Nanay Teresita Trapaljar from Brgy. Villa Ibaba with her handmade bamboo products.

 

Teresita Nabuel Trapalgar or Nanay Tere was teary-eyed as she accepted the money from the sales of her handmade bamboo products. The money, she said, will be used to buy food for her family.

She is one of the beneficiaries under Atimonan One Energy, Inc.’s (A1E) Angat Kabuhayan livelihood and enterprise development program, which aims to provide capacity building trainings to create more job opportunities and uplift the lives of Atimonan residents like Nanay Tere.

Due to poverty, Nanay Tere was only able to finish elementary school. A native of Calbayog, Samar, she worked as a kasambahay at an early age to help her parents feed the family. She also went as far as Bicol and even Metro Manila to earn money for her family.

At the age 20, she married Jose Trapalgar, who lives in Atimonan and then later decided to move and settle down in Barangay. Villa Ibaba. The couple has four children.

As a housewife, she has been struggling to make ends meet given that the main source of income is just her husband’s earnings from fishing and occasional construction works. Admittedly, it is not enough to meet the needs of her family.

Nanay Tere, in her desire to help her husband, last year decided to participate in the training on how to use bamboo, a resource abundant in Atimonan, to create handicrafts. It is one of the trainings organized by A1E under the Angat Kabuhayan program.

The community-based training taught Nanay Tere and the other participants how to make novelty and gift items such as lampshades, chandeliers, coin banks, food utensils, speakers, wind chimes and pen holders.

It also equipped Nanay Tere with the knowledge on the proper way of cleaning and curing of bamboo poles, and the different finishing techniques to increase the products’ salability in the market.

 

A small banca replica handmade by Nanay Tere from bamboo.

 

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was tapped to provide a short seminar on how to start and manage the participants’ businesses; and also taught them proper costing and record keeping.

Nanay Tere is now part of a group which is called Villa Ibaba Handicraft Association, Inc., which will be soon be registered with the DTI.

After the training, A1E helped Nanay Tere and the other participants in promoting and selling their products in and out of Atimonan, including Lucena and some parts of Metro Manila.

Nanay Tere earned around P10,000 from her bamboo products from July to December alone, and she hopes the additional income will be sustained with her hard work.

“I am grateful to A1E for making this program happen,” said Nanay Tere, adding: “Through this program, you have helped me bring food to our table.”