Randy Santos is a 42 year old expert weaver from Pampanga, Philippines.
Growing up with Weaving
He was born and raised in Pampanga, a province in the central region of the Philippines famous for its food and handicrafts. Having been raised by a carpenter in a community where basket weaving was the prevalent livelihood, it seems forthcoming that Randy would also become an artisan himself.
He picked up his knack for weaving at the early age of 11, curiously watching older peers do it and practicing on any pliable material he could get his hands on. His curiosity later on became a hobby as he develops a keen liking to the craft.
However, living in a struggling economy, Randy, like most would aim for a higher education in the hopes of giving him and his family a better life in the future. In pursuit of his goals he had to work while in school to support his studies. Using his weaving talents, he would tirelessly take on any freelance work available to make money. Little did he know then, that this would eventually pave the way to a fruitful career.
WEAVING his PATH TO a better life
Randy would start his career path as a rattan pole framer. Not the easiest nor the best paying, but it was a job that helped him provide for his wife and three children. For some time, he endured hard labor, up until one day his weaving talents were discovered by one of his superiors. He was then invited to join the company’s pool of weavers where he would learn further to master his craft and prove himself to be one of the most skilled artisan in the company. Randy is now the head of the Research and Development Department for Crafts and Natural Materials. His dedication to the art has paid off and now channels his passion through developing and teaching weaving techniques.
“There is no shortage of things to teach and learn in the handicraft business, there are always new ideas, new challenges. Weaving has put me and my children through school. Sharing my knowledge to the young weavers of my community is my way of paying back what I owe to the craft.”