Belinda Llarenas: Vision of a Social Enterprise


My vision of a social enterprises focuses  on mothers and women in my community through a livelihood project utilizing water hyacinths in combination with other modern materials like clay and glass.  Though companies like Jacinto and Lirio had established their firm using water hyacinth, I  strongly believed that there is still  so much that can be explored using this material.  My  products would include clay sculptures in combination with water  hyacinths. I would deviate this time by making my product  just the  way I want it regardless of function or design.  

Benefits to Stakeholders

This  enterprise is where women  independent, empowered and have a sense of pride  in themselves and in what they are doing.  It is where they can develop themselves through learning skills that would enable them to earn and help in the family without leaving their homes.  

Beneficiaries would also include out of school youths, the unemployed who can do water lily harvesting, drying and other processes to make the raw material usable.  It would be an economic and environmental project that would help in the greening advocacies of the government, helping de-clog rivers and waterways and at the same time making something out of what  used to be an environmental problem.  

Consumers will take pride in owning products that appeals to their aesthetic sense and at the same time helping sustain the environmental drive by the government and NGOs.  

Value Proposition

The main focus is to help women to be more goal oriented and empowered by becoming financially independent, have the sense of productivity and self-worth to be more aware that there are so much more that they can do to improve their lives and their families. 




Urban Farming: A Social Enterprise Vision

Background and Rationale

In a small barangay in Tanay, Rizal, we conducted an outreach activity. The particular location was suggested by an employee of a local farm which is also situated on that place. This farm serves both as a plantation and also a place where farmers would gather and encourage each other. The farm also put a premium on the work that the farmers are doing. They emphasized that the farmers hold an important role to the farm as well to the lives of other people.

Also recently, organic products has been the rave. There are services which offer organic produce to be delivered right to your doorstep. This kind of service is especially helpful as consumers won’t have to leave the comforts of their own home to choose quality organic ingredients.

Since it has been proven that urban farming is possible even in the metro, we want to offer a service that can deliver produce grown organically by local “farmer families” here in the metro.

Description of Products and Services

Basically, the idea is to have families in the specific area participate in urban farming where they would grow and take care of produce. Growing them organically would also have an added value.

In terms of offering them to consumers, it would be offered in two ways: a physical location where the products are solved or through online/phone purchase. If possible, a mobile app where they can place an order would be very helpful since it’s making it morw convenient for other people to purchase.

Benefit to Stakeholders (consumers, community, producers)

The stakeholders and their benefit would be the following:

1.) Consumers – Since these are organic produce, it would help them stay healthy. It also is convenient since it’s possible to call or order by using an app.

2.) Community – By just showing that it is possible to plant edible produce, I believe the community would be encouraged to start urban farming as well. They would also be more inclined to choose this healthier and more convenient option.

3.) Producers – Growing organic produce would not only help with having additional income but also help them in their everyday lives since they can also consume part of what they produce.

Value Proposition (statement on who the enterprise will serve and how it will serve them)

The enterprise would serve marginalized families by helping them create a small urban farm in their homes. If a plot of land would be available, it would also be made accessible for them to use. The main idea is for them to grow organice produce and offer them to the nearby community. The consumers can order them either through phone or through an app and have them delivered (since it caters to nearby location only) or also through a physical location which can operate during weekends like a farmers’ market.


A Boring Love

One of my favorite scenes from “That Thing Called Tadhana” (That Thing Called Meant to Be), a Filipino indie film written and directed by Antoinette Jadaone


The world keeps telling me, enticing me, to have the reckless-abandon-kind-of-love. And it excites me. It really makes me want it. But then I see people who are happy with a different kind of love – the God-kind-of-love – that goes more than the excitement and euphoria. That goes beyond the looks and the appeal. The kind of love that dwells in people who might not always be exciting, but who would always take the time to say a nice word or two. The kind who would be generous even in lack. The kind who would be kind to anyone or everyone, regardless of the situation.

The world is offering me a lot of options and it tempts me to settle for a love that would be fire, but might burn me down eventually. But I know I’m made for a love that would be a light, shedding sunshine on my darkest days. A love that would help me grow. A love, a light, that would never burn me. But instead, would illuminate and enlighten me. A love that would warm my heart when it is cold.

Sappy as it is, this is the kind of love that is worth waiting and fighting for. And I’m willing to wait and fight for it.

I’ve known this a long time but I realized just now – or as a matter of fact, deeply felt – that being with God is not necessarily being inside the edifice-church. God is in everything. Even the littlest of things. The blue skies and the cumulus clouds; birds chirping in the morning; the feel of the breeze in the afternoon; even the soft patter of drizzle on the skin.

He’s there even in the dark, sweat-soaked bar when I danced the night away and sang my lungs out. He’s there in my room, whenever I wait for the night sky turn to pale blue then golden yellow. God is there in my quiet musings, my constant questioning if there really is an earthly love that lasts. Even in my doubting and fear, He is there. God is present even when I was absent.

And I realized – or as a matter of fact, deeply felt – that it would always be the case.

Glass, Walls, and Doors.

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All of us are glass.
We choose what people wants to see.
And we become what others would want us to be.
But sometimes, these glasses are made to be shattered —
just like how norms, constructs, and biases should.
Why did we start embracing the word of the world?
When was it ever wrong to be yourself?
So go get a hammer, break down the glass.
Break it and watch the glittering shards amass.
Blood will flow, skin will break
For you to stand tall, this is what it takes.

All of us are walls.
Brick by brick we pile it high
making sure no one can climb
We build a seperate life on the outside
and all the darkness we try to hide
But people will be people
They will try to put down what you put up
They will try to pry with that glint in their eye
And you can choose to give up your bricks
or you can choose to throw it at them
Because there is nothing more off-putting
than people throwing rocks at other people
And they would either back away
or bring a ladder to climb up
to sate their curiousity
to break you
to change you
to tell you that your secret’s safe with them
and they can push and push themselves to you
but you’re the only one who can let them

All of us are doors.
Some open, some closed, some left slightly ajar.
Some locked by knobs, some by heavy-duty padlocks.
Some have peepholes and some have old souls
that have never shaken out their ghosts and their ghouls.
Some might have wrapped their doors in thick and heavy chains
Trying to conceal their guilt, pain, and shame
But there would be a time that they will get tired
of the old musty smell
and the darkness that feels like hell.
And they’ll long for the open skies,
the sound of the waves
the touch of sun on their skin
Long for the bittersweet taste of what used to be
What should you do?
Either open up your door
and come on your own
or give the spare key
for your heart made of stone.

Written last December 11, 2015