Women survivors of Yolanda, Marawi siege weave masks of hope
This was made possible through a partnership between Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc. (PSFI) and ECHOsi Foundation Inc., each with their own community-driven livelihood development programs for the women of Tacloban and Marawi respectively. These two women’s groups have been brought together to produce an essential item in these challenging times: the Kadasig reusable face mask that helps reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and infection. “Kadasig, which means resilient in Waray-Waray, is not only about celebrating the heritage of our indigenous fabric but the tangible output of their fortitude,” said PSFI Executive Director Sebastian Quiniones Jr. “Instead of the tragedies that have come to define them, they can once again express their hopes and dreams, one thread and stitch at a time,” he added Designed based on the guidelines released by the World Health Organization for non-medical face masks, the Kadasig face mask is made up of three layers using a combination of absorbent and non-absorbent materials to ensure full protection. The unique weave on the outer layer was made by the Maranao weavers using a traditional backstrap loom.
The Maranao weave, in turn, is used by the seamstresses of Tacloban, who cut, sew, and structure the traditional fabric into the final Kadasig face mask. “I have been sewing for 19 years. I sew many different kinds of things, like dresses, blouses, pants, uniforms, PPEs, masks, and many others. Our happiness is beyond words, knowing that we are able to make masks from weaves of Marawi,” said Rosalia Ramirez, the head of the Tacloban seamstress group. The Kadasig reusable face masks are now available for purchase on the ECHOstore website: echostore.ph