Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I See Dead Tarpaulins

Together with our clients, the advertising industry churns out a massive amount of tarpaulin materials for outdoor merchandising. In the office we asked ourselves, “Where do billboards and outdoor banners go when they die?”

Now we know.

Angono, Rizal proudly calls itself the arts capital of the Philippines. Saturday morning found me on the way there to look for a group of folks who have made a living recycling tarpaulin billboards and streamers into useable bags. Not exactly art, but creative enough.

From our house in Marikina it was a pleasant 45-minute drive through Antipolo and Taytay, Rizal. One of the reasons why I rarely hesitate to bring my friends home is because it’s an opportunity for me to know more about the ins and outs of the city—and beyond. Thank God then that I brought Nelz to his parents’ house in Angono several years ago; I didn’t get lost looking for a house in a village that’s tucked inside one of the severely narrow streets of Angono. How narrow? Even tricycles have to make way for one another. Good thing Orlando’s petite enough—and me skilled enough—to handle such roads.

Mang Nick met me at the street and I had to park because their house/shop was inside one of the narrow alleys that even a bicycle will have a hard time negotiating. Unfortunately this morning several candidates for the local branggay elections were doing the rounds, so the alley was unusually crowded.

Mang Nick and two more folks manage the TarpBags group. They hire several workers who can easily sew around 30 bags individually in a day. They proudly claim they can finish an order of 100 bags of one style given a day’s notice.

The bags I got are understandably cheap, ranging from Php30 to Php85. They also have tube-shaped bags (which I didn’t get because they won’t be of use for our mini-project) and they already have a knapsack design ready to be rolled out.

Above is one of their smallest handbags. It has a Velcro clasp to close it, plus a side pocket outside. The bags are all very bare in design—no inside pockets or divisions.

They come in two sizes!

Above we have the shoulder bag, with zipper instead of Velcro.

A bigger style of shoulder bag; instead of a zipper, it has a flap…

…and a Velcro clasp for added security.

And they come in two sizes too!

Notice that the bags have a similar look? That’s because their current and only supplier—for now—of used tarpaulins is the Nestlé company, and they only have Nescafe tarpaulins available for disposal. The TarpBag group is currently negotiating with one of the gigantic telecoms to supply them their old tarpaulins.

The designs are not exceptional, and the bags themselves smell of tarpaulin. And I have yet to test them to see how sturdy they are. But I want to use a couple of them. You know how something’s so unassuming that it’s actually cool? These TarpBags are so unfashionable, they actually look society-ing-society to me.

* * * * *

If you’re interested:

c/o Nick 0916-4812626
Blk 22, Lot 16
Exodusville, San Vicente
Angono, Rizal

(The way to their place is actually quite easy, but do ask for directions because there are no signs. Even Exodusville doesn’t have a gate or marker; after passing a very narrow street with a basketball court on the side, I was already in Exodusville and I didn’t even know it. Good thing I asked around.)


Anonymous said...

Nakakaloka ang pangalan ng subdivision -- Exodusville! Parang ang mga mamamayan nun eh nag-exodus kung saan-saan!

Parang gusto ko rin ng Tarp Bag! Makabili nga! ;-)


Panalo to McVie - both the entry n the tarp bags. Galing! Kind of you to feature the bags and the soft sell on recycling!

Anonymous said...

REcycled bags! CooL! :)

closet case said...

angono? you went to angono? *sigh*

i know of another group that recycles juice containers like zesto's... cute rin...

joelmcvie said...

CC: Let go, dearie, let go. Hehehe.

Anonymous said...

It may not be fashionably fab but think of global warming, since 'going green' is 'in' nowadays why not use it when you shop. Save's a lot of plastic... and kapag namalengke ka, baka yang bag na yan ang pinaka-fab. bongga!