“Magandang bagay talaga itong training kasi marami kaming natututunan, lalo na yung sa paggawa ng handicrafts, tiyak na makakatulong ito sa amin”, said Nanay Salbe, 45 years old, pertaining to the recently concluded Bamboo Handicraft Finishing Production Training on May 9-10, 2018 in Balatan, Camarines Sur. This is a sequel capacity building activity of the previously held Bamboo Handicraft Making Training on November 22-23, 2017.

Nanay Salbe is one of the 30 members of the Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Magsasaka Para sa Kinabukasan, Inc., who were trained to make profitable and creative handicrafts from bamboo. As mentioned, two trainings were given to the participants which focused on product development and value adding.

In both trainings, Mr. Andy Ibasco and Mr. Harrold Alcala, bamboo handicraft makers from the Common Service Facility in Bula, Camarines Sur, served as resource persons. For the first training on handicraft making or product development, both started with a lecture on the different bamboo products that the participants later produced at the end of the training. These products include vases, cups, cup holder, pitchers, coin banks, spoon, forks, ladles, utensils holder, gadgets holders, sound enhancer, and lampshades. They presented the different tools and equipment to be used. Afterwards, they demonstrated the techniques to produce the handicrafts (e.g. the use of grinding pad in a grinder for easier and faster polishing of bamboo poles).

During the second training on product finishing or value adding, they discussed the different bamboo products, machines, and power tools to be used. Then, taught them the steps in bamboo handicraft making such as the treatment of bamboo poles for handicrafts, the different designs for the handicrafts, and the proper treatment coating mixture for finished products. Further, they helped the participants in designing their products using paints to add vibrancy and class in their masterpieces. Value adding is a technique used by entrepreneurs to give extra features and design to the usual product, resulting to higher value or price of any commodity.

These trainings are part of the ongoing activities of the Bureau in the project titled “Establishment of Bamboo Community for Small-and Medium-Enterprise in Camarines Sur and La Union” under the leadership of Dr. Lynlei L. Pintor. Faith Antonette Arguelles, FERD