--- Maria Luisa Pamplona of Palo, Leyte, lost her mother to Supertyphoon Yolanda. The two-year-old has since clung to her father, Rolando, for comfort and security. But not for long. Soon a grandmother visited and took her away, to care for her in Butuan. As if the loss of her mother wasn't painful enough, Maria Luisa also had to be pulled from her father’s embrace. This story illuminates the focus of the Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation based in Bacolod City. NVC extends life-transforming help not just to poor Filipinos, but poor Filipinos bullied by harsh realities.
The Maria Luisa Story
Maria Luisa’s broken life is now captured in broken tiles creatively pieced together in a triptych mosaic collectible, “The Story of Ma. Luisa.” This touching art piece is expected to headline the booth of NVC at the 29th Negros Trade Fair. Inspired by the fair’s theme, “Smiles Beyond Borders,” NVC shares the blessings of this annual exhibition to places beyond Negros by using its profits to fund the Start Right, Live Bright Nutrition Program. NVC manufactures a porridge called 'mingo," blended from malunggay (moringa), rice, and monggo (mung) beans, to feed malnourished toddlers daily for six months. NVC’s profit from the trade fair sustains the feeding campaign that has already nourished 6,441 kids throughout the country.
Blessings of Hope
Affordability and availability have also encouraged kind sponsors to send mingo packs to victims of the Zamboanga con?ict, Typhoon Pablo, Typhoon Maring, the Bohol earthquake, and Typhoon Yolanda. Children of Peter Project beneficiaries are also fed with mingo. This NVC project has so far donated over 4,000 boats to fishermen in communities devastated by natural calamities, including in Leyte, Samar, Bantayan, Masbate, Panay, and northern Negros. Where the boats go, so goes Mingo. To date, 1.3 Million packs of Mingo have been supplied to disaster stricken areas.
Guadalupe with Wrought Iron
The fine products of NVC are handmade by rural and urban poor women trained to turn out products of world-class craftsmanship. You will notice this in all NVC product lines, making them high-quality personal and gift choices. In the home furnishing mosaic line, five new design themes will be rolled out this year: Leaf Melody, Blue Blessings, Crewel, Baroque Silhouettes, and Paisley. Each theme is rendered in round and square folding tables, bed tray, medium and large trays, and trivet. Also new in mosaic are the Folk Art Décor Collection and the Critter Tabletop Collection. Mosaic art also accents French bread boards matched with pate knives hewn from discarded buffalo horns.
Baroque Silhouette Table Setting
Living the theme of the fair, a new product line this year uses Yolanda wood, or wood felled by the super typhoon. NVC gave businesses to the women of Bato, Leyte, who fashioned wood debris into rosary beads, as if lifting up Yolanda wreckage to the heavens in prayer. NVC also paid rural folk for collecting Yolanda wood, now upcycled in Blessings of Hope. These stylized renditions of the crucifix resting on top of Yolanda wood pieces represent greater power conquering even the strongest storm.
Very popular at the trade fair are NVC’s exquisite crochets that update a traditional craft with clean, classy, contemporary patterns. This is one product line where fine craftsmanship is meticulously sought and appreciated, in every loop, in every knot. And NVC always delivers. Joining the crochet line this year are charming keepsake pouches, elegant vanity trays and utility baskets, and dainty napkin rings. As has been the policy of NVC since it joined the Negros Trade Fair three years ago, a large portion of its 2014 profits will again be allocated to support the mingo feeding program, as well as emergencies that require the greatest need for intervention. Indeed, out of NVC’s sales will come help. Oddly enough, at this year’s trade fair, the heart-rending story of Maria Luisa, herself needing help, might just deliver the biggest help of all. Visit the NVC’s booth at the 29th Negros Trade Fair on September 24-28, at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati. The [29th Negros Trade Fair](http://www.choosephilippines.com/do/shopping/1784/29th-negros-trade-fair/) is the longest running provincial trade fair held annually in Metro Manila and organized by the Association of Negros Producers. To know more about Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation, visit [www.nvcfoundation-ph.org](http://www.nvcfoundation-ph.org). (All photos are owned by the 29th Negros Trade Fair Smiles Beyond Border and Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation). --- **VIEW: See what else to bring home from the Visayas with the Pasalubong Map:** ![atlas](http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v218/corsarius_phil/ChoosePHL/Atlas%20maps/pasavisayas-620.jpg) **VIEW: Explore Negros Occidental with the Choose Philippines fun map to Bacolod City:** ![atlas](http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v218/corsarius_phil/ChoosePHL/Atlas%20maps/bacolod-620.jpg)