Beyond survival, women ‘sewing’ a bright future in Eastern Samar


Report by Lottie Salarda 

Salcedo, Eastern Samar – With the skillful hands of women who were former factory workers combined with the strong leadership of a former tailor, an association of sewers in Brgy Asgad Salcedo Eastern Samar was born.


Brgy Asgad was one of the hardest hit areas in Salcedo Eastern Samar as the community was facing the Pacific Ocean. They got 10 casualties including children.


But despite the death of relatives and friends and loss of homes and livelihoods women of Asgad continue to rise with the use of sewing machines given to them by a non-governmental organization.


Felixberto Gagante, 64 years old, a former OFW and tailor was elected by the association to become their President. Gagante accepted the challenged and teach them on how to make a bag and rug.


He lent his house as a temporary tailoring shop for the women sewers of their association. Before typhoon Ruby, they sew their bags at the bunkhouses which place was not comfortable to work. Gagante then offered his house temporarily.


Since the association was still new, they lack materials in making bags. When their neighbors knew about their group they started donating unused clothing for the women sewers to recycle and make it a bag of different designs and colors.


Asgad’s Women Sewer’s Association aimed to create more bags and teach more women in the brgy to have their livelihood too.


“Karamihan sa kanila mga dating factory workers sa Maynila, pero hindi related sa pananahi kaya tinuruan ko sila kung paano magtahi ng bag,” Gagante said..


They intend to sell their output in the town market. Because of lack of materials, they now call on people to donate their unused clothing or any materials that can be reused for making a bag.


Their goal is to have a small production of bags made of reusable materials made by the skillful hands of women of Brgy Asgad, Salcedo Eastern Samar.




Report by Lottie Salarda



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