THE new craftsmen of San Antonio de Padua Parish of New Bataan in Compostela Valley raised enough funds for their initial woodworking tools under the "Andap ng Liwanag" project by a group of friends from Davao City who taught residents how to belonging to the basic Christian community of Barangay Andap how to make crafts from the debris around them.
Initiated by friends gathered by sculptor Kublai Millan, the expertise in working with wood for furniture and furnishings by businessman and furniture designer Jon Traya was shared to the community through parish priest Fr. Edgar Tuling.
Sun.Star Davao helped spread the word about the project, which gathered the interest of the provincial government under Gov. Arthur Uy.
Thus, last February 20, Gov. Uy contracted the group to make the souvenirs for the province’s dinner for a cause, which was organized in cooperation with Gawad Kalinga.
No less than GawadKalinga’s Tony Meloto was the guest of honor in the dinner that raised P10-million in the dinner held at the Davao Convention Center in Davao City.
The dinner was attended by all elected officials of Comval as a show of unity toward recovery and rehabilitation.
A total of 500 wooden souvenirs featuring the “okir” art, which AndapngLiwanag project, introduced to the people of the parish.
Showcased during the dinner were the prototypes of wooden lanterns the residents made in less than one month of workshops.
The funds the souvenirs earned were deemed enough to buy the power tools the residents needed, and thus closed one phase of the project.
The group behind AndapngLiwanag are looking forward to pushing on with another phase, the construction of a monument at the San Roque chapel, the only structure that survived the flood of rocks and water that flattened barangay Andap.
The project aims not just to present an alternative livelihood for the beneficiaries but also to impart the love for nature and its protection.
Aside from Millan, Traya, and this writer, the AndapngLiwanag project involves Democracy Icawalo, who is better known as Mr. 8, a furniture and furnishing exporter who works with scrap wood, leaves, and branches; light artist Atty. Kristofferdela Cruz, and Millan’s father Rey Millan, who helps the group market the project.