BSK creates dioramas for local museums and exhibits in Marikina, Valenzuela, Olongapo and Pinaglabanan. The limited market for dioramas made the nonprofit group to look into creating fashionable Filipiniana dolls, similar to Japanese ningyo dolls, the closest of which are the geisha dolls.
Creating a Maria Clara doll usually takes a day or two, depending on the design of the overall costume, particularly the cloth for the dress and accessories ranging from necklaces, earrings, payoneta (hair comb) and abaniko (fan).
Aside from getting their costume fabrics from Divisoria, the group also gets abaca and other fine Filipino fabrics from local designer Patis Tesoro. They also have a group that crafts doll accessories.
Among the dolls, the 24-inch kasalan (wedding) is the most popular design. The Maria Clara doll is happily escorted by her groom; its wedding gown is as elaborate as the gowns worn during actual weddings, with piña silk fabric designed with fine embroidery and bead artwork.
For Moro-inspired dolls, they double the effort to design the clothing based on actual attire of Muslim royalties in Mindanao while they also find it interesting to design dolls for cultural tribes such as the Kalingas, Ifugao and others.
There are also everyday sights such as a lady selling vegetables in the market while wearing a matching baro’t saya and a girl peddling bangus fish on a bilao atop her head, the beauty of which rival the extravagance of dolls attending the Flores De Mayo parade, another local festival. (http://loqal.com)
“Balikatan sa Kaunlaran” means working shoulder to shoulder for progress. This was the guiding principle of the BSK Movement since its inception in 1977 by its mother agency, the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW). The principle was adopted by the BSK to enhance the partnership between the government and non-government organizations in uplifting the quality of life of women and their families.
The BSK was originally created as a women’s movement by the NCRFW through the support of 92 recognized non-government organizations that lobbied for the approval of Presidential Proclamation 1609 which declares January 6 of each year as “Araw ng Balikatan.” NCRFW tapped 24 volunteer women leaders to organize BSK Movement all over the country. BSK was able to establish its provincial/city councils and municipal chapters nationwide. Programs and projects were implemented in selected communities and have benefited 3.5 million women and their families.
To ensure its continuity, its national leaders agreed to register BSK as a non-government organization (NGO) with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1983. BSK continued to enjoy the technical and financial support extended by NCRFW until 1986.
The change in leadership in the NCRFW and its decision to concentrate in policy formulation led to the independent operations of BSK. It finally severed its umbilical cord with the government in January 1987 and had to start anew with limited resources.
To pursue the vision and mission of the organization, the BSK Founder President, Dr. Leticia P. de Guzman exerted efforts to save the organization through networking and developing new breed of BSK national leaders. After eight years of transition, the BSK was able to recover from serious organizational crisis and gradually recovered from its downfall. Dr. Angelita Ago from the Bicol Region took over the BSK national leadership as its second national president.
Major concepts had to be introduced and new programs were pilot tested by its incumbent President, Ms. Guia G. Gomez who initiated the conversion of BSK to a family-based organization. Social enterprises and micro-lending services were initiated in several local communities through the support of funding agencies such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Australian Embassy, Katahira and other foreign institutions. Joining the informal sector coalition and other networks were also pursued to be able to maximize the benefits of its programs and projects for intended clientele.
The BSK has also expanded to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) through creating the BSK Hongkong Council, the special council of BSK that initiated the creation of Hongkong Village for OFWs in Hongkong. The Taiwan Council was also created as the second OFW council of BSK.
Today, the BSK continues to implement Entre-Pinoy and Agribusiness as its flagship programs. The BSK also continue to conduct skills training, leadership and values formation seminars and other activities that promote social entrepreneurship and family solidarity.
Balikatan sa Kaunlaran Productivity Center National Foundation
Address: 170 Mabini St., Addition Hills, San Juan City, Metro Manila
Contact number: (+0632) 721-2277, 723-5653, 0917-5301221, 0930-5290064
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