THE HAIYAN UNITY BRACELET: Designed by A Survivor, Handmade by Survivors, and For the Survivors
I am Danika Christyn C. Astilla-Magoncia. I am the main jewelry designer and maker of the indie label Kinamot nga Buhat (a Waray phrase which means “handmade” in English). I was raised and a resident of Tacloban City, Philippines. I am a Haiyan survivor.
Jewelry making is my passion. It also keeps me sane, now that we’ve evacuated to a very different city. My art is an effort to preserve my culture, because I specialize in woven and webbed jewelry; it is also an attempt to do with whatever’s available, for I use magnet wire that can only be bought in hardware stores.
Campaigning for funding from NGOs and donors has been a months’ long plan that I have had with a very close friend. We were planning to do a video and viral campaign for funding so that we can hire indigent worker-partners who are seeking for a job that’ll be friendly to their situation (they would be housewives who have to stay home to take care of 3 or more kids). But then Haiyan came and wiped out our home city.
My good friend said, “This is the perfect time to concretize our plan.” After a few days of shock, this sunk in. Now the plan was tweaked into making the Haiyan Unity Bracelet, a unisex copper-colored woven bracelet.
The first batch (500 pieces) I will make by hand. If we succeed in selling the whole first batch, we will be able to capitalize and hire Haiyan survivors for more stock. Profits of the sales will be used to establish a Haiyan Volunteers’ Depot (equipped with a bathroom & toilet, a water purifier, first aid kit, solar kit, eating utensils, flashlights, and sleeping bags). We would also like to purchase Volunteer Kits (consisting of a map of Eastern Visayas, toiletries, sunblock, insect repellent, a mosquito net, vitamins, and nutritious food), if the numbers will allow.
I hope the bracelet becomes a symbol of our people’s weaving skills and strength. I hope that the Haiyan Unity Bracelet help in rebuilding our home land (Tacloban City and the greater Eastern Visayas) as well as help in rebuilding our culture.
To join the campaign, click http://www.gofundme.com/haiyanunitybracelet
Danika Christyn C. Astilla-Magoncia – Jewelry Designer
Niña Angela Bañez-Cerdiña – Coordinator
Chloe Veloso – Video Director
Samantha Fe Monet Solidum – Video Editor
Thomas John Solidum – Lights & Sounds
+63 932 148 8678
Jedee E. Magoncia – Volunteer Coordinator for the Volunteers’ Depot
+63 927 538 7638
Krizette Laureta Chu
Editor at Cosmo Philippines