TFC News

Filipino Canadian's woven bags showcased at Times Square

Cecile Docto | TFC News Vancouver

Posted at Mar 23 2022 05:56 PM

Filipino Canadian April Moran's bayongs featured on a billboard at the iconic Times Square.
Filipino Canadian April Moran's bayongs featured on a billboard at the iconic Times Square. Photo courtesy: Soul Mate Productions

Filipino Canadian April Moran never thought selling bayongs online would be the start of something big for her.

She has been selling original bayongs, classy bags, and clutches made of Filipino raw materials. After a couple of years, Moran's business Bayong Canada landed on a billboard at Times Square during the New York Fashion Week last February.

Bayong Canada owner April Moran
'Bayong Canada' owner April Moran

"I'm so happy. Hindi ko po inaasahan yun. Sobrang bilis and then they appreciate the bayong and they want to sell na the bayong especially our clutches. So I’m so happy because this is our product. This is one of a kind," Moran said.

(I never expected it. It was so fast and then they appreciate the bayong and they want to sell the bayong immediately especially our clutches.)

April Moran's bayongs featured at Times Square. Photo courtesy: Soul Mate Productions
Photo courtesy: Soul Mate Productions

Moran collaborated with Davaoeño Joy Soo's Musa Fabric. Her clutches, which were used as accessories by Soo's models in the runway, were instant hits. Moran immediately got orders from the United States.

Filipino Canadian photographer William Orsua
Filipino Canadian photographer William Orsua

The billboard also showcased the talent of Filipino Canadian William Orsua who conceptualized the shoot. Orsua was surprised that his name was shown on the billboard. The gig opened up new opportunities for the Vancouver-based photographer. 

"When you hear about New York Time Square billboards, it's a big thing especially in fashion, in commercial industry. Once your image is there, you’re featured in there, it’s a big thing. That’s where all the big brands go," Orsua noted.

Moran, who worked as a medical office assistant, sees a great future for her products and she's excited for the communities that make them. Bayong Canada sustains the livelihood of eight communities, with weavers coming from around the Philippines.

"I want to promote our own products from the Philippines and pangalawa, these bayongs have very beautiful stories," Moran said.

(I want to promote our own products from the Philippines and secondly, these bayong have very beautiful stories.)

Moran plans to add more communities to help by conducting workshops on how to weave and create those one-of-a-kind bags that come with a purpose.