The History and Evolution of Bahay Pangarap
The beginnings of Bahay Pangarap can be traced way back in 1970 through the apostolic zeal of Sister Valeriana Baerts, a Missionary of Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM), a Belgian national. The first home for the permanently disabled established in 1965 in the Sinagtala that accommodated 11 disabled residents. The missionaries also set up other smaller homes for the disabled.
In 1971, Bahay Pangarap (BP) was established to serve not mainly as home for the disabled but as a place where they can be productive and regain self worth. The first beneficiaries of BP were seven disabled who were trained in weaving through the
assistance of Mrs. Sofia Zaragoza and was earning P2.00 – P4.00 per day. Their first products were placemats, belts, wallets, ring (made of carabao horn), and napkin holder and were on a per order basis.
The entry of BP into woodcraft may well be established in the periods 1972-1974 where various donors infused basic technologies for wood base craft. It was also on this year that they were able to receive technical assistance from the Don Bosco students. The markets for their produce were mainly philanthropists and religious institutions.
In 1975, BP engaged in producing novelty items, dyed products and kamagong-based woodcraft. From the said period to 1980, BP was doing business as sub-contractor or on job order basis.
This period 1980 to 1984 was challenging and difficult one for BP. This is due to the attempt of the sisters to give the beneficiaries bigger role in managing their operation. The result of such was not satisfactory and necessitated the assistance of Mr. Jose Pineda in mid-80s who was then a retiring professional with a background in fine arts and business management. He devoted more than two years of his time in products designing and development, marketing and in the installation of basic management systems.
The years 1985 and 1986 was highlighted by the construction of a dormitory for the disabled and a residential house for the Sisters who are assisting the home.
In 1987 Mr. Pineda’s unwavering assistance began to bear fruits. The business operation of BP began to flourish. Markets for their produce were not only limited or remained with individual buyers or sub—contractors and religious institutions but also expanded to commercial establishments. It was also on the said year that BP began to hire full time management staff and the number of residents significantly increased.
It was in 1990 that BP was linked up with Saffy through Sister Julianne. The tie up with Saffy gave BP bigger opportunities for their produce begun to be sold outside in the Philippines in bigger volumes. It was also an opportunity to further develop their technologies and craftsmanship with the complementation of Oxfam-Great Britain’s support in the mid-90s.
Today, Bahay Pangarap employs 50 differently-abled and 12 abled employees. With the launch of its new website, bahaypangarap.org; and through the assistance of the James Mackay Foundation and Mackay Properties, Bahay Pangarap is now ready to showcase its products to a bigger market locally and internationally.