Yolanda survivors take part in IEC trade fair

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - January 25, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Years after the horrific experience caused by super typhoon Yolanda, survivors are grateful in finding “new hope” to bounce back from the tragedy as they are given the opportunity to showcase their products in the trade fair for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress Pavilion in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.

Recycled handbags, wine holders, coin purses, key chains, accessories, and rosaries are among the many handmade products Yolanda survivors are selling at the trade fair in the basement of the IEC Pavilion. These products are sold at P50 to P400.

 Jonna Seno, 40 years old, is one of the typhoon survivors who use their skills in making bags out of backing paper, and rosaries out of magazine papers, among others.

“Akong gamiton akong nakat-onan sa among livelihood program. Nakabaligya nako, naka-attend pa gyud ko sa IEC. Mura siya’g bag-ong paglaum namo nga mopadayon sa among panginabuhi,” Seno told THE FREEMAN.

Seno said the livelihood program of the Archdiocese of Cebu, in partnership with Caritas Philippines and Municipality of San Remigio, has great impact on her family’s life.

“Second life nagud ni namo nga nabuhi mi human sa kusog nga bagyo, mao lang sab ni among paagi sa pagpasalamat sa Ginoo nga buhi akong pamilya,” she said.

She recalled the trauma and anxiety that her family experienced when Yolanda destroyed her house on November 8, 2013.

“Dili lalim among nahiaguman sa bagyong Yolanda. Hurot among balay pagkusokuso sa bagyo. Pero hinay-hinay nakong gikalimtan tungod sa mga maayong kasing-kasing nga nitabang namo,” she said.

With the knowledge she got out of the livelihood assistance, Seno said she would offer her craft to God as a way of giving thanks that her family is safe from the destructive typhoon.

“Mapasalamaton pud mi tungod sa livelihood assistance nga ilang gihatag namo. Karong IEC, mao ni akong halad sa Ginoo human niya giluwas akong pamilya sa kusog kaayo nga bagyo,” she said.

The Archdiocese of Cebu’s Relief and Rehabilitation Unit is among the 135 stalls participating in the trade fair for the IEC.

The archdiocese’s Relief and Rehabilitation Unit was created after typhoon Yolanda struck northern Cebu and other areas of the country. The program is part of the social action of the archdiocese in partnership with Caritas Philippines.

Klyde Zaragoza, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accounting and Learning Officer of Archdiocese of Cebu, said there are 3,000 to 4,000 Yolanda survivors benefiting from the assistance of the Diocese.

One of the programs of the archdiocese is the cash from trash program, a livelihood project of Caritas Village Homeowners Association supported by the Relief and Rehabilitation Unit of the Archdiocese of Cebu and Caritas Philippines.

“Our aim is not only to give something to the typhoon survivors but to capacitate them,” Zaragoza said.  He said they do not offer specific products that bear the IEC logo, but they just want to promote the products made by the Yolanda survivors.

At least 135 stalls are available at the basement of the IEC Pavilion. Rentals of these stalls range from P10,500 to P37,500.

As of now, bestsellers are T-shirts bearing the IEC logo, with prices ranging from P130 to P200.

Other IEC merchandises available by the stall of Solid Waste Recycling and Services include luggage tags at P35 each; pillows at P99; mugs at P99; tumblers at P99, among others.

The stall also offers personalized T-shirts, in which you can have your name printed on it with the IEC Logo and a free sun visor also with the logo of the IEC.  Other available items that bear the IEC logo are pins at P25, refrigerator magnet at P50, ballpen at P25, nail cutter with key chain at P35, among others. 

Books of Pope Francis are also a big hit in the trade fair, too. They can be bought at P50 to P300.

These stalls would be open to the public – those without IEC accreditation IDs – from February 1 to February 7.  — /ATO (FREEMAN)



  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with