Meet Ontoy B.

  • Used to get paid 35 cents US per day.

When Ontoy was 17 years old, he sewed gowns and barong tagalog (cultural Filipino shirts) for 15 pesos per day (the equivalent of 35 cents US). He left this job to work as a sewer in Padayhad Tailoring. He met his wife in Lorega (a graveyard community) and sewed to earn a living for his mother-in law, who everyone calls Ate (auntie) Glee. His wife states that he was once an arrogant man, but after working as a sewer for his mother-in-law, he was humbled by the opportunity.

  • How he got started in this livelihood project:

He and his mother-in-law were the original sewers for Ginapadala. Until Work of Your Hand placed a large order in August 2009, these bags were sold in small quantities. As awareness is raised concerning the plight of these artisans, there is a greater demand for their products.

Ontoy has returned to his home province to help his parents. This is something he has wanted to do for many years, and is one of the reasons he wanted to earn extra income through the bag making livelihood project. He will return to Cebu when Ginapadala receives another large order.

Update July 2011

Unfortunately we have lost track of Ontoy B. as he is no longer working with Work of Your Hand.