Binalot sa Dahon

Jumbo sandals from Liliw, Laguna.  Worn by...

Mang Bina, Binalot's cheerful mascot, who seemed like he was running for Mayor. 

Actually, he was there to visit...
a community located in Nagcarlan, Laguna.

A bunch of us bloggers were taken to the location as well.

Robie was telling us about how he loved the special effects in Avatar. No, not really.

Robie is such a masterful storyteller. His calm voice and smooth delivery style conveyed the message effectively. He shared to us how the DAHON program works...

The members of the community gather the banana leaves, which they cut, clean, and bundle according to Binalot's specifications. Then, somebody would visit them at an agreed upon schedule to buy the bundles at a mutually fair price. This ensures Binalot a continuous supply of leaves, and provides the community (currently, 31 families) with steady, predictable income. Classic win-win scenario!

No wonder the kids were happy to welcome the Binalot team!

James Juan (cousin of Binalot's President and CEO Rommel Juan) is the benefactor of the daycare center which keeps the kids busy while their parents do the cutting.

Every Pinoy celebration needs a song and dance number.

After watching the kids perform, we were led into the deep recesses of the jungle (alright, it was just 20 meters from the main road) to experience what it was like to gather and "process" the leaves.

James snagged a fine banana leaf specimen while Rommel captured the whole event for posterity.

While Rins was busy with her new career as a leaf cutter, everybody else just stood there in silent awe.

Bundled up into a neat little package.

"Watch out for falling bananas!"

Rodney was "the first person to step up to the challenge" when Rommel and his team were still trying to look for a reliable banana leaf supplier. The community is now reaping the benefits of his (and his grandmother's) contributions.

We were treated to a feast to complete the tour. I liked the local dish Adobong Kalabaw sa Gata the most!

This is a perfect example of "teaching a man how to fish, instead of merely giving him fish". But the story doesn't end there. Binalot will be coming up with more programs to form similar communities in other regions. There are even more bright spots to look forward to!


missingpoints said...

Thanks for coming. Next time, promise, may upuan na tayo sa van :))

Structureless said...

Ayos lang yun, there was more leg room at the back. Nakakapagstretching pa nga tayo doon eh. :)

eRLyN said...

sayang di ko nakasama sumama tyan ko nung umaga.

btw, care to exchange links? please leave me a line in my blog thats the only way ill know who agreed. thanks :)