A Visit to the DAHON Community

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under In Focus on February 19, 2010

Last week, I was able to visit the DAHON Community in Nagcarlan, Laguna.

This community is home to the DAHON Program or the Dangal At Hanapbuhay para sa Nayon, which is Binalot’s CSR Program.

Yes, that’s Binalot Fiesta Foods, Inc – the popular fast food restaurant in the country that offers Filipino food wrapped in banana leaves.

And this is their CSR program – CSR means Corporate Social Responsibility, which in simple definition, is a sustainable program that aims to benefit both the company and the community.

How? Well, we all know that Binalot uses banana leaves as their main food packaging – which means they need a lot of banana leaves for their restaurants.

And through the DAHON program, they are ensured a constant supply of quality banana leaves AND at the same time – they are able to provide livelihood income for banana farmers and their community.

Robie Mateo, DAHON Program Coordinator

Under the program, the farmers harvest the leaves and with their families, clean and cut them. Binalot then buys the leaves from the farmers per piece.

Beforehand, the farmers were trained in processing and the sustainable harvesting of the leaves. They were provided a suitable workplace and the tools and materials for their work.

Harvesting the banana leaves

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Folding the leaves, ready for cleaning and cutting

The DAHON community has come a long way since its beginnings two years ago. They now have a Day Care Center where children can learn while their parents work.

Moreover, they are now also supplying banana leaves to other restaurants in the country and have also developed new products such as banana chips.

And the good news is, Binalot, together with other organizations and individuals, is hoping to build more communities like this in other parts of the country.

With Mr. Rommel Juan, CEO of Binalot

The success story of Binalot is not foreign to me, having learned about their history when I attended a GoNegosyo forum last year.

And being part of the DAHON community, even just for a day, showed me that indeed, being an entrepreneur means finding solutions and opportunities that you can share with others.

Click on any picture to browse through the gallery.

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10 Responses to “A Visit to the DAHON Community”


  1. Mighty says:

    Wow! This is a great corporate social responsibility program Fitz. Something that makes capitalism more humane and sustainable. 😀 it must have been a great experience for you.

  2. Allan @ Rich Money Habits says:

    Very inspiring! More than anything else, I think it’s the creativity and drive to dream and make a win-win scenario for everyone that’s truly amazing! More power!

  3. […] So what was I doing at the DAHON Community drinking fresh buko juice? Well, you can read more about it here: A Visit to the DAHON Community […]

  4. birtaxinfo says:

    Great article sir. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing. The photos really gives us a window on the event you covered. The livelihood opportunities of this tree is amazing. You not only can make a living out of its fruits but also with the leaves as well. I’ve read an article regarding this way back in 1997. The plant is 60% water and thus can withstand prolonged drought like El Niño. The plant can even support nearby trees because of its vast water storage capability. After being overloaded with extreme volumes of water by last years typhoons like Ondoy. We are now faced with another dilemma of extreme water shortage and heat brought about by this El Niño phenomena just this month of February 2010. Severe Effects of Global Warming. Other communities like DAHON should adapt and take advantage of the benefits of planting these trees.

  5. Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into the Organizational Culture says:

    […] CSR strategy should be in line with the organizational vision, mission and goals. Just like what Binalot Philippines has done, they found a way to reach out to a community while at the same time pursuing business […]

  6. […] Nevertheless, it was also nice to spend a few moments talking to Mr. Rommel Juan of Binalot, whom I first met during my visit The DAHON Community. […]

  7. Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into the Organizational Culture | Transformational Leadership says:

    […] CSR strategy should be in line with the organizational vision, mission and goals. Just like what Binalot Philippines has done, they found a way to reach out to a community while at the same time pursuing business […]

  8. […] form of social entrepreneurship is having Corporate Social Responsibility, an example is Binalot’s Dahon Community Project. I suggest you read that […]

  9. norma says:

    fitz,

    para yata kayong twins?

    thanks for this information which i value and will want to spread and tell my kids to consider. they are nurses and are not happy and want to pursue some kind of entrepreneurship, a social enterprise is perhaps an option for them.

    more power,

    tita norma

  10. Melanie Caparas says:

    Good post, Fitz! I’ve always loved Binalot and the story behind the brand. Plus they really do good marketing. Just check out http://tinyurl.com/4yjtx4c

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