What do you do when you and your community face challenges that threaten to hinder your progress? You don’t stop — you continue on. As they say in Waray — padayon.

And that is what Padayon Handicrafts Production did. They continue to provide sustainable livelihood to the community of mothers-slash-weavers from 2008 until today.

The Start of the Family Business

Padayon Handicrafts Production is a family-owned and managed enterprise based in Catarman, Northern Samar. It specializes in native materials – tikog, takay and romblon – which are available in the locality. They transform these raw materials into fashionable bags and accessories at affordable prices.

Their products showcase the versatility of local materials; departing from its traditional use of banig as a sleeping mat to becoming stylish bags and accessories.

Before Padayon came into existence, the enterprise was first established and operated in 2008 under the name of “Gilda’s Creations” by Mama Da.

Guided by her wisdom and burning passion for bags and handicrafts, she spearheaded the transformation of the locally known wild grass — tikog — into premium quality and affordable bags and handicrafts.

In 2009, Gilda’s Creations was passed on to Mama Ding. Under her management, she made sure that the production would rise up to the standards of bag making. She was personally trained by the late fashion designer and bag maker Atty. Cora Jacobs.

With the insights and techniques she learned, Mama Ding showcased Northern Samar’s native materials and, at the same time, provided a sustainable livelihood for mothers and young women.

DTI Supports the Enterprise

As the business promotes locally-made products, it was inevitably chosen for the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) One Town, One Product (OTOP) program.

The enterprise, now called Padayon Handicrafts Production, actively participated in various trade fairs like Bahandi Eastern Visayas Trade Fair, One Town,One Product Virtual Trade Fair, Manila FAME, and many others. It was also featured on Living Asia Channel for its quality and affordability.

Padayon likewise received grants, advertisements, and sponsorships from multiple government agencies, including DTI, Department of Science and Technology, and the Provincial Livelihood Development Office of Northern Samar.

In 2017, the torch was passed on to the new generation within the family in order to continue the legacy, the passion, and the social undertaking that the enterprise had embarked upon.

A Socially Responsible Business

Beauty and social responsibility — these are two words that Padayon Handicrafts Production lives by.

“We’re proud of every product we make. We only make timeless, high-quality pieces.”

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company manufactured and gave away custom-made face masks for barangay health workers, barangay tanods, and pedicab drivers in Catarman, Northern Samar.

They braved the pandemic by attending virtual trade fairs and promoting their goods through social media and other online platforms. Amidst the chaos, they did their best to stay afloat.

This enterprise vows to continue providing sustainable livelihood to the community of “Nanays” who manufacture their products. So, when you purchase a Padayon Handicraft, you’re not just getting a quality product — you’re supporting a community of women who weave and sew these beautiful items.