With the health crisis and consecutive typhoons, 2020 was undeniably a tough year for the Philippines. But despite the struggles and defeats, the values of connection and collaboration persisted in the hearts and minds of every Filipino. From the safety of our homes, one way or another, we have become strong witnesses to the bayanihan spirit that our fellow countrymen had courageously shown.
So, last December, we decided to extend our “Ilaw at Pag-asa” (light and hope) campaign with another fundraising effort, “Handog at Pasasalamat” (tribute and thanks). We celebrated the season of giving by donating a percentage of the proceeds of every item sold on our site to the Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc. and the artisanal communities that crafted each product. Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization established in 1992 which has evolved from being an annual liturgical concert to being a conduit foundation, bridging the generosity of countless Filipinos here and abroad to the vital needs of their fellow men and women in the Philippines. Part of its objectives is to address the needs of the environment and elevate the livelihood of the Filipino people.
With a mission towards building a more sustainable and circular economy, we also felt compelled to contribute our share towards other issues of national concern, such as the effects of climate change which continues to endanger long term food sustainability, which affects us all. Choosing Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc. as our beneficiary, we hoped to address the livelihood and support needs of marginalized agricultural communities, like farmers and workers, who till some of the critical areas of our country’s largest food sources. Sustainable farming is important because it aims to provide real food that our bodies were designed to eat, are healthier for us, the soil, and the animals; does not harm the environment, are humane for both the workers and the animals, provides a fair wage to the farmer without the use of government subsidies, and supports the local economy instead of large corporations.
Aside from food sustainability, waste management is another critical factor that adds to the climate change crisis. By supporting our brand partners and local products, we are limiting the production of waste as well as the consumption of additional resources that businesses need to operate. If we keep designing waste out of the system, it will not only heal the environment, but also increase economic opportunities for our local communities.Beyond showcasing the unique and brilliant works of our very own artisans and craftsmen, this campaign has emphasized our unity as organizations and individuals, locally and globally. Our partnership with the Tanging Yaman Foundation in particular has combined the intensity of our shared belief in the power of community and helping one another—that what we can contribute may sometimes not be much in the ordinary sense, however, it is still able to affect significant change in the lives of the least of our fellowmen and women.