DAGUPAN CITY – A teacher by profession, Ma. Erikah Badicao of Pogo Grande found her way to earn a living not by teaching but by carving three dimensional figures, among which are instructional materials.

Badicao paid Mayor Belen T. Fernandez a visit on December 4 to personally extend her gratitude to the latter for sending her to the training program for free under sculptor John Paul Dalisay.

She gifted Fernandez one of her masterpieces, a figurine carved out of a mahogany wood that has a tag prize of P20,000.

Badicao started her training with Dalisay last June 15 and she is among members of a batch who survived the tedious training with Dalisay under the program sponsored by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas and the Saint Michael the Archangel Parish in Barangay Tebeng.

She will be graduating this December and she is the only lady in her batch.

With no formal training in sculpture, Erikah, during her training, learned carpentry using power tools, fine furniture, wood carving, wire sculpture, cement sculpture, plaster of paris, adobe, clay and painting.

“We are thankful to Archbishop Villegas and to Mr. Dalisay for coming out with this program which became another source of livelihood for our people,” said Fernandez.

The city government supported the program by giving scholarships to anyone interested in wood carving especially to the drug surrenderers under the city’s Sagip User Rehabilitation and Empowerment (SURE) program, which is one way of providing them with decent income and livelihood.

“We are happy that Erikah grabbed the opportunity when she learned about the program while walking along the downtown area and pursued her dreams with persistence. Now she is handsomely earning a living after completing her training,” said Fernandez.

As a way of helping her succeed in her passion, Fernandez provided Erikah P10,000 as financial assistance and encouraged her to produce more of her art works and have it  displayed at the city’s display center. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Dec. 6, 2017)