NICOLE Marie Seares del Rosario, 10, a fifth-grader this school year at Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus in Cebu City, is into swimming, tennis, soccer, biking and running.
Spending one hour to two hours, three to six days a week for each, these sports helped her survive an otherwise inactive dry season and prepare for her dream to take part someday in a kids’ triathlon. Throw in some mountain-climbing and trips to the beach, Nicole’s summer was all well spent.
Despite the demands of these dynamic activities, Nicole still had time for less physical recreations like playing the piano, reading a book and loom-bands making, the latter being a newfound fascination.
Rainbow Loom, as how the craft is formally known, is a plastic toy pegboard used to interlace a set of colorful rubber bands into artsy-craftsy accessories like bracelets, charms and rings.
The idea of the device kicked in to its inventor in 2010 when Cheong Choon Ng, a Malaysian immigrant to the United States, was observing his young daughters knot together rubberband jewelry.
Years later, Rainbow Loom burst into the commercial space with its good reception in the market, becoming popular among children ages eight to 14 (Nicole being one of them.)
It started when Lucia, Nicole’s cousin in the US, sent her some loom bracelets through her lola Chita Seares-Perez during her visit to Cebu last January.
“I love the colors on each band. They’re really nice!” Nicole admired.
Nicole’s grandma, mom Fatima bought her a loom kit. Sourcing instructions and tips online, each band Nicole produces makes her want to create another. That’s how she’s been learning.
“I don’t know if there’s a craze. I saw one or two classmates wearing the bands.
Everytime mommy, mom Fatima and I show my bands to friends, they ask, ‘Where did you get that?’” Nicole related, mentioning that friends and friends of friends have been buying some of her outputs.
“It’s not like it can pay tuition, maybe just pizza or burger. I still have to refund mom Fatima for the loom,” she added.
Loom-band making is fashioned mostly for girls although some boys, just like those Nicole see on television, are also into the craft. Well, boys won’t like to be seen toying with adorable, colorful looms, will they?
“It’s easy enough even for me and kids of my age to learn but it’s hard enough to keep us going and not be bored. Mommy tells me to be creative. It’s one way of being creative, I think. And it helped make my summer enjoyable, too,” Nicole said of loom bracelets and charms.