Inmates’ penholders, plastic flowers sell

By: - Senior Reporter / @inquirervisayas
/ 09:00 AM July 15, 2013

HE was arrested for killing a townmate.

Left with nothing much to do behind bars, Guillermo Julosino thought of something creative to do.


He gathered pieces of unused cardboard, mixed them with water and extra lugaw or rice porridge and started assembling a table penholder.

He then got hold of drinking straws and using a pair of scissors cut them into artificial pollen grains and flower petals.


He then gathered some plastic bottles slit them vertically and used them as stalks of artificial flowers. He then used a lighted mosquito coil to melt portions of the bottle to attach the flower petals and pollen grains made from the drinking straws.

“Since I didn’t have anything to do inside the jail, I decided to entertain myself by creating things like these. I didn’t lose hope. I know I’m not worthless even if I’m a prisoner,” said Julosino whose murder case has been pending before the trial court for almost 10 years.

Julosino said he started assembling table pen holders in his seventh year in jail.

His first products weren’t that good but he eventually found his rhythm and started improving his products.

Aside from the penholders with synthetic flowers, Julosino moved on to making an elephant-designed coin bank made of dried clay.

coin bank

The coin bank which sits on a rectangular base with artificial flowers is sold at P300 inside the CPDRC.


His table penholders adorned with artificial flowers are also sold from P150 to P300 depending on the sizes.

“Whoever wants to buy our products will not regret it. I can assure you that these items won’t get easily destroyed. You saw how durable they are,” Julosino said in Cebuano.

Julosino’s products and other inmates creations are usually displayed during the monthly performances of the world-renowned dancing CPDRC inmates.

The CPDRC gained international fame after the 2007 YouTube video of the inmates dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Since then, regular public performances are being held inside the provincial jail, CPDRC acting jail warden Romeo Manansala said.


Aside from being good at dancing, Manansala said several inmates are potential creative entrepreneurs and the jail management is supporting them in their endeavor by helping them sell their products to visitors.

Julosino said he usually earns more or less P1,000 every month for the sale of about three pieces of artwork bought mostly by foreigners and other visitors.

Julosino is among 1,642 prisoners presently housed at the CPDRC, a detention facility under the supervision of the Cebu provincial government.

Other inmates who also use their time in jail to create products to sell are Dionisio Sagayno, 40, of Barili town western Cebu.

Sagayno makes plastic flowers and vases and sells them at the jail’s display center from P50 to P100.

We forget our problems when we make these synthetic flowers. We enjoy doing this. If we just keep on eating or sleeping, we don’t have money to supply our needs,” said Sagayno, who together with Julosino and eight other male inmates are into making creative items to sell in jail.

female inmates

There are also about 20 female inmates who also spend their time adorning bags with beads provided by a wholesale supplier of bags.

“All the raw materials come from the bag company. All we do is to put beads on these bags by sewing them on,” said Katty Gerali who has been in prison for two years on charges of violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Gerali, 57, and a resident of Balamban town, said they get P20 to P25 for each bag they applied the beads on.

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TAGS: artificial flowers, creativity, enterprise, inmates, table penholder, unused cardboard
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