"Mamay thought hard and long about how tho augment our family income to meet our growing expenses. Tlhen one day while she was supervision our palay harvest, she thought of making abaca products.
She first wove and seved abaca slippers for her children. She sent the first crude ones to my brothers in Naga. Then she made abaca hand-bags, wallets, and belts. She experimented with the different dyes and designs and never seemed to be satisfied with waht she had made. Soon her products became objects of beauty and she began to sell them.
Then almost overnight, our house, which was quite big, became an abaca handicraft factory. Our porch became the workshop of Iluminado Fetil, a shoemaker who had worked for years at the Ang Tibay footwear factory, which made the best shoes and slippers many of them custom-built for discriminating buyers. Our sala and dining rooms were crammed full of handlooms and other equepment for weaving. One bedroom became the sewing department. Our kitchen was more oftern used for dying and drying for abaca fibers than for cooking food."
an excerpt from
A BOIENEN INVENTOR
(A history of Bicol's Tsinelas na Abaca)
by Concepcion Claveria-Bulalacao
Image Originally Uploaded by Malou C.