The communal paradigm equating women capacities limited to domestic chores gradually shifts to a much larger intersection of disciplines in an attempt to empower women over the years. Their participation in nation building has surged not only in the political front, but also in social life where they act as agents of change who pursue contribution to sustainable economic development. As society today honors women as active partners in nation-building, unfolding their maximum potential to achieve an equitable, peaceful and more prosperous humanity is at present sake.
Women formation into associations is a strong and significant initiative to encourage women participation in socio-economic development. The chance to speak and realize how important women roles are in nation-building is entitled to every woman who addressed the call for a more focused pursuit towards inclusive growth. Over the years, women’s associations have heeded the way beyond traditional collaboration and paved way for livelihood opportunities.
Mabini, Batangas has no exemption to the pressing needs of women for growth, advancement and livelihood that will facilitate a holistic and sustainable socio-economic development. The vicious cycle of necessity shows how a large portion of unemployed women of Mabini seek help in realizing a viable cradle of revenue. As this situation alarms the society, a becoming of a women’s organization that shall embody the ideals of an empowered women of Mabini through capacity building and a sustainable livelihood was shepherded by a global volunteer organization’s chapter in Mabini known as Soroptimist International.
Advocating a goodwill in benefit of the women of Mabini, Soroptimist International gathered members of their will-be adopted women’s organization. They solicited the support of women in Brgy. Poblacion, Mabini, Batangas who share common interest in structuring an association aimed to provide source of income while also helping other women grow. For much collective advantage, the group also beheld and envisioned the revitalization of the tablea industry where the Municipality of Mabini is known after. A strong pursuit towards livelihood development sought after benefit of women and in reviving the tablea industry of Mabini was trailed as the group’s vision. The gathered women were actually tablea producers and sellers before being engaged to the group. According to them, they grew up in a culture where tablea is the foundation of life, the means of earning, which up until now they try to withstand even how tough it runs for them. From their childhood up to now each of the women members is into tablea production business. They have been engaged to individual tablea business and gathering together to work as an association is deemed to be a good competitive advantage. After series of community engagements, the 28th day of December 2017 marked the birth of the first women community organization in Mabini in the name of MabiniTablea Food Producers (MABLEA).
Gearing towards application and transfer of the benefits of modern science and technology that will facilitate the realization of tablea-based products production, Soroptimist International tapped DOST Batangas for a conduct of a technology training on May 21-22, 2018. Through the assistance of the University of the Philippines Los Baños – Institute of Food Science and Technology (UPLB-IFST) product development of tablea-based products materialized and MABLEA women members were capacitated and educated with such technology. DOST Batangas also assisted the association in their registration as a worker’s association to the Department of Labor and Employment including the preparation of their registration requirements. Soroptimist International Mabini Chapter, on the other hand, provided the plant facility, basic equipment while LGU Mabini provided P15,000.00 to augment their working capital to facilitate the realization of tablea-based products production enterprise.
MABLEA was fervent in pulling off their tablea-based enterprise. As the first and only firm to introduce tablea-based products, they caught a very good market in and outside of Mabini, Batangas. Their strategic market promotions paved way for the becoming of soundly branded tablea-based products of Mabini, Batangas progressively introduced to Overseas Filipino Workers abroad thru the assistance of Soroptimist International. The series of these significant breakthroughs in the lives of the women members of MABLEA have really evidenced a tipping point of collaboration, technology and socio-economic initiatives’ product.
Inspired by the warm acceptance of the market, MABLEA has been so much eager to improve their tablea-based product to address the larger volume of demands and be more known for their tablea-based products. In support to their strong will to improve, DOST Batangas in partnership with Soroptimist International – Mabini and UPLB-IFST conducted another training entitled, Skills Upgrading and Product Standardization for MabiniTablea Food Producers on August 14-15 at MABLEA’s production facility, Poblacion, Mabini, Batangas. Their sweet-tooth and always sought-after products such as tablea chocolate spread (tabspread), tablea chocolate nut (tabnut), and tablea flan (tabflan) were enhanced to come up with a standard formula that is much more competitive in the market. New tablea-based products such as, gourmet tablea flan packaged in a jar, tablea peanut butter spread, and chocolate bars were also formulated to provide new product options to market. More than these, MABLEA is now on its way to catering the resorts in Mabini, Batangas and the municipal tourism hub with their tablea-based products. This was made possible through the initiatives of Soroptimist International and the Local Government Unit of Mabini.
As the only tablea-based product producers in Batangas province, MABLEA commits itself to continuous innovation to transform the lives of its women members and to help revitalize the tablea industry in Mabini. (By: John Maico Hernandez, PSTC Batangas)