December 6, 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic might have caused loss of jobs and income for thousands of people, but in the Cordillera, the health crisis has brought to fore the ingenuity of local craftspeople and artisans.
A small group of women, called La-yad di Kordilyera, is gathering around 30 craftsmen, artists, wood workers, cooks, and bakers who will showcase their crafts for a year starting March 3.
The exhibit entitled, “Premium Cordillera Brands Fair: Bringing the best of the Cordillera,” is opening special stalls at the Porta Vaga Mall Department Store main entrance along Session Road on March 3 at 2 p.m., featuring fruit preserves and wine, wood works, handicrafts from local materials, hand-woven clothes, bags and wall decors and ornaments, and personal accessories coming from different creators in the Cordillera.
“We aim to bring the best local fares in food, garments, decors and others. Many people lost their jobs because of the pandemic and so we are offering this opportunity for anyone to make a livelihood out of their skills and talent,” said Layad chair Helaina Butigan, a registered nurse who herself took to making handicrafts using pine needles.
Layad di Kordil-yera, which was formed this year, means “from Cordillera with love.”
It is composed of young talented artists and craftsmen who aim to enable a ready market for small enterprises and entrepreneurs showcasing the ingenuity of the Cordilleran artists and craftsmen. Through the exhibit, it hopes to expand opportunities for local artisans.
Butigan said a group of housewives, whose husbands lost their jobs at a mining community, earlier asked their group to help them sell their homemade tote bags with native designs that could almost pass off as branded bags in the market.
She said the Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera has been helpful in assisting their group and the Porta Vaga management for offering some spaces for the entrepreneurs from Baguio and Benguet.
Layad di Kordil-yera also caters to online orders and shipping of items for more convenience, especially at this time where physical distancing is advised.
For more information, contact Butigan at 0917-513-8733 and Krisma de La Cruz at 0917-630-9088. – Hanna C. Lacsamana