By Rey Anthony Chiu | 04:17 PM November 26, 2021

It was an early exposure to bag-making and design that fairly made his life all in a bag.

Lauro Lopido, at 41 now, was a step away from reverting to his supervisory job in a small bag production company in Saudi Arabia, but he persisted and somehow, things paid off.

He was a fresh high school graduate from Dolores Eastern Samar when he went to Manila to try his luck and got into a job in a bag factory.

His task then was inverting bags, so the sewers could put in some needed parts. On his spare time, he would sit in the factory’s sewing assembly line and try his skill at bag-making, knowing that it could be a better money source than a factory handyman.

Persistence, patience and perseverance plus his newfound profitable skill brought him to try it out in the Middle East and in Brunei where he met his soon to be wife, Marlyn Anabieza of Santo Rosario Inabanga.

After his marriage, the couple decided to live in Bohol and put his skill in line.

“I was fixing school bags in the neighborhood, and it was really not much considering I was new and there were not many to fix,” Lau shared in an interview.

That time, he was about to give up, go back as an overseas worker to feed and sustain his family.

But then, when who brother who works with the government in Samar told him to seek assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Bohol, an option opened for him.

“I went to DTI and asked what they can do. Form then, things started to work out right,” he said.

Settling in town with a long string of raffia loom-weaving tradition, the trainings in product design and innovation started for his bag business the new he has since followed.

We found sinalapid, a raffia pigtail weave that we overlaid in the design and played on contrasts and things soon picked, he said, his being Waray-speaking showing.

Sinalapid or sinapid weavers in Bohol, found a good market as Lopido’s hand crafted bags soon got them as a trademark.

“That was also the start of the brand name Sinapido,” he said.

Later design innovations had Lopido venturing into more raw materials, several of them locally woven and sourced out from other weavers in Bohol who specialize in other designs and materials.

From sinapid, Lopido’s bags now feature buntal, synthetic fibers, threads, up-cycling materials, recycled objects and just anything that could be a highlight, motif or simply an interesting contrast that makes the bag chic, stylish and fashionable.

Already making big ripples in the handcrafted bag industry in Bohol and in the country, MaraArams Baglines became a must have among people in the high society.

And then the pandemic struck.

We have to divert our bag production as there were no sales, and we have just equipped our production line with 8 heavy duty sewing machines, he shared.

As our way of helping in the pandemic, we made about 50,000 face masks as the orders were also brisk, he eagerly said, the production helped him cut his losses and helped him employ the women in Santo Rosario.

Recently, when faced with another potential design innovation challenge in the DTI Holiday Market and Craft Fair as a pre-Christmas bazaar of holiday crafted decors, Lopido’s creative genes cranked up again.

His Christmas angels and tarsier Santas, which he said he conceptualized in a day, are among the fair’s bestsellers in the craft fair that ran from November 22-27, 2021.

Asked if he would still consider going abroad, Lopido, who has now a decision in the bag, could only smile, his life now woven in the bags that has kept his and his family’s dreams. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)

By Bohol Island News

Your reliable source of news and content in the island and the rest of Central Visayas and Mindanao.

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