Handmade Crafts for Good Cause Through the MAPYA Project
Traditional arts and crafts from local tribes have found its way to the homes of modern Manila, as more and more Filipinos are recognizing the craftsmanship of our very own cultural communities. The Philippines, after all, has a rich tradition of producing handicrafts.
It was September last year when I started the Mapya Project. This is a special project that aims to help the mothers of the RTV Foundation’s scholars to sell and promote local Bagobo crafts. The term “Mapya” means “good” in the Bagobo dialect. Bagobo is one of the largest groups among the indigenous peoples of southern Mindanao.
When we first met the mothers of our scholars for the launching of this project, I saw the
excitement on their faces. One mother said they make crafts like jewelry, bags, home decors, and clothing for personal use because nobody buys it anyway. It was during this meeting that I, together with the entire foundation team and some developers from Dev Partners as volunteers, encouraged them to develop their local products and in return, we will be the one to market and sell the local crafts to further benefit scholars. I also saw this as a good opportunity to introduce their crafts to a wider audience and help their community at the same time.
Things were going smoothly with the planning but earlier this year, restrictions all over the country were imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project was then delayed. It was only last August when we officially launched it because we believe the project is essentially needed to help the community during this time.
At present, our team is working to sell environment-friendly, sustainable, and native products crafted manually by hands. Every purchase of MAPYA products not only provide employment to the neglected and exploited people in the mountainside but also help sustain the needs of the foundation. All proceeds from the project will be donated to the RTV Foundation to help fund its scholar’s education.
In recognition of the commitment and dedication of the mothers of our scholars, we purchase their authentic crafts at a very good price. We do not haggle or bargain as a sign of respect to the passion and sacrifices of the tribe in preserving their culture and identity.
Get to know more about the Mapya Project on its official Facebook page at facebook.com/mapyaph. You may also check out its online shopping accounts at Lazada.com.ph/shop/mapya and Shopee.ph/mapyaph.