Can you help Nanay Ely, the elderly crocheter of Tayuman?

Raisa Serafica
Can you help Nanay Ely, the elderly crocheter of Tayuman?
The story of Luisa 'Nanay Nely' Pagindian, the 'manggagantsilyo' from Manila, inspires online users. Here’s how you can find her and support her small business.

MANILA, Philippines – On Saturday, August 12, the story of Luisa Pagindian, an 82-year old “manggagantsilyo” (crocheter) from Tayuman, Manila inspired many netizens (WATCH: Nanay Ely, the old crocheter of Tayuman

Nanay Ely, as many call her, is one of the hundreds of working senior citizens in the country.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, of the 7 to 8 million senior citizens in the country, an estimated 5.5 million are indigent. Indigent seniors refer to those who are old and sickly. They do not also receive pension from state-run pension agencies.

DSWD gives P1,500 ($29.41) quarterly to poor senior citizens under its Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC). However, only 2.8 million seniors are currently enrolled in the program, according to DSWD Undersecretary Hope Hervilla.

To provide for their own needs, many of these indigent seniors who do not receive pension or benefits from the government, like Nanay Ely, resort to working despite old age (READ: FAST FACTS: What benefits are senior citizens entitled to?)



Netizens praised Nanay Ely for her hard work. As of posting, the video has been watched nearly 900,000 times. Many of them asked where to find Nanay Ely and how to buy her colorful bottle covers, sling bags, shoes, and purses.

Here are some of the online comments about Pagindian:




Responding to all the kind words she received, Nanay Ely said: “Thank you po, magandang regalo po ito sa akin.” (Thank you. This is a nice gift for me)

How you can help

Nanay Ely is celebrating her 83rd birthday on August 24. You can surpirse her by paying her a visit or by patronizing her products:

  • Look for her near the Tayuman LRT station in Manila

  • You can also message her for orders at 09268054187. Directly coordinate with Nanay Ely or her daughter Cristy.


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Raisa Serafica

Raisa Serafica is the Unit Head of Civic Engagement of Rappler. As the head of MovePH, Raisa leads the on ground engagements of Rappler aimed at building a strong community of action in the Philippines. Through her current and previous roles at Rappler, she has worked with different government agencies, collaborated with non-governmental organizations, and trained individuals mostly on using digital technologies for social good.