There is money in water lilies

LAOAG CITY, Oct 23 — Women weavers in five villages in the city have attended a skills training for conversion of water hyacinth, commonly known as water lilies, to functional and decorative items from bags, footwear, gowns and accessories.

Attendees were from the villages of Cataban, Navotas A & B, Madiladig and Caaoacan.
The training was provided by the Villar Foundation, which has been behind the training of hundreds of housewives to become entrepreneurs.
The women were later organized to a cooperative known as the Cataban Weavers’ Association to pursue hyacinth weaving as a profitable venture.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office and the Department of trade and Industry helped the women’s group undergo further product development lectures and skills enhancement complete with a capital assistance from the Priority Development Assistance Funds of Rep. Rodolfo Farinas in the amount of P100,000.
The cooperative members also underwent skills upgrading through the Product Development Training on Water Hyacinth Products in coordination with the DTI. The training was funded by the Laoag City government in the amount of P55,000.00 and another P30,000 from the DTI.
The training was attended by 25 weavers from Brgy. Cataban and have learned the process of preservation, dyeing, leather like bags and color combination.
A separate training on the use of high end machines will equip weavers on various techniques to improve the quality of the product and increase its salability. Their creativity will enable them to compete against weavers in other provinces who are likewise engaged in water lily-weaving. (Ma. Cristina C. Arzadon)