


It was an arduous and challenging process that culminated in the actual selling of our own products during the two-day Bright Lights Christmas Bazaar at Eton Centris. However, that doesn’t tell the full story of what an adventure it was for us.


The month-long process of developing our product started with visiting the Gawad Kalinga (GK) Enchanted Farm in Bulacan, dubbed as the “Silicon Valley” for social entrepreneurs. Here we got to partner with different social entrepreneurs, hear their stories, interact with the community workers, and further innovate and create our own product using the raw materials that the GK Enchanted Farm produces.


Specifically, our group got to know 21-year-old Alvie Benitez, the young and energetic founder of Golden Ducks. His story of how he dropped out of college when the renowned social entrepreneur and founder of Gawad Kalinga Tony Meloto invited him to start his own social enterprise was awe-inspiring. His passion for the duck industry was really contagious, and we quickly went ahead to work on our “duck” business plan.


After long hours of discussion, brainstorming and arguments, we ended up naming our company Duck Delights. With a desire to make duck more known to Filipinos, we decided to make “authentic Peking duck wraps,” a fusion of ingredients taken from both Chinese and Filipino cuisines, carefully combined in one mouthwatering wrap.




After a few more last-minute tweaks and preparations here and there, we were ready for the big weekend, where we were forced to apply everything we’ve learned. We had to measure our ingredients, cook our duck meat, make our wraps, monitor our inventory, calculate our expected return on investment, and advertise our product—all while serving our customers with a smile.


We weren’t just entrepreneurs. A big chunk of our school course outline during the third quarter was about being social entrepreneurs. We learned that it’s not enough that we create novel products, and that social entrepreneurship is a responsibility to care about the well-being of society and the environment. Yes, big words for fourth year high school students, but in the spirit of living out what we learn in the classroom, we tried to apply the social aspect of entrepreneurship in our own little ways.


Teenage Santas


Aside from choosing to donate part of our proceeds to survivors of Typhoon “Yolanda,” we also tried to be teenage Santas by partnering with Rotary International District 3780 Interact and the Rotary Club of New Manila Heights to make over 100 of our duck wraps for cancer patients, their caretakers, family members and fellow volunteers during the “May Bukas Pa” Christmas gift-giving party at the National Children’s Hospital the Monday morning after our energy-zapping bazaar weekend at Eton Centris.


Simply put, it was about doing something more. Admittedly, we felt extremely tired and drained after spending our entire weekend manning our booth and dealing with the stress that comes from running our own business.


However, seeing the smiles that we were able to bring to cancer patients and their families as they lined up to get a taste of our wraps gave us an unrivaled feeling of fulfillment that made all our efforts worth it.


It truly was a learning experience like no other, where we got to see first-hand the importance of hard work, perseverance, passion and becoming team players in running a business. This will really help us, especially since entering college and seeking employment loom in the horizon.


The road toward continuing our weekend business or developing a new product won’t be easy, but the possibilities and potentials are too exciting to ignore. It was actually quite flattering just to hear some customers and teachers encouraging us to take Duck Delights to the mainstream. Regardless, this was definitely a crucial step and launch pad for us Xaverians looking into starting our own businesses in the future.


More importantly, we carry the lessons from our trips to the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm on the importance of creating a sustainable business that creates a ripple, and reaches out to the marginalized sectors in society as well.

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