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[BizzBuzz] Kabutihan Farm: Kabute of Kabutihan

By Jose Oscar Magpusao

“Iniisip ko na kahit sino, kayang gumawa ng kabutihan. Na kahit saan ka mapadpad, kaya mong gumawa ng kabutihan. Parang kabute na kahit saan lalabas at uusbong. Nakaka-amaze lang yung kabute para sa akin.”

These are the eager and excited words of Ringgo Anacan, a man who worked through his humble beginnings in Cavite, trudging through menial labor as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Rome, Italy and facing discrimination before crawling his way up to become an immensely successful entrepreneur and philanthropist.

The Kabutihan Farm in Amadeo, Cavite would prove to be one of Ringgo’s passion projects, allowing him to not only advocate his love of mushrooms to his community, but also gives him the means to help the children of his community find success and direction in their lives through a scholarship in his Kabutihan Foundation.

Ringgo's Kabutihan Farm has now become a popular little getaway for anyone visiting the area, providing breathtaking sights and a truly nostalgic ambience, while also serving a wide array of delicious Filipino cuisine that feels both familiar and wholly unique to Kabutihan, all stemming from the heart and soul of Ringgo.

“Itong mga bagay na meron sa akin ngayon, there’s a purpose. I always think na hindi naman tayo magtatagal sa mundo na ito. Kung binigyan ka na ng blessing sa Diyos na maging okay ka sa buhay mo, makatulong ka sa family mo, sa kapwa mo, naiisip ko lang na all these things have to be maximized for a bigger purpose and reason. To change lives. To inspire people," Ringgo said.

"I’ve been given the opportunity to travel to the Middle East, Europe, Asia, but I always felt like there was a missing link. Kaya sana, through this cause, maignite ulit yung kabutihan ng bawat isa, kasi alam ko na once that spark is ignited and we inspire each other, you will do good things, sa maliit man o sa malaki,” he added.

Empleyado to entrepreneur

“Mahal ko kasi ang Pilipinas,” Ringgo would say constantly at the back of his mind while he was still overseas. His success had not gone to his head and he was always itching to give back to his home country, thinking that his financial stability and considerable resources could make a real difference in a lot of people’s lives.

At first, his ambition proved to be too wide-reaching and unpolished, but with some advice from well-established philanthropists and a little focusing, he decided to gear his efforts on his hometown, particularly to the children from his old high-school through his Kabutihan Foundation.

Ringgo drew from personal experience of waiting for someone to lend a hand when he suffered as an OFW to initiate the Kabutihan Foundation, his scholarship program that sees to the education and development of children from his community. One at a time, he began reaching out to those that needed a helping hand, using his own resources to sponsor their education and provide them with supplies, eventually taking on more and more scholars under his wing.

Currently, Ringgo boasts 20 scholars under the foundation, 14 scholars in high school and 6 in elementary. A point of pride Ringgo shared was seeing a scholar off to college. He said he wanted to nurture the development of these children and eventually see them as entrepreneurs and leaders themselves spreading kabutihan, setting up businesses the children could eventually springboard from if they wanted to.

He believes that education was a foundation and not a guarantor of success, lamenting the countless scholars in the past that had promising potential but wound up struggling and just getting by in life.

“Kaya ako, binibigyan ko sila ng pagkakataon na makatapos ng pag-aaral, but I make sure na magiging successful ang iyong life using your knowledge and then again maglevel-up ka pa. Kasi ang kadalasan ang nangyayari is, after graduation, nagiging normal employee ka lang, nagiging katulad ko kung hindi siguro ako nagkaroon ng ganitong mindset. I’m just an ordinary OFW na hindi na nangarap,” Ringgo said.

“Gusto ko lang dalhin sa next level yung mga scholars na meron kami. Gusto ko maging mindset nila na ‘pagka-graduate mo, hindi ka magiging empleyado. Magput-up ka ng business after 5 or 10 years at mag-ipon ka,’” he added

Cultivating Kabutihan

The idea of the Kabutihan Farm came from his childhood love of mushrooms, particularly recounting memories of going to a burger joint in Tagaytay to indulge in mushroom burgers. Back then, he always wondered why deals were always ‘buy one, take one’ and not once did he see it become ‘buy one, share one.’ He felt that the deal was quite selfish.

