Go bags for Marawi schoolchildren

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    APPROXIMATELY 2,300 go bags inclusive of emergency supplies and basic school necessities will be produced for the schoolchildren of Marawi.

    The team from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Fashion Design and Merchandising Program, along with the youth-led and church-based organization Duyog Marawi, handpicked 15 participating housewives based on their sewing skills and employed them to help in a particular stage of production process.

    The fashion experts studied the appropriate specifications (from fabrics and accessories, to measurements) and provided comprehensive training courseware for the step-by-step process of bag-making which were coursed through printable learning materials and online sessions conducted at La Salle Academy Iligan.

    Christine Benet, chair of Benilde Fashion Design and Merchandising Program, said that creating products with Filipino design elements and providing livelihood is the best way for the fashion industry to survive and help in nation-building during these trying times.

    As for the design, Benilde Industrial Design Program seamlessly combined the go bag samples provided by Save the Children Europe with the traditional Marawi design elements. The final design aims to highlight the beauty of malong.

    Romeo Catap Jr., chair of Benilde Industrial Design Program, said the virtue of this project will be embraced not just for their need of the bag, but that it has a feeling of belongingness seeing that their visual culture is adapted through the malong form, patterns, and color.

    “It was made for them, by them, and it is ownership that we find very important, while also uplifting the intent of our partner non-government organization,” Catap pointed out.

    Neil Pariñas, DLS-CSB Lasallian Mission and Student Life vice president, said the incorporation of malong – a crucial part of the Maranao’s identity and dignity – in the go bag design will subtly communicate that there is hope and so much potential in the common and traditional.

    “The combined artistic talents and design abilities of Benildean associates will just be a drop in the bucket in view of the herculean task to reconstruct the physical damages, more so the loss of dignity that the siege brought about,” he added.

    The De La Salle Philippines has been tapped in this project as it has been actively providing livelihood workshops and programs to help mitigate the crisis in the local community.