THE Misamis Oriental Provincial Jail and Rehabilitation (MOPJ) in Luna-Corrales Street, Cagayan de Oro City, urged the public to stop by as Christmas lanterns, handmade by its inmates, are now on display for sale.
Provincial Warden Dominador Tagarda said these Christmas lanterns are durable for they were made of coconut leaves (lukay), bamboo, tinfoil, and rugby.
"These are durable lanterns because they are made in foil that can be displayed outside even under the rain... and they use rugby to tie the corners, nga mahimo usab i-display sa sunod na pud nga tuig. Barato ra g’yud siya kay gagmay man (so that it can be displayed the next year. It’s affordable because it’s small)," Tagarda said.
These Christmas lanterns are priced that range from P75 to P100 each, some, which are a bit bigger in size, are over a hundred while the bigger lanterns are priced higher, with some that reaches thousands.
Tagarda added that the inmates-crafted lanterns are cheaper and with higher durability compared to commercially-made lanterns.
"Mas mobarato kining hinimo sa atong mga igsuong piniriso kompara sa gawas nga dili kaayo durable. Kay kanang skill man gyud na siya. Katong nag himo sa gawas murag duplicate rana siya murag segunda mano rana siya without undergoing trainings kay gift kana nila (The lanterns made by the prisoners are cheaper compared to commercially-made lanterns which are not durable. They are made by the prisoner's skills. Those commercially-made lanterns look like duplicates and second-hand without going through trainings)," he said.
Last year, Tagarda said they were able to sold a total of around P600,000 worth of lanterns. The inmates received 60 percent of their total sale.
Tagarda said aside from different institutions in the city such as the Capitol, Provincial Administrator, schools and churches, other provinces in Northern Mindanao such as Camiguin, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte also ordered lanterns from them.
"Last 2013, LGU (local government unit) sa Valencia ug Malaybalay naa man silay didto lantern contest so dinhi sila nagkuha. Dako kaayo to'g income kay nilibo man tong ilang order diri (the local government units of Valencia and Malaybalay in Bukidnon ordered lanterns for their lantern contest. We generate a high income since they ordered thousands of lanterns)," Tagarda said.
MOPJ prisoners started making the skeletons of the Christmas lanterns every second week of August. They will start wrapping them and add decorations in the second week of September and the finish products will be displayed on October. Lantern-making continues until December.
Jayboy Bahian, a prisoner of MOPJ due to selling and possession of drugs, said he started lantern-making since 2009.
Bahian said he usually receives P10,000 in December wherein half of it will be used for his personal needs while the other half will be given to his family.
"Ayha ra man December ko makahatag kung naay ma-income. Other months kay sila may nagahatag sa akoa, kanang panghinanglanon nako pirme, mao nang pag-December, pag maka-income, tagaan nako sila," he added.
Bahian said they are willing to accept orders in MOPJ.
Tagarda, meanwhile, also encourages the public to visit MOPJ for its affordable and attractive lanterns.
"Akong ihangyo ang publiko nga lumolupyo sa Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Lanao, nga modalikyat sa Misamis Oriental Povincial Jail kay nagsugod na mi og display sa nakadaiyang mga parol, lain-lain nga mga disenyo, adunay mga series lights, mga suga nga nindot kaayo ibitay sulod sa atong panimalay, sa mga simbahan ug sa inyong mga opisina. So anhi namo diri," Tagarda said.
Tagarda said the “lanterns for sale” is a livelihood program of the MOPJ, supported by Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano, to generate income for inmates to buy their necessities, to pay for their lawyer and to support their families.