This month’s Passport Series is all about the Philippines! The Philippines is truly a cultural melting pot, a quality that is reflected in its many languages, vibrant celebrations and its food! Follow us throughout the month of December as we learn about The Philippines as a nation, its microfinance sector, and the work that Kiva does there!
Weaving is a traditional craft in the Philippines that has been practised for centuries by indigenous tribes. Weaving skills have been passed down through the generations and are employed to create a wide range of products from hats and handbags to rugs and roofs. A variety of materials are used including nipa palm fronds and fibers from abaca plants (a species of banana tree native to the Philippines). Many Kiva borrowers in the Philippines use their loans to develop their weaving businesses. Here are just a few examples of borrowers creating beautiful and useful woven products...
Erlinda - Photo Credit: Joanne Gan
Erlinda is from Negros Occidental, Philippines. Her primary business is weaving nipa palm to make roofing materials – and she makes over 1,000 of these pieces in one week. She pours the profits of her business into the educational expenses of her six sons – hoping, like most parents around the world, that they will have a brighter future.
Evangeline P. - Photo Credit: Community Transformation Credit Cooperative.
This is Evangeline P. of Camarin, Caloocan City. Evangeline buys scrap fabrics from neighboring garment factories and weaves each thick strand to fashion them into beautiful foot rugs and placemats. She has been in this industry for 15 years and enjoys her work. She earns 250 Philippine pesos a day.
Encarnacion C. - Photo Credit: Ahon sa Hirap, Inc.
Encarnacion C. lives in the Antique province in the Philippines. She attended a Department of Trade and Industry training course about handicraft making ten years ago. After the course, she started a small business weaving sleeping mats using pandan leaf (a kind of palm). Now she makes other kinds of handicrafts such as hats, native bags made from abaca fiber, placemats made from twigs, and other decorative pieces. Many souvenir shop owners visit Encarnacion's village to buy her products.
Ruth A. - Photo Credit: Gata Daku Multi-purpose Cooperative
Ruth A. is from Zamboanga del Sur, Phillipines. To make a living, Ruth owns & operates a business weaving and selling sawali (woven bamboo wall) to local businesses and community members. Ruth has been engaged in her business for over three years and her rugs are very popular. She is earning approximately 3000 Philippine pesos a month.
Leonora C. - Photo Credit: Center for Community Transformation Credit Cooperative
Leonora C. lives in Cavite City, Philippines and is the mother of six children. Leonora operates a rug and textile making business. Her products range in size from small coaster size pieces to much larger items such as doormats, braided quilts and bed covers. Her regular customers are her neighbors and the local community. She uses her loans to buy raw materials including fabrics, thread and newspapers for patterns. She earns a minimum of 200 Philippine pesos in sales each day.
To make a loan to a business in the Philippines, click here!