Freeman Cebu Business

How to make Ribbon garlands Graduation Season means business for Local Vendors

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Graduation month is considered to be the busiest and prime selling season for producers and sellers of ribbon garlands which are primarily in-demand during graduation rites in various schools and universities.

However, saying that their business is seasonal, garland vendors at Freedom Park in Cebu City take the entire year in making garlands and majority of these are sold during March and October graduations.

Their small-time business experiences highs and lows, leaving them heavily dependent on the income generated during the peak selling period of their products, they said.

So, aside from garland trading, these vendors also engage in another business like selling flowers and handmade crafts to maintain cash flow during the rest of the year.

“Di man mahimo nga pagpamaligya ra og garlands among saligan. (We can’t just depend on selling garlands),” said 55-year-old Macrina Arcayan, a flower and garland trader for 26 years and owns a small stall in Freedom Park.

Arcayan has regular buyers of her garlands and they also sell these outside graduation venues. The most common type of garland, which she and other vendors call “Sonson” is sold at P25 each.

But a customer can save if he buys a dozen which costs P220. A cheaper one which is simply made of ribbon strap and a flower-like design on the center sells at P10 and a dozen is at P100.

Arcayan with the help of her 27-year-old relative Cecilia Abello could produce 100 dozens (1,200 pieces) of garlands from February to March, excluding those they have made during the off-season.

Most garland vendors from the Southern and Northern Cebu regularly flock to Freedom Park to buy products in bulk, Arcayan said.

On the other hand, Abello noted anyone can actually start this “cheap” venture especially those who are looking for extra income stressing that it just requires a small capital but yields a big revenue.

“Pero di sab sayon ning trabahoa oy--sakit kaayo sa buko-buko. Kinahanglan naa lang kay patience,” (It is not as easy as it seems, it actually gives me backpains. Patience is really needed) she shared, adding that it is best to have someone to talk with while doing the job to prevent boredom.


Abello showed to The Freeman the steps  on how to make a simple ribbon garland:

1. Starters will need the following equipment and materials: 2 large 50-meter ribbons (cost: P125 each), 1 large roll of thread (cost: P60),  big size needle and  scissors. One will just need more or less P350 to buy these things.  Abello said using two large    ribbon yields 36 pieces of garlands and if sold at P25 each, an individual can earn as much as P900. This means the return of investment takes only one selling day.

2. To start, cut a 1 meter of the ribbon; and tear the 3-inch wide ribbon into thin strips (approximately 1 centimeter).

3. Meanwhile, insert a 3-foot thread into the needle hole. The thread serves as the skeleton of the garland. The length of the garland determines how much ribbon is needed. Now, pin a ribbon strip into the needle point folding it 1-inch and pin again — and repeat until the ribbon is completed on the thread.

4. To finish the process, tie both ends of the thread.











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