After the success of the

Sining Pandemya this February 14-19, which the exhibit is extended until February 28.

As the Municipal Tourism Officer, I conceived an organization named ECAF Empowered Catanduanes Artists Foundation to be lead by the President elect Engr. Somido Allan to start promoting indigenous materials in Visual arts, particularly, the Abaca Paper, which I have been advocating since 2018 with Mr. Jai Marquez .

Gladly, the dream was turned into reality with the art pieces of Jai exhibited in the Sining Pandemia @ the Center Mall and at the Arte Insulare at CatSU.

I gave the ECAF artists some abaca paper samples sponsored by Odys Handicraft by Teresita Fernandez Sebastian which the artists are now practicing on, while I am in close coordination with Tiya Tess in improving the abaca paper to fit as world class Painting Canvas.

Since 1994, I am already volunteering at the DTI as paper crafter, and since 2003 I am one of the Tesda Cshci skills trainer on abaca paper product conversion, floristry and jewelry making. The original proponent of Abaca Festival to the SP Catanduanes with the support of PBM Edwin Tanael and the proponent of a Guinness Book of world record entry of the largest hammock out of abaca twine in partnership with TESDA CSHCI supreme student council, under the administration of Mr. Bernardino, though the change in administration, frustrated the project.

Nevertheless,

I continued being an advocate of abaca handicrafts and even registered Mariel’s Craft Haven as abaca paper manufaturer, and volunteered as AFTI and Filipinas Venture designer through DTI during the time of former PD Bebot Panti.

I continued to promote abaca paper and by products in support to LGU Bato’s OTOP by conducting community based skills trainings and bringing local products to Megamall Mandaluyong on OKB Orgullo Kan Bicol exhibits since 2007 under former Mayor Leo Rodriguez’ Bato ALISTO Administration.

For several years, i have almost lost hope on my advocacy, until my first acquaintance with Jai Marquez in 2018, during former Mayor Laynes’ administraton when I regain the interest in paper crafts when he showed me his handicraft pieces and his painting skills. So I started convincing him to use abaca paper as medium or canvas in his work.

It also took a while before he fully perfected the use of abaca paper which he has now confidently brought to 2 recent exhibits in Virac.

Now, the process is in progress. And I am appealing for support to this project, as well as appealing to others who are trying to prematurely make moves without making a research on it’s viability.

Abaca is our island’s precious agricultural gem. Many have disregarded or devaluated the by-product industry.

But I will keep fighting for it.

Now is the time to make this God-given mission to me, to bring pride to Catanduanes.

Source: LGU Virac Catanduanes


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