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Bulacan is a province in the Philippines, located in the Central Luzon Region in the island of Luzon, 11 kilometres north of Metropolitan Manila, and part of the Metro Luzon Urban Beltway Super Region. It is known as an ideal investment destination because of its strategic location, highly productive human resources, abundant natural resources, well-developed infrastructure and attractive investment incentives. It is also well-known for its garments, furniture, pyrotechnics, high-value crops and aqua-culture industries.

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Company names and logos

Garments, one of its major industries produced high-skilled labor force that excelled in embroidery, handiwork and smocking, and workers knowledgeable in printing, dyeing, knitting and finishing. It also paved way for the manufacture and exports of gifts and premium products that require the skills on sewing and embroidery such as soft toys, bags and sports apparel.

We have featured two companies from the province and their economic contribution helped paved the way for dreams to be sewn into reality.

Cool and Multifunctional

Tired of your boring backpacks? Carry a stylish, multi-functional solar backpack from Hagsports!

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Hagsports solar backpack
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The diverse workforce of Hagsports

Hagonoy Sports International Inc, the exporter-manufacturer of Hagsports and IMG bags, backpacks, and sporting apparels and accessories specializes in design of multifunctional backpacks like the solar backpack that is ideal for outdoor activities. The backpack was designed with a pocket to expose solar chargers so you can have them charged while you’re on the go. They also make convertible bags like a backpack that you can turn into a sling bag to highlight their multifunctional branding.

The company started in 1995 and has been exporting to Canada and the United States of America since then. It has a strong workforce of 70 regular workers and may reach more than 100 when export orders rise. Sewers for the company are from the community or nearby provinces. The company also provides free housing for workers that lived far from the area.

I met Mr. David Alfonso, the President of the company and Ms. Lulu Diaz, the Operations Manager during one of my visits to Hagsports. They shared that the company exists because of the skills that are available in the area. Their sewers are among the best and their standards for quality are very high. It also helps that they have retained their best sewers and provided opportunities for them to level up and train the next generation of sewers to maintain the level of quality of their work. As to the age mix, you can see as young as 20-year olds and as old as people in their 50s doing the job. One thing is certain – their workforce is as diverse as the products that they offer to the world.

Fun in learning

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The best-selling cloth books of MERR-C are being piled up for packing.

If you are fond of playing with educational soft toys and cloth books, Merr-C Society Of The Word Foundation Inc.’s showroom would be heaven for you.

MERR-C has been in the manufacturing business of soft educational toys for 30 years. They make soft books, cloth calendars, educational toys, dolls, masks and many more. Their products are known for its colorful, perky and educational themes designed for toddlers and kids. Their best-selling items are the storytelling cloth books with animals, flowers and alphabet themes.

Before MERR-C Society was incorporated with the Securities and Exchange Commission, MERR-C Embroideries Export International a family owned company was running the manufacturing business located in a small community in the City of Malolos, Province of Bulacan.

According to Ms. Rosalinda Miguel, President of MERR-C’s, the company’s purpose is to create labor intensive jobs to provide employment opportunity to the community and members of the foundation. It also seeks to provide financial assistance and educational scholarship program to qualified sons and daughters of the member of the foundation. Through this initiative they can give a brighter future to the next generation.

Dreams as Sewn

In the number of years that these two companies create opportunities for the skilled labor force of their respective communities, one can never deny that they have helped sew dreams. They have provided roof for families, education for their children and an avenue to continue honing their skills. During my conversations with the company’s management, I knew that there are a lot of challenges that their company face but still they continue to push to their limits because they cannot afford to leave the people behind – that resilience will continue sewing their dreams for the future and I am grateful that we’ve been a part of this.

About the author – Cherrilyn Baylon (Lycah) 

Cherrilyn Baylon (Lycah)

Cherrilyn Baylon (Lycah) is based in Manila and works as the export consultant for the Export Trade Assistance program in the Philippines. She is responsible in pre-screening suppliers for ETA and provides them one-on-one training and practical approaches using online marketing tools to increase export sales and create jobs. She also conducts research and interviews for the content of the PH Developing Country Sourcing Reports.

Prior to working with Hinrich, she’s been into development work for 4 years focusing on micro, small and medium enterprises. She worked as a Program Coordinator (2 years) and a Project Development Analyst (2 years) for MASICAP MSME Development Foundation, Inc., a non-government organization that also promotes trade by helping MSMEs gain access to financing. She is trained in the preparation of project feasibility study and business proposals.

Lycah graduated from the Notre Dame of Marbel University in 2010 and obtained a degree on Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Management Accounting.