• features

Beyond limits: unfolding stories of women

by Katrina A. Mallari and Nicole Arganosa | Apr 01, 2019
PLDT_NanayNelia
62-year old Nelia C. Legisniana is from Albay, Bicol. She is one of the women who produced the PLDT eco bags which was part of PLDT’s 90th Anniversary initiatives.

March is the month we give honor to all the amazing women nationwide as they continue to aspire, live and create a world full of colors. In celebration of women’s month, PLDT, through its Community Relations (ComRel) Division, embraces the stories of a teacher from Ormoc, Leyte and women weavers of Bicol and North Cotabato.

PLDT_BroadbandQuiz
36-year old Mercy Danyog Panawad is the President of the Sinaka Eagle Indigenous Peoples Women Associations (SEIPWA) — a group of women who make the iconic Philippine eagle plushies in Barangay Tumanding, Arakan, North Cotabato.

A teacher’s dream
For Rose Ann Prias, a senior high school teacher II from Valencia National High School in Ormoc City, Leyte, it was almost impossible to win the 2018 PLDT Home Fibr Broadband Quiz competition. She said she doubted if this dream will ever come true. But it was her determination to bring honors to her school that enabled her to soar with flying colors and turn the dream into reality.

Prias was hailed as the grand champion of the 2018 PLDT Home Fibr Broadband Quiz for the teacher’s category. She happily brought home a cash prize of P45,000. 
 
“Thank you so much to PLDT for giving us, Ormocanons, the chance to be part of its Infoteach Outreach Program. It was very significant and so timely. The program did not just widen our scope of learning as teachers, but also enabled us to experience the opportunity to represent our beloved city in a national competition,” Prias said.

“The program did not end during the training or the broadband quiz but continued up to this day where our school has benefited and utilized the four sets of computers you awarded to us. Indeed, the whole experience was memorable and life-changing,” she added.

This 23-year-old Mathematics teacher has become an inspiration in her school. As the lone woman to compete in the Broadband Quiz teacher’s category, she said that she has learned to intensify her determination to face the odds and succeeded.
 
PLDT_SEIPWA
36-year old Mercy Danyog Panawad is the President of the Sinaka Eagle Indigenous Peoples Women Associations (SEIPWA) — a group of women who make the iconic Philippine eagle plushies in Barangay Tumanding, Arakan, North Cotabato.

Weaving ingenious crafts
Among the series of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of PLDT are its livelihood programs, particularly for the women in far-flung communities. Two of these programs are the production and selling of the Philippine Eagle plush toys and the ecobags from Bicol. 

In partneship with the Davao-based Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), selected indigenous women from partner communities were trained to create the Philippine Eagle plush toys. The products are mainly sold at the Philippine Eagle Center. This community enterprise initiative provides alternative livelihood to Indigenous Peoples’ communities living within the forest. 

Mercy Danyog Panawad, president of the Sinaka Eagle Indigenous Peoples Women Associations (SEIPWA) — a group of women who make the iconic Philippine eagle plushies in Barangay Tumanding, Arakan, North Cotabato — related that as a young kid, she saw how commercial logging destroyed the forest where she lived. The village leaders, together with the Arakan Local Government Unit (LGU), barricaded the land against loggers to preserve the land they have treasured all their lives.

In 2015, she became a sew mate for PEF, an organization that helps protect the country’s Philippine eagles. PEF’s livelihood program, the “Community Conservation Sew Mates Enterprise,” empowers indigenous women in far-flung communities by engaging them in conservation activities and enhancing their management and business skills. 

Panawad was chosen as one of the 20 women champions for eagle conservation in Tumanding. Now in her early forties, this mother of four and wife to a deputized local forest guard says she wants the organization not only to make plushies but also to take on other projects that will engage young women in conservation.

Meanwhile, PLDT is also supporting the women sew mates of Albay through its Bicol ecobags project, as part of the company’s livelihood program for the women of the Rural Workers Muladbucad Pequeňo Association. Through the PLDT Balik-Baterya funds, the company supported the at-risk sectors after the Mayon Volcano eruption which started in January 2018.

Nelia C. Legisniana, from Albay in the Bicol region, is one of the women who made the PLDT eco bags which was part of PLDT’s 90th Anniversary initiatives. 

Hailing from Purok 1 Muladbucad Pequeno Guinobatan, Albay, Legisniana, 62, has been weaving for 20 years to earn extra income to support the education of her grandchildren. She is a member of the Rural Workers Muladbucad Pequeño Association, which was severely affected by the Mayon Volcano eruption in the first quarter of 2018.

This conscientious grandmother considers the challenges of 2010 as the toughest, having lost her husband that year which made her the family’s breadwinner. She courageously raised her seven children with the help of a reliable income from handicrafts. She started weaving eco bags using “Katsya” where she adds her own design, but customers may also customize it. Every day, she produces 100 small and 50 medium-sized eco bags that can be bought or ordered in Albay.

“May all the working women remain strong. May they always take care of themselves and remember to give time for themselves too. I hope that women will always find ways to help one another,” Legisniana said. 
 

Post your opinion