I like surrounding myself with stuffed animals which were created by women in communities that provide them with better opportunities. My knitted dog Ella was named after my favorite dog from Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe. She was knitted by a mama who also plants rice at the Ifugao province. I have traveled to the Banaue Rice Terraces last year because I was so inspired by the story of Knitting Expedition, the company that creates these knitted toys. This has since sparked my own crafting journey, and to this day, I still knit and crochet. I will forever treasure this trip.
My crocheted unicorn is from Mayown, which is a brand that sells amigurumi dolls crocheted by underprivileged women in Manila. These dolls are designed by Leen Van Dyck, a Belgian expat who works as a teacher in an international school and also trains women to crochet so that they could provide for their families. I have joined her workshop last year, and it has also inspired me to create more!
Lastly, my Tubbs cat doll is handmade by Pop Junk Love, a local brand that sells hand sewn dolls at indie store Commonroom. I admire the women behind this brand, whose growth I have witnessed ever since their bazaar days. I will always treasure this doll to remind me that it is possible to grow once passion is combined with hard work.
I surround myself with these dolls to push me to continue creating and dreaming. Whenever times are challenging, it can be difficult to dream, but these dolls remind me that it is a must to continue aspiring for better days ahead. I’m sure that things will drastically improve in the coming days and weeks. All I have to do is dream, and carry on!