BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio City Jail Male and Female Dormitories are offering alternative gift ideas for Christmas and other occasions with an array of handicrafts fashioned by the persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) themselves.
Male Dorm Warden J/Chief Insp. Crispin Dornagon last Wednesday showed samples of their new gift products like resin sculptures and accessories, coin banks designed with either resin of colored sand, wire sculptures, bronze artefacts and accessories and new designs of tamboocraft which are crafted by the PDLs.
Their women counterparts at the Female Dorm under J/Chief Insp. April Rose Ayangwa, for their part, are also putting on sale their handcrafted Christmas tree decorations, bags, purses, keychains, bonsai beads, mugs with rattan holders and pillows (standard, throw and travelers) aside from pre-order cakes and breads and pastries available daily at their bakeshop.
“Aside from having unique finds as gifts, people who patronize the jail products also contribute to the reformation of our wards as they are being afforded a chance to earn and provide for their families even while inside the jail facility,” Ayangwa said.
Both the dorms have been implementing diverse reformatory activities including skills building and enhancement trainings year-round for the PDLs to prepare them for their eventual reintegration into society.
“It is through these trainings that our PDLs acquire skills which they eventually put to use and become adept at resulting to this impressive array of products,” Dornagon said.
He said through their newly developed skills, many inmates have discovered their potentials and developed a sense of purpose so that they are now reformed and looking forward to starting a new life upon their release.
Some of the products have now gained popularity not only in the local community but also from outside patrons who buy their products displayed during fairs including during the Panagbenga celebration.
In fact some products like the bronze artifacts and accessories have found their way to the markets in Hongkong, according to Dornagon.
At present, they are working out their participation in the “Latag” handicrafts market and fair set Nov. 14-18 at the People’s Park as part of the activities of the 1st Baguio Creative Festival (ENTAcool…).
By Aileen Refuerzo