Resin laminated vases, wall decors and other home furnishings with neo-tribal designs is probably one best description of any Tumandok products. Tumandok is a vernacular term which means “native inhabitant” .
I’ve known Tumandok since the 1990’s because the owner Joji Locsin is a very good friend. I remember those days when the majority of the company production was still in Ma-a0 Sugar Central and majority of the packing jobs were done at the owners garage here at Greenplains Subdivision , Bacolod City. We would conduct bible study and seminar in the garage and people were few during those times. There are moments that I would go with Joji in Ma-ao to visit the production of Tumandok. Tumandok’s humble beginnings was an inspiration . Literally Joji Locsin is one of those who strongly encouraged me to go into business.
Tumandok started as a trading firm in October 17, 1988, buying and selling home-made handicrafts at the height of the sugar industry crisis in the province. It was registered with the Department of Trade and Industry as a sole proprietorship micro-enterprise.
The company joined the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) on the same year. Through the association, Tumandok was inspired to produce their own brand of handcrafted products ranging from bags, buri furniture and baskets, hand-painted pitate wall decors and terracotta figurines and vases.
Along the way, owner and general manager Josephine Locsin saw the greater need for more opportunities for people to earn a decent living as well as to showcase the ingenuity and craftsmanship. So eventually, Tumandok expanded its territory by establishing its own lamination factory in April 1997 in Barangay Central Ma-ao, Bago City. The new venture was started with twelve (12) workers, an initial capital of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000), and the able assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). From their humble beginnings, Tumandok produced innovative laminated gift items and house wares made from indigenous materials like picture frames, boxes, and trays. This new line was displayed at the ANP Showroom and eventually attracted an exported buyer. With the help of the MPEX Consultancy Program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the laminated product lines became the flagship of Tumandok.
After a year of operations, the demand for Tumandok wares so increased that they had to
double their workforce in order to cope with the rapid acceptance of their products in both the domestic and foreign markets. Their laminated products spread and a demand was created that they were forced to open a temporary factory in 1999 at Greenplains Subdivision, Bacolod City. With fifteen (15) employees more, production also increased. And they came up with more designs that were widely accepted wherever they go. Eventually, the Ma-ao plant was brought to Bacolod in the year 2000 for better monitoring, supervision, and quality control. Unfortunately, Tumandok experienced a major setback when their factory in Bacolod was brought down by a big fire. Since most of their materials are highly combustible, it did not take long for everything to literally go up in smoke.
The fire incident allowed me to see how strong is Joji’s faith unto the Lord. I was there when the firemen were trying to control the fire from spreading , but the whole factory was already down. I was standing beside her and don’t know what to say. But she said: “Tumandok is God’s business, He knew what is best..” Joji would always confess that Jesus is the real owner of her company, and she is only an administrator.
True enough, after six months , Tumandok opened a new factory in the 3000-square-meter site at Barangay Calumangan, Bago City. It had been the permanent home of the Tumandok operations ever since.
Tumandok have already furnished countless of homes here and abroad.. Like Costa Rica, India, Dubai, Taiwan, Turkey, US, Venezuela …even China and many more.
One of the major strength of the Tumandok is its competency in product design. Joji’s brother in law Carlos “Caloy” Lanuza . Caloy is the company’s in-house designer and one in charge of the. I would recall in the early year years when Tumandok made the house where I stayed as one of their showroom. Each time new stocks would arrive I would enthusiastically open all those and would display in the sala of the house. I adore Tumandok designs!
Tumandok Crafs had already received various awards and citations:
Matagumpay Awardee 2009
Ginintuang Yaman Awards
National Trade Fair
Department of Trade and Industry
Awardee, Most Inspiring Bacolod Entrepreneur 2007
Go Negosyo Bacolod Awards
Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship
Winner, Bulawan Awards 2007,2008, 2011
Lumina Category , Home Furnishings, Gifts and Housewares
Association of Negros Producers
Nominee, Estilo Competition
Best Designer and Best Product Design
Furniture Compliment Category
Mugna Awards, 2001 & 2008
Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation
Tumandok Crafts products will be made available at the 26th Negros Trade Fair on September 28-October 2, 2011 at Rockwell Tent, Makati City.