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Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Home Positive Living Stay cool with these artsy pamaypays!

Stay cool with these artsy pamaypays!

Photography studio owner Joy Jesena Barcelon elevates the lowly pamaypay to an art form. Trimmed and embroidered with fabrics like jusi, piña, lace, and other appliqués, the buri fans are designed by Joy and handstitched by impoverished mothers who—thanks to their newfound income—can take better care of their children.

Now, how’s that for cool? 

We had the opportunity to interview Joy about her fan project. Read on and be inspired!

Also Read: How this ‘viral painter’ from Iloilo City touched the hearts of the online community

What inspired you to start the fan project?

I wanted to keep my late, then 85-year-old mother-in-law busy, so I bought fans, silk flowers, and glue guns. We’d gleefully stick the flowers on the fans—or she would tell her caregiver where to stick the flowers! We’d give the fans to her daughters. It kept her awake, busy, and excited.

At home, I enjoyed sewing more lace and appliqués onto the fans. I posted my projects on Facebook where a friend from California sent me a message. She ordered a dozen fans for her trip back home to the Philippines! The endeavor grew, and it’s now officially called JCJ Barcelon Enterprises. I wanted to call it “Crafted with Love,” but the Department of Trade and Industry said it was too generic.

What goes into designing and making a fan?

I teamed up with a non- government agency (NGO) and taught the nanays of street children to make fans. They needed income so their children would not have to beg or scavenge. I guide them in making a prototype so they can sew the fans at home in between chores.

How has this venture helped you and others?

My photography business has been put aside; I just find so much more fulfillment here! For the nanays, they have gained confidence and skills in the three years we’ve been operating. They are no longer dependent on their husbands and are actually beginning to save some of their earnings.

The NGO has been very supportive—it has provided the sewing venue and storage space, and it helps in marketing, feeding the nanays lunch when needed, and even paying for half the rent of the American Women’s Bazaar booth we joined. Our goal is to keep their children in school so they can eventually rise out of poverty.


For the full article, grab a copy of My Pope Philippines March 2019 issue.
Text by Yen Cantiga. Photos courtesy of Joy Jesena Barcelon.




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