Essay

Lorega Bags

By on January 31, 2007

At a young age of 21, Jeffrey has been in and out of jail for at least five times. He was your typical streetkid. If he is not aimlessly begging, he is either sniffing solvent with his friends to forget their hunger, or he is involved in a “rumble” with a rival gang.

Ronda and her biscuits

Little did Jeffrey know that his begging for food from a Canadian would later open opportunities for him to start his life anew. In 1998, Rhonda Wilson moved to Cebu, and was getting to know her neighbours. Sometimes on her way home, she would pass by Jollibee, a local fastfood chain where Jeffrey and his friends loiter around. She sees to it that she has a few packs of biscuits with her that will be given to the streetchildren.

But deep it in her heart, Ronda knows that the needs of these kids would be better addressed with a long term solution than just her sporadic visits and her spare crackers. When she returned to Canada, she realized that the likes of Jeffrey no longer need to beg in the streets if there was only a sustainable livelihood for them. She didn’t know how but she knew that she had to come back to the Philippines.

Where it all began

It was a simple gift that Nang Gliceria gave to Ronda that started it all. This gift was a handcrafted bag made from recycled juice packs. This immediately gave Ronda an idea on how to turn things around for Nang Gliceria and most importantly for Jeffrey and the other streetchildren in Lorega.

Soon enough, a slow yet steady enterprise was borne out of that simple token. Jeffrey was then given hope and another chance at life. He and his friends have collected juice packs and prepared them for production. Jeffrey, the third of ten kids (all their names start with the letter J) now works at several odd jobs to help support his family.

Like No Other

Jeffrey’s story is just one example that provides the defining mark of the Lorega bags. These bags are certainly like no other. The bags are made of empty juice packs which abound in the cemeteries near the depressed community. The doy packs are collected, and are carefully cleaned by Jeffrey and many other streetchildren. A few women in Lorega organize and arrange these colorful packs, stitching them into sturdy and attractive bags.

It is wonderful to imagine that for every Lorega bag that is sold, a lot of beautiful things happen: one less hungry streetkid, one less jobless mother who can now better look after the welfare of her children, and Lorega slowly transforming into a safe and peaceful, and vibrant community teeming with good life.

A portion of the profit was already used in making a day-care center for the children in Lorega. If you would like to purchase a Lorega bag or would like to help or know more, do not hesitate to contact Rhonda Wilson here.

I must thank Ericson Salindo and Rhonda Wilson. I would not have finished this article if not for their valuable inputs.

TAGS

January 5, 2007

February 6, 2007

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6 Comments
  1. Reply

    Jed

    February 2, 2007

    Give them fish and you feed them for a day. Teach them how to fish and you feed them for life….

  2. Reply

    Lazarus

    February 5, 2007

    I dug your archive, profiles and some links! We have plenty of things in common, bro.

    1. Love for the Lord
    2. Jars of clay
    3. Robert Frost
    4. Philip Yancey
    5. Calamba, it’s where I studied in grade 1.
    6. Cebu

    …and perhaps a lot more.

    Btw, thanks for visiting my site.

  3. Reply

    lazarus

    February 5, 2007

    linked you! ex-link?

    …and ivcf too. it’s in your link. failure to attend a KC was one of my regrets.

  4. Reply

    baktin

    February 5, 2007

    as of this writing, at least 1000 bags are shipped to Canada.

    jed you summed up my post in just 21 words.

    kuya lazarus. see you in the IVPM’s post-valentine party. 😀

  5. Reply

    Brennan Mercado

    February 8, 2007

    hi panyang.
    ‘grand blog with eloquent entries’
    – thank you for the kind words.

    ‘i want to purchase a “Lorega bag.”
    – please email Ate Ronda at nrwpray4cebu@yahoo.com or loregadiaries@yahoo.com for your orders.

    thank you for visiting my little blog.

  6. Reply

    panyang balani

    February 9, 2007

    I intentionally expunged the comments I earnestly made for this post due to some parsing oversights.Anyway, i really thank you for sharing this brief-worthy story.

    this blog entry…

    makes me breathe eternally…

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Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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