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Posted on March 1, 2014

Xilca Alvarez-Protacio: Defender of the Poor

This Pinay & Proud bayani believes in brewing a generation of Filipinos crazy in love with our country.

This Pinay & Proud bayani believes in brewing a generation of Filipinos crazy in love with our country.

What makes a bayani? For Bayani Brew’s Xilca Alvarez-Protacio, it took a delicious idea, a little craziness, and a lot of heart.

Xilca Alvarez-Protacio was a public defender. As a lawyer, she fought for the rights of her clients - probationers and parolees - to be given the opportunity to find work despite their criminal records. After two years of service, it dawned on her that what they really needed was a job, not a lawyer.

Thus Xilca turned her back on her law career to be a social entrepreneur who would eventually establish sustainable livelihood projects like Cafe de Sug Sulu Coffee and Gourmet Keso. In October 2012, she took on a full-time Marketing role alongside co-founders Ron Dizon and Shanon Khadka and created the proudly Filipino beverage sensation, Bayani Brew.

With a mission to “brew a generation of Filipinos crazy in love with our country,” the Bayani Brew Crew didn’t imagine the hit their drink would become as it grew to stock shelves of upscale groceries and over 50 outlets nationwide. “I love it when people think we’re so ‘big-time’ [when] we’re actually just a fledging start-up social enterprise,” Xilca laughs. “I love this idea because it challenges the status quo and mindset that you can only get into business and succeed if you have lots of capital or come from a wealthy business clan, when truth be told, anyone can do it as long as you’re sincere in wanting to help and determined to do whatever it takes.”

For Xilca and the gang, doing whatever it takes meant giving back to partner farming communities and moving towards agriculture-based prosperity for all. “We made it a point to contribute to the monthly Agricool program of the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm to send farmers’ kids to school,” Xilca explains. “We currently have three Bayani College scholars and we hope to multiply that. We hope that we would not only be able to help finance their studies but that eventually, they realize they can grow with Bayani Brew and take on managerial positions or become partner agri-business entrepreneurs with us.”

“Our goal is pretty simple and shared by Human Nature: We can help make subsistence farmers a thing of the past,” Xilca shares. “Bayani Brew and the Enchanted Farm aim to make every subsistence farmer wealthy, every idle land productive, every child healthy – all over the country.



The Bayani Brew Crew: Xilca Alvarez, Ron Dizon, and Shanon Khadka (Photo courtesy of Destination Changemakers)



Farmers harvesting lemongrass for Bayani Brew's distinctly delicious flavor! (Photo courtesy of Tajen Sui and the Bayani Brew Crew)

This post was posted in Pinay and Proud - Profiles

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