My Homebuilding experience is sweeter the 5th time around!

I’m about to share to you my dear readers what keep me busy this April 2012, for the 5th time I joined and volunteered to be a GK Home-builder (GK stands for “Gawad Kalinga” which means “To Give Care”) to know more about it visit

Here’s my story, for 5 days (April 16-20) I was in a out-of-town mission of being one of the GK volunteers (employee round or global volunteerism) from different business units and regions of Trend Micro they are from Taiwan, US, Argentina, Europe, China and Japan while me is one of the 9 local volunteers from the Philippines.

Trend Micro Homebuilding - GK Batch 13

This is our company’s (Trend Micro) way of giving back to the community or paying forward to the poorest of the poor and helping GK’s mission and vision to fight poverty. I do believe in their slogan “Land for the Landless. Home for the Homeless. Food for the Hungry” and I will support this 100% and pass it over to my kids someday and be an outreach volunteer too.

Our company call this as “Trend Micro Home Building Project”. This was first piloted by the founders of Trend Micro way back before I’m not sure what year it started haha sorry about that, I’ll have to research for that first and get back to you, sorry. Trenders as we call ourselves or employees in Trend Micro consider lucky if you are one of the selected in this 5 days GK activity, we consider it a vacation and out of the norms of our daily work. We get a chance to detached ourselves from corporate activities and instead focused in building a community and building lives.

I never get tired of joining and I will still join come next year and then the next year and so on haha. What keeps me on coming back is not the perk of to have a break from work or  vacation for 5 days but to share my time with the kids, with the community and to meet awesome people and Trenders from other regions and create a long-lasting friendship.

GK Batch 13 - The Home building activities 2012

There are a lot memorable experiences I collected already in joining and every year is new one. Non-Trenders can also experience this awesome volunteerism just visit to know about this schedule of activities and how can you be part of once in a lifetime experience. Have a first step in joining now! I assure you its pure fun.

I also took my volunteerism to a higher level in joining Vesta Taiwan’s Student Round where I served as the local service team twice (2010 & 2011) where I met happy, energetic, never gets tired student volunteers from Taiwan & US lead by awesome and determined kids of our CEO’s.

One of my main job responsibility here is the be the local translator, I’m the one who will interpret what the locals are saying to the students, then what was the students is saying to the locals and vice versa. The good thing about this is even if there is a language barrier in GK communication is not a problem because action speaks louder than words. There are times that I ran out of English but what I usually do and believe me it helps all the time and that is the use of body language. You want proof, watch the video clip below:

Video credits to Denise, my friend, one of the student volunteer then became part of the service team for Vesta Taiwan, though I can’t read the Chinese characters I pretty much sure this is an ad campaign to invite student volunteers to come and visit the Philippines for this year. When I first see this video, I cried. Thank you for the pure love Vesta!

For my Taiwanese friends please visit Vesta Taiwan’s blog at or anyone that can read, speak and write Chinese Tradition or Simplified, wish I could learn too. haha! Better yet join the cause and be one of us, Building Community is in my heart!

For many times, I see pictures of me in their blog, ad campaign or video and that was flattering, something that I am proud of and it means that I have a great impact with them and what I shared with them within that 5 days of work hard, play hard and laughing hard. Please try to visit their Facebook page at to see what I mean. haha 🙂

This kids must have been really like working with me and they are getting excited every year and if I remembered it right last year they really requested me to join them again and I didn’t fail them. One of our greatest bonding is through dancing, I am surprised because the dance routines that I teach them didn’t matter but the bonding that we had in together makes them feel like we are still close together.

Dreams will never Die!!!

I know this because they added me on their Facebook Group where in we get updates from each other and we exchange our day-to-day pure love experiences. As a commitment to keep in touch and keep up with our long-lasting, long distance friendship and because of that these are the things that I learned from this students, “Always Smile, Never Give Up, and PURE LOVE”.

To be continued…

About Kalongkong Hiker

I am Paolo Mercado for 20 years I've been riding a bike, walking a lot and running a lot. I am Kalongkong Hiker, a trail runner, mountaineer and a biker that can also write a blog of my travels, adventures and places that I visited through walking, running and biking. I write to encourage others to stay healthy and fit. #KeepOnRunning #ShareTheRoad #KalongkongHiker
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