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Volunteering in Gawad Kalinga (GK) Community in Quezon City

Gawad Kalinga (GK) Munting Pamayanan in Quezon City

Reaching out and volunteering always excites me. It is somehow a step further into my set of personal advocacy. Fortunately, the Bank where I work in decided to do a CSR event together with Gawad Kalinga (GK). It’s a half day volunteering event that involves shoveling, carrying gravels and a lot of sun. Nevertheless, I signed up in a heartbeat.

In this post, I'd be sharing what transpired not only at the physical venue but also in the corners of my mind. Realizations kept pouring in, and it was refreshing to have them coming. I'll also leave some details on how you can participate, should you become interested to contribute to their cause.

GK Shaw Keegan, Escopa 3, Project 4

Gawad Kalinga Community
This community in Quezon City (GK Shaw Keegan, Escopa 3, Project 4) is part of GK’s program in providing homes for those who don’t have any means to possess. It envisions to build a community where the old habits/quirks of the beneficiaries get replaced by bigger dreams and sense of community-building.

For the day, we were tasked to fill in a huge hole in the lot by shoveling up soil from another part, transporting it and eventually pouring it over the hole. It sounded easy, but it was completely the opposite when we were doing it. At the first hour, things seemed to be very bearable, but as muscle strain started to take toll, more efforts were needed to continue. However, the thought of helping a whole community kept us going.

Volunteering activity in Gawad Kalinga Munting Pamayanan

On the second hour, my mind was already taking a spirit of its own. It’s dissecting thoughts and made me ponder as I shoveled. Here are some thoughts that came across.

Realization#1 - Common goal builds team spirit
A better team building for me is when everyone (not just a particular team/group) works on a singular goal without the competition but rather with a common objective that unifies everyone’s effort. In this way, all members will be on the same page, and it becomes easier to appreciate everyone.

Colleagues Alyza Panal, Ivy David and Christina Talosig

Realization #2 - The whole picture tells a different story
When I thought of the task alone of filling a hole, it was initially boring and sounded like a mediocre thing to do. However, upon asking and learning why this task was needed (land needed to be filled so that a house may eventually be built for accommodating more beneficiaries), I became more enthused in working on my shoveling skills. I’m not just filling a hole. I’m filling dreams of future families.

Putting this on a corporate realm, there are times when seemingly mundane tasks would appear like a “waste of time”.  However, these bits and pieces constitute the obra. Other parts of an institution won’t successfully operate without those tiny bits. In short, let's begin thinking of the entire value-chain rather that a singular point in that chain. This process is like finding more purpose to the “simple” things we do. It will allow us to realize that often times our tasks are simple, but the effect is two, no make it a hundred, fold.

Colorful homes in Gawad Kalinga Community in Quezon City

Realization#3 - We convince ourselves otherwise, but we are blessed
With the problems my family is facing, I often think that I live a “troubled” life. However, I realized that it was only me who convince myself that I live a troubled life. Because as a matter of fact, I’m blessed. My family has always been there for me. I have a decent job, and my friends are constantly supportive. I realized that maybe I was not looking at the right direction. Maybe, I was even looking away.

Sweat was pouring as I put struck the ground. Then, my mind suddenly told me that it’s easier to live in an illusion where everything is “not enough”, but sometimes we just need to break out from the deception, and appreciate the things we have and accomplishments we achieved.

Renz Cheng in Gawad Kalingan Munting Pamayanan, Escopa 3, Project 4, Quezon City

Thoughts were still racing when I heard someone shouting, “We’re good. we’re done.” I didn’t know that time could really travel fast when you are in a “trance”. At that moment, I felt lightness in my heart. At the very least, I was able to empathize. While I’m sure I could have done more, but I’m proud of taking one step into serving the society.

Volunteers leaving handprints in Gawad Kalinga Community

Join the cause of Gawad Kalinga in building communities!
This experience is not limited to corporate events. I checked the page, and they offer this immersive experience to individuals or group of friends.

The registration fee is only P150, and it covers basically everything (even the enjoyable boodle fight afterwards). I'm placing the program proper here which I retrieved from their page.


Time Activity
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Registration and assembly at GK SHAW KEEGAN site
8:45 AM - 11:45 AM Build proper
11:45 AM - 12:00 NN Builders to head back to Assembly site
12:00 NN - 1:00 PM Boodle lunch break at Assembly site
1:00 PM -2:00 PM Return to build site
2:00 PM -3:00 PM Processing for volunteers

To learn more about the project, including further details on how to participate, you can check the page here - Gawad Kalinga's Volunteer Project.

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