9-year-old boy from QC weaves, sells rugs to earn money for buying e-learning gadget
A 9-year-old boy from Quezon City has been weaving rugs to earn money so he can buy a gadget for his online schooling requirements as classes are set to resume in some schools this October.
Gilbert “Iboy” Bandillo lives in Barangay Payatas A with his 56-year-old grandmother Angelita Bandillo and his two siblings aged 13 and 7. He is the middle child and an incoming third-grade student of Melencio M. Castello Elementary School.
Bandillo started weaving rugs out of rags when he was only 7 years old after his grandmother, who is used to making rugs in their community in Payatas, taught him how to do it. The rugs cost P25 each for the small-sized and for the medium-sized: P45 for the plain-colored ones and P35 for the multicolored ones.
In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net, Bandillo shared that he enjoys making rugs to also help his grandmother earn enough money to support their family. Aside from weaving rugs, they also have a small “sari-sari” store at home, but sales have slowed down a bit due to the pandemic, which is why they have found another way to make both ends meet.
A hand to help
Gail Valencia, 28, who is a neighbor of the Bandillo family and a good friend of Iboy’s uncle, shared the boy’s story via Be An INQUIRER, INQUIRER.net’s official citizen journalism online community on Facebook.
Valencia has known Bandillo ever since she witnessed the boy’s perseverance, and admires his rapid production of good-quality rugs during the lockdown.
“Naamaze ako na imbis na ang mga bata [ay] laro lang nang laro [sa lockdown], gumagawa po [si Iboy] ng basahan [para kumita] at mabilis din siyang gumawa (I was amazed that instead of the kids just playing games during lockdown, Iboy makes rugs to earn, and he also works fast.),” Valencia said.
“Hindi rin po kasi sila umaasa lang sa tulong (They do not just rely on help), they are also doing their best to sustain their living, at sa ganyang paraan ay masaya na rin sila (and in that way, they are also happy),” Valencia added.
Valencia said Bandillo’s family is also trying to join in the variety game show ‘Wowowin’ of TV host Willie Revillame, hoping they’ll get lucky and win a gadget.
When she also found out that Iboy gets good grades in school, she became interested to help them in promoting and selling their woven goods by making a social media account named after Iboy’s grandmother, which is called “Angel’s Rags.” This way, she can somehow help Iboy and his family to reach out to more potential customers, and the profit will be given to Iboy so he can have enough money to buy a cellphone or a tablet.
Gradually many customers like to buy their rugs because of their colors and quality of workmanship, so the income went well in the beginning. Unfortunately, they also have a lot of competitors, making their business hardly thrive.
Valencia said she also tried reaching out to other local celebrities whom she thought could send help to Bandillo or even purchase the boy’s rugs. Luckily, celebrities like Sam YG and Karla Estrada have responded positively, opening their doors to help Iboy’s family.
“Nakakahinayang po kasi ung [sipag] nung bata eh kung di marerecognize (It would be a pity if the [diligence] of the child is not recognized). I tried creating rags and it takes skill and patience to do that. Super nakakatuwa lang po na ‘yang mga batang ‘yan, simpleng milk tea treat lang na tig-30 ay masaya na po nila (It is so heartening that just a simple milk tea treat worth P30 makes these children already happy),” she added.
Since she is capable of helping Bandillo’s family, Valencia said she would also try to do her best to help them more in her own way. /ra
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