These proved to be his primary inspiration for the Kabutihan Farm’s premise. Mushrooms would be the centerpiece of his project which, in the Filipino language, is translated as kabute, further solidifying the idea in his head that, like the titular mushroom, kabutihan can spring up and grow from any source but needs care and patience to cultivate kabutihan to a point where it can thrive.

When the Kabutihan Farm began in 2019, they used the kabute they cultivated to make his version of the mushroom burger he had adored during his childhood, dubbed the ‘Kabutihan Burger.’ They also adopted his idea of a ‘buy one, share one’ model, which meant that for every Kabutihan Burger purchased, one would be given to a child or someone in need, further fostering his advocacy of spreading kabutihan to others in a very literal sense.

To date, Ringgo says the Kabutihan Farm has been able to provide 5,000 burgers to the children because of this model.

The charitable model of the Kabutihan Farm continues with its coexistence with the Kabutihan Foundation, where a portion of the farm’s products and proceeds directly contribute to the scholars under the foundation, with the scholars’ parents helping out in the farm themselves. This creates a highly sustainable and strong synergy between Kabutihan’s two avenues of philanthropy.

Ringgo and Hussain

In 2013, Ringgo met a Kuwaiti National named Hussain Al Ajmi. A colleague and an equal in their mutual desire to do good for the world, the two built a strong and lasting friendship.

He recounted that Hussain was surprised to see a Filipino such as him, mystified by his generosity and goodwill. Suffice it to say that Hussain was inspired. Ringgo told him that their lives won’t last that long anyway.

“What’s another 100 years in this world? What is your sense of existence? I’m doing this because it makes me happy. It’s basically why my heart continues to beat,” Ringgo told his friend, urging Hussain to join his crusade.

The two would later be approached with an offer to buy a three hectare plot of land. They quickly realized its potential to be something special and took the opportunity. They partnered up to buy the land and developed it into what would eventually be the Kabutihan Farm.

Humble success

Ringgo took a moment to contemplate how his life shaped up to be, from his humble beginnings to his humble success, and remains adamant that he had no regrets about his life, only hope for the future.

“I was destined to be discriminated against and maramdaman ang lahat ng iyon because it made me stronger. I don’t have any regrets because I now have this mindset, this ambition, this adhikain dahil sa mga pinagdaanan ko mula bata hanggat sa ngayon. Kumbaga, ang kabutihan ay nabuo sa akin dahil sa mga struggles at sa mga challenges na pinagdaanan ko,” Ringgo said.

He continued by saying that everyone can do good despite their means, with even a small gesture of giving a burger to a stranger out of nowhere could make their day and inspire them to spread kabutihan to others and make them think ‘may kabutihan pa pala sa mundo.’

“The burger reminds of that kabutihan, na there will be kabutihan,” Ringgo said.

“Sana may mainspire ako na gumawa ng sarili nilang kabutihan in their own little ways - maybe isang student, maybe isang bata lang - because you have to start somewhere,” he added.

“Start small. After all, that small na kabutihan will conquer the entire world. Kasi kapag pinagsama-sama mo ang kabutihan, sobrang laki at lakas ng impact niyan. Kaya mong balutin ang buong mundo ng kabutihan,” he added.

The Kabutihan Farm offers organic vegetables, fresh oyster mushrooms, ornamental plants, and farm fresh menus perfect for vegans and vegetarians. Now they also serve a plethora of Pinoy favorites. A portion of the products and proceeds made directly contribute to the children scholars of the Kabutihan Foundation.

You can find the Kabutihan Farm at Minantok West, Amadeo, Cavite, where you can expect to be served food to fill your belly and your soul. Here’s how to find them:

So, if your mouth is watering for their iconic Kabutihan Burger and their other delicacies, or if you just want to show your own kabutihan, you can use the contact information below for your inquiries.

Phone No.: 0927 697 6095 and 0906 289 9390

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