By Arvin Santiago

Year 6 of Pistahang Rizalenyo is a celebration of agriculture, cuisine, culture, and tourism. The best Rizal goods are shown at this annual trade expo with many Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) given the opportunity to promote their business. 

A broad range of items are shown in various stores, ranging from the famous Antipolo delicacies such as suman and kasoy to garments, shoes, purses, belts, home decors, kawayan displays, and more. Pistahang Rizalenyo has become a great opportunity for small company owners.

It is also a perfect venue for businesses to raise funds for a cause, like what the Antipolo City Jail is doing.

Led by J03 Rodelisa Lim and J02 Ann Genina Losito the products made by the Antipolo City Jail inmates were sold and promoted. Handmade wallets, doormats, seat cushions, ‘ship in a bottle’ home display and hand-painted bags in different designs and sizes are the main products displayed during the event.

In an interview with Antipolo Star, J03 Lim said proceeds from this project will go directly to inmates who worked hard and sacrificed their time to create these products.

“Direct po ‘yan sa kanila (yung profit) para po mayroon silang mai-support sa kanilang family. Kami ay ano lamang, instrumento lamang nila para po sila ay matulungan na mas mapabilis ‘yung pagbenta ng mga products nila,” she said.

These initiatives are centered around the livelihood program of the Antipolo City Jail Female and Male Dormitory for Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL). PDL are permitted to engage in a variety of legitimate income-generating activities. By participating in this project, they earn money to sustain themselves and their families outside of the program. This also helps PDL regain faith in their abilities and discover new facets of life. 

“In a way, aside sa aspect ng income generation, nakakatulong sa kanila itong programa dahil therapeutic for them yung mga activities. Nabu-boost din yung confidence nila kasi diba karamihan sa kanila nanggaling sa ‘easy money’ na sistema. Dito mapagtanto nila na kaya pala nilang magtrabaho nang marangal,” said J02 Losito.

Some PDL have been able to fund their children’s education in college. This livelihood initiative encourages them and offers them hope that their lives will improve one day. PDL Livelihood projects and activities are taking place not only in Antipolo, but across all BJMP nationwide.

If you want to support this cause and wish to purchase good quality products made by our talented PDL in Antipolo you may visit their Facebook BJMP Antipolo CJ – Female Dormitory – for more information.