Crispin Mingorio, is a native of Bicol, Philippines. He has been weaving for the most of his 42 years. Like his father and grandfather, he was brought into this trade due to lack of financial resources to acquire higher education.
Crispin was the youngest of 4 children. He grew up in a house where abaca weaving is a part of their daily lives. He picked up the interest basically from the environment he was in, tinkering with his parents’ work while they take their siesta or afternoon naps.
Although, he developed the skills naturally, this hasn’t always been his dream. He actually wanted to become a chef. As he grew up realising what his goals could be, a cousin promised to help him get a job in Canada. All he had to do was to finish school and get a degree, even a vocational one, just to qualify him for any job that country is offering. But Crispin, despite a promising opportunity at hand, failed to even finish high school.
He would joke about blaming the distance, having to walk 5 kilometers everyday, as the reason why he had to quit school. With very little words he told me the that it was actually because of the financial struggles of his family. He was young and he saw an opportunity to help out by making quick money in weaving. The future seemed too far him to worry about.
He got married in his early 20s and now fathers 4 children. Because of weaving him and his wife have managed to send all of them to school. The first two finished college, the third still in high school and the youngest is only 4 years old. Among the older ones, only the second child showed some interest in weaving.
Crispin would prefer that. He knows they can have better jobs and better names for themselves. Him and his wife have worked tirelessly for their sake and there is no better reward than to see them tread the better path.
Crispin dreams again, not for him to go to Canada and become a chef, but for his children to see the world and be whoever they want to be.