For Filipinos, a diploma holds a certain kind of power. It opens up a lot of opportunities and is considered key to a good, if not better, life. That’s why when Alvie Benitez informed his grandparents that he will be dropping out of college after failing his thesis, he heard the longest string of Spanish bad words in his life. To say that he encountered strong opposition from his close family and friends would be an understatement.

A man with weaker conviction would have caved in and pursued the path that countless others have followed before him. But not Alvie. Despite the naysayers, he dropped out and searched for a purpose. It led him to Gawad Kalinga’s Enchanted Farm in Bulacan where he is now raising ducks with other poor farmers under his social enterprise One Hundred Ducks, Inc. The company produces and sells 100% premium, healthy, and ethical duck products that are not only delicious but world class.

What made Alvie trade his diploma for ducks? Where does he find the inspiration to continue pursuing his purpose despite all the challenges of being a social entrepreneur? Listen and find out in this interview.

In this interview, Mike and Alvie talk about:
  • What it means to be a Filipino
  • Alvie’s journey to falling back in love with the Philippines
  • Why you shouldn’t live your life for a diploma
  • What it’s like to be part of the Gawad Kalinga family
  • Going against the norm
  • Definition of World Class Filipino
  • Radical optimism and how it helps social entrepreneurs
  • How to seek inspiration every day
  • Steps to finding the people to inspire and help you succeed
Links and resources mentioned:
Quotable Quotes:
  • I’m not supposed to live a life of fear.
  • You don’t have to be poor to help the poor.
  • Find the grace in your interactions every day.
  • You can only be strong when you are surrounded by strong people also. As iron sharpens iron, people sharpen people.
  • It’s only when you stop believing and stop seeing that life will stop to make sense.
  • Your life will be measured by all the good relationships you nurture.
  • The greatest gift in the world is knowing that you can be a gift to others. CLICK TO TWEET
Alvie’s dream for the Philippines

“I do know that in my lifetime, I will live to see a dignified Filipino. Where quality of life is present for all; it’s achievable for all.

I do see better infrastructure. I do see better agricultural infrastructure. I do see cleaner environment, cleaner roads, and all of those things that supposedly determine a developed country.

But the most important to me is a sense of nation – a proud Filipino. A Filipino that is really very truly proud to be Filipino and can say why and can show why. That is my dream for the Philippines.”

Take inspired action!

Alvie is living his purpose by being a gift to others especially the duck farmers that he helps through his social enterprise One Hundred Ducks, Inc. Our challenge for you is to think about how you can be a gift to others. It does not have to be starting your own social enterprise. It may be as simple as volunteering at Kuya Benjie’s Soup Kitchen or buying a bag from Bag943 and helping an impoverished school kid in the process. We’d love to hear about your plans and ideas so share it with us in the comment section below.

Speaking of being a gift, be a gift to us and the rest of The Rise of the Pinoy community by sharing this episode to your social network. You can use the buttons on the left to share it via email or social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WorldClassFilipino.