Episode 84: Ditching the Shirt and Tie with Tom Graham


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By Mike Grogan. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The Philippines has a long history with colonizers. From the Spaniards in the 16th century to the Americans after the Philippine Revolution to the Japanese in World War II. So while we're welcoming to foreigners who come to visit the country for a holiday, we're wary of those who decide to stay and explore opportunities in the country. It's inevitable to think that they're here to exploit our resources and get rich off our backs.

Such is the challenged faced by English journalist Tom Graham when he decided to extend his stay in the Philippines. Inspired by Gawad Kalinga Founder Tony Meloto, Tom ditched the shirt and tie and spent a few months living and working with poor people in various GK communities. There, he discovered the genius of the Filipino people and fell in love with the country.

Now, Tom is a social entrepreneur and is the co-founder of a Mad Travel, a social tourism company with a mission to help end poverty in the Philippines by 2024. At a time when Filipinos are leaving the country to migrate and work abroad, you're probably wondering what keeps Tom here. Why does he keep coming back to the GK Enchanted farm every week? What does he see that millions of OFWs don't? Let's all find out in this interview.

119 episodes