My name is Liza Gumapas and I work in the Subanen Crafts Project which was started by Columban Fr Vincent Busch. As a Subanen crafter I learned how to cut and inlay the designs of our Christmas cards and how to make beaded mandalas.
I was also given the opportunity to take courses in cooking and computer skills. I am lucky to be a Subanen crafter.Other Subanen women my age have to work long hours as household helpers with no healthcare and very little money.
My favorite experience was when the Subanen crafters visited Columban Fr Brian Gore. Fr Gore works with poor farmers on the Negros Nine Demonstration farm on the island of Negros. It was the first time for the Subanen crafters to experience flying in a plane and we found the trip to be a mutually enhancing experience for us and for the staff of the Demo-farm.
On January 28, 2013 I married Junriel Salacop. We wore our traditional Subanen dress. One day we hope to have children and we pray that we will be able to provide for them and give them a good education.
For our wedding my Subanen Crafter co-workers hiked to my mountain home to attend our wedding. As part of our wedding ritual, my cousin Juvy Lopecillo, also a Subanen Crafter, poured water over our joined hands as a symbol of our shared life together.
Because of the Columban Missionaries and their supporters, my fellow crafters and I have been given a chance for better life. We thank you.