“An Afternoon of Love” kickstarts the year with selfless giving to sustain village economies in the Philippines

DALY CITY, Calif., January 15, 2019 — ABS-CBN Foundation International hosted an afternoon of love in early January, bringing together like-minded individuals and groups who want to give back to the motherland.

Filipina environmentalist and philanthropist Gina Lopez, who won the Seacology award in 2017 for her exceptional achievement in preserving the environment and culture of her home country, presented iLOVE – Investments in Loving Organizations for Village Economies, a new initiative that aims to lift communities out of poverty through the creation of environmentally conscious businesses at the grassroots level.

At the Afternoon of Love held at the TFC Studios in Daly City, I LOVE Founder Gina Lopez says “I want to explore possibilities of what can be. And the key to breaking the box and achieving possibilities is the heart.” (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)

Currently, eight organizations have been identified to transform marginalized communities into viable localized economic zones, such as successful resource-based agro-forestry, fisheries, or eco-tourism sites and the like. The Investments in Loving Organizations for Village Economies (iLOVE) Foundation and its partners will provide financial and technical support to the eight (8) organizations to utilize the Philippines’ biodiversity to improve the lives of local communities, with area development and inclusive growth at its core.

According to Lopez, “You can have so much money, but at the end of the day, if you’re not improving people’s lives, they’re the ones who are ravaging the environment and their lives must be improved if they must protect it.”

That is why the “loving organizations” are important. It is their role to make sure that people’s lives are improved. Lopez adds that “if you don’t have people on the ground to make sure everything runs well, then it’s not going to work. So, I’m also there to make sure that things are happening, and that people’s lives are improved.”

(L-R) Ryan Monsanto, TV Host & Entrepreneur Lanai Tabura, Randy Villavicencio, ABS-CBN International Executive Producer Beverly Desuasido, Mama Earth Founder Jaime Kailani, Anthony Schlander of Anthony Presents, Rich Villavicencio, Jenn Marquez, TFCU Program Manager Romeo Marquez, and ABS CBN Foundation International’s US Mainstream and Program Manager Alisa de los Reyes. (Photo courtesy of Richard Lao)

One of the partners that stepped up to the call is the Filipino-American team behind Pride 4 Philippines project. Host and entrepreneur Lanai Tabura, part of the leadership team of #pride4ph, is excited about working with Lopez saying that “She has this, what we say in Hawaii, this mana, this power. This energy. She’s amazing because she educated you and at the same time, she’s motivating you.”

(L-R, standing) Ryan Monsanto, TV Host & Entrepreneur Lanai Tabura, Randy Villavicencio.
(L-R, seated) ABS-CBN International Executive Producer Beverly Desuasido, I LOVE Founder Gina Lopez, Mama Earth Founder Jaime Kailani, and Rich Villavicencio. (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)

Mama Earth Founder/Director Jaime Kailani adds that #pride4ph is “bringing together influencers and celebrities to bring more attention to what Gina’s already doing and helping bring more funding to the project.”

Event planner extraordinaire Anthony Schlander of Anthony Presents is all in. “We’re trying to do more meaningful things for the community and for our heritage, we’re both Filipino. I just got back from the Philippines and I saw first-hand the poverty and the beauty.” Schlander is confident that Lopez has already figured out the structure on how to make it work so “enough people can rally behind her and more places in the Philippines can be developed.”

(L-R) Goldilocks Marketing Director Jo Ann Kyle, AFI Ambassador Maribeth Lalongisip, and I LOVE Founder Gina Lopez. (Photo courtesy of Richard Lao)
(L-R) ABS-CBN Global Head of Corporate Affairs and PR Nerissa Fernandez, Senior Curator at the California Academy of Sciences Terry Gosliner, Realtor Susan Po-Rufino, SEA-VIP Institute Chairman Roberta Lopez Feliciano, and Andrea Sy of ClinkIT Solutions. (Photo courtesy of Richard Lao)

At the end of the gathering, Lopez shares she is excited and ecstatic. “I’m very optimistic because the group was so good, and their hearts were there. If people really care, then magic happens. So, let the magic begin.”

(L-R) Ryan Monsanto, TV Host & Entrepreneur Lanai Tabura, ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett, and The Luna Co President Christina Luna. (Photo courtesy of Richard Lao)
(L-R) Ricky “Kadok” Tejada, Balitang America Desk Editor Henni Espinosa, Scenes in the City’s Bradford Adkins, Janet Baena, and Julie Quiambao. (Photo courtesy of Richard Lao)

For more information, U.S.-based inquiries, or to send help, please contact ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett at [email protected] Direct questions about the iLove communities may be sent to Gina Lopez at hellogina@gworld.ph.