TORRIJOS, Marinduque – In one fell swoop, the livelihood of 30 mothers in Barangay Bonliw, Torrijos, Marinduque was blown away.
Typhoon Nina not only caused massive damage to properties in the island but it also destroyed the bleaching, dyeing, and warping stations of Buntal weavers in the barangay.
According to Julie Ann Reginio, one of the Buntal weavers, they already secured clients for their products before the typhoon struck.
But since almost all the looms were destroyed, they did not have the capacity to push through with the orders.
“Sayang kasi may mga orders na kami noong Pasko. Ngayon, wala kaming nagagawa,” she said.
Buntal fiber comes from the buri palm tree and are transformed by loom weavers to export quality bags, placemats, table runners, and blinds. Each weaver can produce 3 meters of woven blinds which costs 100php/meter, or 8-10 woven placemats costing Php 12 each.
When VP Leni visited Marinduque, she promised to help the weavers in rebuilding their facilities. Through the Angat Buhay program of the Office of the Vice President, she also pledged to connect the weavers with partners who can help them market their products.
During her visit, VP Leni distributed 344 pieces of corrugated GI Sheets, 205 boxes of high energy biscuits, and 50 boxes of rice packs to communities affected by the typhoon.
Through it all, the Buntal weavers of barangay Bonliw remain hopeful and the visit of VP Leni in Marinduque added a much needed respite from the storm.