I am very proud to announce that my bracelets have arrived (around the same time I started this website, which is good!)
It took a lot of hard work from both my supplier, Kinamot nga Buhat and my family who have helped me reduce the shipping charge. (My Tita Inday – Susan Villanueva kindly allowed me to have the delivery shipped to her office in Manila and even arranged for a personal driver to have it brought to me at my hotel when there was a problem with shipping.)
I think it’s important that everyone know the 3 colors for sale that I have chosen and what their meaning is from my experiences in Tacloban.
I honestly initially chose blue steel as a color because it was a play-on one of my favorite movies, Zoolander. However, Tacloban changed my perception of this term. I used to see blue steel as this:
But his “one look”, a term that always made me laugh, reminded me of the same high spirits and attitude of the people of Tacloban. Even though there was so much pain and suffering that happened there, my trip in Tacloban was not only tears and sadness. I shared laughs with people I met in the northern barangays, as well as the survivors who told me their stories and were just simply hopeful for the future.
This is what I mean by strength and determination. This bracelet is a testament to the undying spirit I have found in the people of Tacloban and is a great symbol and comfort for your friends if they are dealing with tough situations.
One of the most upsetting and sad facts I learned while I was in Tacloban was the “body bag” estimate. This was taken from my journal in Tacloban after my interview with some surviviors of Yolanda:
“The death toll was definitely over 25000. There were 25k body bags sent to store bodies and they had to put 2-3 bodies in one bag according to witnesses who survived the disaster. Government estimates were an article of lies. A health official estimated the death at 10000 within the first couple of days after the tragedy and was fired.”
Blood Red is the symbol I have chosen for sacrifice and to honor the loss of a loved one. This color has a particular fondness in my heart as well because it epitomizes the sacrifice that Christ has made for our sins:
“For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children God has given me.” Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.”
– Hebrews 2: 10-14
I chose this color as a figurehead of the start of my campaign. One of my saddest moments was hearing my young students in one of the Tacloban schools asking me for water, and me not being able to give it because there was no water source in the school.
The color here represents not only the purity and cleanliness of water, but similarly to how water brings life and nature, it is also reaffirm a dedication to protect our children and our natural resources.
Every bracelet is delivered in a simple pouch that has also been hand-made from local materials (I believe they are used rice bags.)
How Does My Donation Help the People of Tacloban?
The donation not only allows me to continue business with local artisans in Tacloban and provide them with employment, but it will also help me fund more aggressive campaigns such as trying to get these products sold in local stores. Major issues that I have faced so far include the following:
– Logistics: In order to justify getting a fair price and reducing overhead, I need to buy stock in bulk from the locals, which requires a larger initial investment. Shipping costs need to also be reduced, which I will be trying to do by collaborating with local businesses.
– Improvement of Product: My getting feedback from Australians and other consumers, I hope to help artisans improve their product for a global market by suggesting alternative materials and practical functions for future jewelry.
I will also be planning a return trip to Tacloban and your donations will help fund the expenses of sending a relief team to Tacloban to help me kick off some of my main ambitions:
1) Start a training program and fund access for locals to learn and start an online business.
2) Help collaborate with local governments to improve schools and their main issues: access to resources and overcrowding.
3) Address the main concern from Tacloban’s mayor, which was the promotion of livelihood in Tacloban.
Stay Tuned for Ordering Information!