The great advantage in travelling the way I do, with no fixed timetable, deadlines or impositions, is that I can change my itinerary on a whim and respond to new opportunities in a second as they present themselves. And so it happened whilst I was up here in the Cordillera region. During my stay in Sagada I was lucky enough to meet Russell, a Canadian artist who has been living in the area for the past two years. His speciality is transforming ordinary, everyday rubbish into art and usable objects; what is nowadays known as "upcycling". He works with local communities and people, mostly women, in small villages where he has been successful in designing small bags and purses made from discarded wrappers that the women weave in their spare time with a view to selling both abroad and locally to both increase the peoples' income and reduce waste. Thanks to him I drastically changed my plans in a way that allowed me to see and interact with local communities that would not have been possible as a simple tourist passing through.
|Close up of the bags made by local women around Sagada using used wrappers. The one on the left is from Sprite labels and the right one from coffee sachets.|