My itinerary says it would take 3
to 4 hours to reach Kawit Pier in Marinduque. From there, somebody would fetch me and bring me to Gasan, home to my
Mrs. Lelia Bermundo Narvas.
My spine shivered not just because that
would be my first time to board a ship but because it was my first time to be
in Marinduque. I’ve never heard anything
bad about Marinduquenos nor had I experienced any misdeed done to me by a native
of this province. What kind of people
are they? Will they be interested in the
craft that I’m about to impart to them?
I can’t help but recall my humble
beginnings and the vow I’ve kept all these years –
" To help others find their
creative niche and develop their talents to produce
hand-made quality toy
I was in this stream of
thoughts when I noticed I have reached Lucena Grand Terminal. I immediately got off the bus and felt happy
to find a Jollibee branch within the terminal grounds. After having lunch, I rode a jeep which took
me off to the Dalahican/Talao Talao Pier. I was
lucky enough to reach the pier on time for the last trip to Marinduque at 4pm.
I arrived at Kawit Pier at around 8 pm.
A young man, helped me find a tricycle that took me to my host’s house
in Gasan. Later, I learned that that
young man is my host’s son, Mc Enroe.
Only upon reaching their house have I felt relieved , my fear
subsided. Seeing Mrs. Narvas for the
first time, I knew that I’m safe.
Mrs. Narvas is a very kind woman. She toured me around her garden even though
it’s too dark and I can barely see the pave blocks around her garden. She then mused me to a room where I had a
good night sleep after a sumptuous dinner of a native chicken cooked in curried
The next morning, Mrs. Narvas and I
proceeded to Sta. Cruz Parish where Father Allan Malapad and Father Gani
greeted us as they took turns nibbling boiled peanuts spread on a wide bilao.
Our first day of training occurred in the activity
area of the old convent house. There, I
met the participants, all of them women from different parishes of Marinduque. They were in their early
20’s, 40’s and some were senior citizens.
Although there were only 16 participants,
I felt the intensity of their desire to learn.
Everyone was prepared, even brought their own extra chipboards for the
free patterns I promised to give on the last day of the training.
DAY ONE, started with pattern making. Distribution of templates and boards came so
fast that within an hour, they were able to finish cutting their fabric pieces
and were ready for their first project, the teddy bear.
An old lady, Sister Cory, was generous
enough to let the younger participants took turns first with the pattern
templates before she started with hers. The day ended with each participant having
learned the importance of lay outing, cutting fabric pieces neatly and toy
assembly via various hand sewing techniques.
On the SECOND DAY, we transferred
to a different venue, much smaller but more comfortable and more conducive to
learning. The participants were able to
cut and sew their dolphins.
On DAY THREE, back to our original
training site, we embarked in Bird Making and all the participants were able to
finish their toys. We took pictures of
their products and before we part ways, costing and packaging were discussed as
well as the sources of raw materials.
Among the notable participants were Sisters
Cory, Lelia, Beth, Vener, Elena and Mercy; all of them patiently followed the
instructions given to them.
I cannot help but mention the presence of
Reverend Michael who called the Dolphins, Tulingan. I also appreciate the 3 seminarians who
visited us from time to time as part of their immersion.
I am so grateful to Father Allan and
Sister Lelia. They are both hospitable,
very accommodating. Even the
participants, they are all very loving, asking me everytime they had a chance,
when am I going back to Marinduque.
I can say this training is a huge success. They are planning to push through with their
production as they now receive orders from friends, neighbours and relatives.
Again, I reminded them that this program
couldn’t have been realized without the help of Assisi Development Foundation
and if they have more request for additional trainings, don’t hesitate to call
me or their SAC officer.