MANILA - Products of Filipina entrepreneurs are placed on the spotlight at the Department of Trade and Industry's online “Gawang Pinay” Fair, which aims to provide market opportunities for products made by women-owned or -managed enterprises.
The trade fair features at least 60 women-led Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from different regions of the country.
Among these women are Lynn Sheryl Reasol, Mitzi Uy-Chan and Trina Sumayang.
To help provide additional income for beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Dinagat Islands, Reasol, owner of Binuhat Arts and Trading Crafts, decided to employ mothers of 4Ps families.
Being a 4P's beneficiary as well, she wanted to be able to show everyone that they too have talents to share and can help with the expenses of their families.
"Ako po ma'am ay isang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary rin po. Dahil sa 4Ps shaming, ako po ang naglakas loob na itayo yung livelihood ng kababaihan sa barangay namin gawa po ng may talent naman," Reasol said.
Their creativity was expressed through colorful backpacks, picnic baskets, and pouches made of synthetic plastic rattan.
With the pandemic affecting more and more people, Reasol decided to include non-4Ps residents of Barangay Mahayhay in the Municipality of San Jose.
Mitzi Uy-Chan, meanwhile, taught stay-at-home moms of Barangay Apolonio Samson and Barangay Batasan Hills in Quezon City to make handcrafted notebooks.
Uy-Chan, founder of Mori Notes, explained, "Gusto ko pong bigyan ng oportunidad ang mga Nanay na makasama yung anak nila while having livelihood in their own houses. Mori po means 'God is my teacher'."
She added, "Each item is made with love at the very own homes of our mother crafters in Quezon City."
Aside from notebook journals, they have expanded and started to make bags, organizers, wallets and face masks.
Raffia, a natural fiber from the buri palms, is the main product used by the Tubigon Loomweavers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TLMPC) in Bohol.
The association consists mostly of housewives of farmers and fishermen.
Sumayang, the cooperative's general manager, "Hindi naman po balakid sa aming kababaihan yung kulang sa edukasyon since they are highly-skilled weavers. We started with 25 weavers. Now, we have 150."
The organization was able to continue on with the rich tradition of weaving and has created world-class products.
They have created bags, placemats, and have even ventured out to fashion.
Farmers and fishermen have also started to join the cooperative to learn how to weave as a sideline.
Encouragement and support are key drivers for the success stories of these women entrepreneurs.
Patricia Abejo, Director of DTI Knowledge Management and Information Service, underscored the importance of helping Pinay entrepreneurs through capacity building, training and provision of equipment.
DTI is urging buyers to source their needs through this online selling platform, especially now that limited mobility and social distancing are enforced in the country.
The "Gawang Pinay Fair" digital store is open until Sept. 7. Other products being offered in the fair are food and beverages, gifts and souvenirs, houseware and decor, fashion accessories, wearables, specialty/heirloom, food and health, and wellness products.
Visit the "Gawang Pinay" Digital Store by clicking https://unionbank.globallinker.com/mobile/GawangPinay.