The Stuffed Toy Making Seminar Workshop took place in the activity center of the Atimonan Church, located in Atimonan, Quezon Province. About 30 participants, whose ages range from 12 to 71 (believe it or not, this is true! ), men and women from different parishes and barangays, attended the (according to the participants) much awaited workshop.
The training proper commenced with a welcome remark by Sister Shirley. Sister Shirley later narrated to me during our lunch break that whenever there is an event such as this, she’s the prime personage responsible for the accommodation of the guests and the preparation of the venue.
Followed by my short introductory speech with which I welcomed everyone to the wonderful world and lucrative craft of soft toy making, the participants later were grouped into fives, with at least 1 to 2 male member ( there are a total of 6 male participants, 5 in their early 20’s and 1 aged 71) to help facilitate in procuring their raw materials and manuals.
As expected all expressed their enthusiasm especially when I recounted my early beginnings in soft toy making and the many rewards I received since I started making toys for gifts and souvenirs.
Our coordinators, Sister Pilita and Sister Wilma joined the class and participated well in creating their projects.
The participants became excited when they found out that THEIR FIRST PROJECT is the RED BIRD stuffed toy ! I later announced that whichever group finishes first will receive a free PENGUIN PATTERN!
Photo shoots occurred while working and during rest periods with Kuya Greg and Kuya Rico as our volunteer photographers. Candid shots were taken with the participants all-smiled pose with their toys and patterns, giggledly excited about their newly found skill in toy making.
Specific topics were discussed on our last day of training:
1. Closing Stitch
2. Face Sculpting
3. Cleaning & Trimming
4. Costing and Pricing
Then, the participants got busy with their last project – the Teddy Bear. Fun and excitements loomed the entire training room as one by one presents his/her creation topped by Ms. Dolores Durana, again followed by four others, namely:
- 1. Jegger Martir
- 2. Ricky Almeyda
- 3. Marylo Tabi
- 4. Ofelia Santidad
The total number of participants were 28 plus 2 ( Sister Wilma and Sister Pilita, 30 all-in-all) who happily accepted their Certificate of Participation given by Lucena Diocesan Social Action Center, Inc. (LUDISAC) Director, Rev. Msgr. Melecio V. Verastigue,
I’m so grateful to Sister Shirley, Father Msgr. Boy, Kuya Rico, Kuya Jason (the Church Chef), Father Dennis, Sister Pilita and Sister Wilma for their combined efforts in making this event successful. Before we part ways, Msgr. Boy reminded us the important role of Hapag Asa and commended Assisi Development Foundation for coming up with this concept of Livelihood Training.
. Five promising individuals, namely Jegger Martir, Ricky Almeyda, Dolores Durana, Leonora Veloso and Rufina Bacquial expressed their willingness to pursue this kind of business and share this to their co-parishers and barangay townfolks.
Ms. Lucy Quismundo, on the other hand, texted me as I aboard my bus bound to Manila, that she’s practicing all the three projects with alternative fabrics:
“ Marami pong salamat sa ibinahagi mo sa aming kaalaman. Naga practice po kami ng anak ko sa paggawa ng teddy bear para maituro ko po dito sa amin.”
Mr. Ricky Almeyda said:
“ Pinaliit ko pa po ang pattern ng Angry Bird para mas madali pong gawin, ituturo ko po kasi sa aking inay at sa mga taga rito sa amin upang mayron kaming dagdag kita.”
Jegger Martir texted:
“ Ingat ka po sa pag uwi sir. I te text po kita pag magpapabili ako ng mga materyales.
Magtuturo din po nito sa amin sa Tayabas.”
Leonora Veloso texted:
“ Thank you very much po. Prayer is my special gift for you.”
I replied those who texted me with encouragement not to give up if they encounter problems with stuffed toy making. I promised that I’ll be meeting them again soon to continue to assist them as I gave them additional pattern : Panda, and promised to give more when I return.
God bless the Diocese of Lucena and more power to LUDISAC, INC.!!! Being with Quezonians certainly is another wonderful and an unforgettable experience!!!