People

5 trades that weave Kanya’s story
Over 40 individuals work in the ateliers of this project celebrating Filipino energy. A human collaboration of traditional skills where a job well done and personal stories mesh into one.
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Cristina Legaspi
SPINNER
Cristina is 33 years old and the fastest spinner of Kanya. She can manually produce as much as 300 grams of thread a day. Married and with an 11 year-old son, currently enrolled in Grade 6. She joined Kanya in 2018. Her husband is a carpenter without a steady income and infrequent work. She is the breadwinner of the family; making ends meet, paying for the daily expenses and their son’s schooling.
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Rosario de Jesús
HAULER & MANUFACTURER
Rosario is a 4×4 of sorts in Kanya. One day she is loading and transporting sugarcane residue from the fields to the production area, the other she is busy extracting juice from the stalks. She begun to work at the age of six, shortly after losing both of her parents; a life changing development that allowed her to appreciate the meaning of effort & devotion to work. She joined Kanya in 2015, after years of having been a farmer in the sugarcane fields of Barangay Reparo; a livelihood that allowed this widow to raise her kids. Thanks to Kanya, she dreams of seeing her youngest child going through college after being a consistent top-notcher in Elementary and High School.
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Irene Silipinin
WEAVER
It was not until she joined Kanya, that -at the age of 42- she worked outside the confines of her humble home. A person with disability since birth, she was unable to find employment before being hired by Kanya in 2017. Her disability in one leg hasn’t been an obstacle for her to learn how to weave and bloom into a key team player in Kanya. Her husband, who recently suffer an accident, has been unable to find a job. Kanya has since been the only source of income for this family with five children all still at school.
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Mark Alvin Umandal
EXPERT IN DEGUMMING AND TEXTILE DYING
Mark has been part of the Kanya family since 2017, when he was entrusted with the degumming process of the bagasse and the dying of cloths. Kanya has not only given him his first professional experience -a game charger in itself- but likewise the place where he met his wife. At the age of 34 he has found in his work a sense of purpose and accountability, after many dark years combating drug abuse.
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María Dela Cuesta
SEAMSTRESS
María is by far Kanya’s best seamstress of mats; dishing out as many as 200 units a day coupled with three more elaborate accessories. At the age of 74 and with her five children already living on their own. Her job allows her to maintain her home and pay for the maintenance medicines of her husband, who has been unable to work for the last ten years due to illness
Discover the stories behind our iconic bags, on a first name basis
Dessa, Bea, Leeza, Mona, Jerwin… Our bags carry the names of some of our spinners, seamstresses, weavers, … who, on a daily basis, craft with their hands the one-of-a kind Kanya accessories.

Thanks to you and those who purchase our products, they have found a new source of income and an exciting future.

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Mona

Mona is a seasoned sugarcane farmer and together with her husband has been a planter her whole life. The birth of her two children changed her life. She was determined that they go to College. Working as a spinner at Kanya has made her dream come true. One of her children recently earned a degree in Criminology. Dedicated and capable of multitasking, she is a key component of Kanya’s support group. Always attentive willing to lend an ear to her colleagues.

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Jerwin

Jerwin is the only male weaver that Kanya has; a distinction he is proud of. And that has earned him the respect and admiration in the atelier. Thanks to the project he has a steady source of income allowing him to support his seven siblings, whose education is taken care of by Kanya. He still lives with his father from whom he learnt the traditional way of growing sugarcane.

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Dessa

Dessa has become one of Kanya’s most efficient spinners. Hard work, overcoming challenges and growing sugarcane have become her life. She grew up in a family of six. At a very young age she had to quit studying in order to help contribute to the family income. Being part of Kanya has allowed her to grow both professionally and personally. She has recently achieved her dream of graduating from High School. She currently works closer to home where she is joined by her husband and her newly born child.

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