le modèle de GK
i'm sorry... i have to open my loud mouth again for GK.

kudos to the communications department for getting the BBC to cover baseco! the town was ravaged by fire, and rebuilt using the GK model. woohoo!!!

now... can we please, please, PLEASE stop naming the new villages after european, australian and - heaven forbid - american states and cities?

this just irritates the hell out of me! no, this isn't something i just came up with right now, this has been stewing in my mind since i found out we were naming the villages after the people who live in the u.s., i believe two or three years ago when GK took off like a rocket.

naming an entire village after donors is common practice in business and politics, but it shouldn't be followed by not-for-profits. the whole reason why the nfp industry exists is because a group of people wanted to break from the corporate model of, among other things, naming things after them.

thus, to mention a few, the field museum, marshall field's department store (whose name change to frickin macy's is being condemned by many people including roger ebert and, of course, me), the pritzker pavilion and the pritzker prize for architecture.

naming things in other contexts is all well and good, but not for GK; especially not for GK. it panders too much to our meager intelligence here in the u.s.

we gave freely of our time, money and talents in every other aspect of couples for christ, without expecting anything in return. why should GK be any different?

it also undos whatever hope's installed in residents, especially the kids. with all that newfound confidence, they'll all someday make up majority of student populations in the philippines' best universities. and before you know it, all those GK villages will be home to no one but their grandparents.

why? coz generations of their kids are off working elsewhere. who'll want to go back to tiny houses five ping pong tables wide when you can have an apartment that size, all just for you, in europe, elsewhere in asia, and the u.s. - because you now work there?

of course, i should mention, GK was built on the foundations of... love.

"We simply have to accept the Philippines is a poor developing country and we realise it should not be a money-based development," founder tony meloto told the BBC.

maybe that love will be strong enough to pull them back to help in the villages they helped build with their bare hands when they were little. or even shift the minds of GK leaders to remind them that some villages may have been funded by foreign money, but still built by the locals.

i could be wrong - there was this video of a young man who was asked if he would still leave the philippines, if given the chance. he said, almost definitely, at least, as definite as could be mustered at that point in time during the video interview when he was 22 years old, "hindi na." he said he'll not leave the country anymore.

yay!!! i hope he won't change his mind right away.

residents might never, ever want to leave now that they have new houses. they've always wanted to make their dreams come true and their roots grow strong in the country of their birth.

and also, what's in a name? it's just a name. it isn't self-determining. we could ask the same about words - they're mere words. only the writers and politicians and superstars who need to keep up appearances deem words of value. words are the only things we use to communicate fears, ails, aches, concerns, victories, joys, discoveries.

but ah - what are words? they're just words. only it's contradictory to rebuild a village in caloocan and then name it, for example, illinois village. ahahahaha. forget everything, after all, the old village was burned down. we must move on with a new name, a new identity. hopefully someday soon, we can find out just where exactly this illinois is, and maybe someday we can also move there.

there are several villages i've heard of that still carry a local name - villa filipino in camarines sur, antique marina village in iloilo, GK mohon in misamis oriental. at least, i hope these are local names. ahahaha. sorry, i don't want to guess for metro manila. that's one city that's all but lost its original memories. they all sound too foreign to me.

and yes, there will always be something new to complain about.

let this be one less thing to gripe about in the future. the philippines is already named by a former colonizer - spain - and haunted by a new one - the u.s. we want to heal the country, yes?

and yes, maybe i am wrong all about this. why leave the place that fulfilled your dreams - especially if it were a GK village? meloto and his colleagues know about all this i've ranted, of course, because, during a visit to chicago a couple of years ago, he said we have to be patient about GK and the philippines. as we've seen, GK villages partnered with the government seem to be moving slower than ones done by GK alone. ahahaha. they could heal only one wound at a time.

and who knows - knowing filipinos, just like all of humanity, they've talent for turning something foreign into something they own, like the jeepney. names are their specialty.

soon, there might be rows and rows of dusty, ghost towns, colorful in the sunset. everyone will know they're GK houses. but i hope they're just quiet because residents have settled for the night, and had not deserted town.

ANCOP Foundation
Gawad Kalinga
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