September 7, 2022 | 11:20 a.m.
MANILA, Philippines — Action figures and other pop culture figurines made from recycled slippers were the focus of the latest episode of “KBYN: Kaagapay ng Bayan” hosted by Noli de Castro, which airs this Sunday at 5 p.m. on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, news.abs-cbn.com/live, the ABS-CBN News YouTube channel, TeleRadyo and A2Z.
Samar-born Elmer Padilla collects discarded slippers from all over Cavite where he now resides, earning him the nickname “Boy Tsinelas”.
Padilla said he decided to make his own toys since he was growing up, he never had any and only watched his neighbors and cousins play with their toys.
He started by making boats from materials like cardboard boxes and polystyrene, before moving on to robot figurines at the age of nine.
After graduating from high school, becoming interested in boxing and starting his own family, Padilla decided to return to toy making when his wife reminded him how much he loved the craft.
For example, Padilla shares that he often uses blue slippers for the Voltes V miniatures because he doesn’t need to use any additional paint while the detached soles can be used to detail the heads and feet due to their fingerprints.
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Some of his other creations include Doc Ock, Venom, Power Rangers, Transformers, Plankton from “Spongebob Squarepants” and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from “Ghostbusters”.
Padilla’s toys went viral online, with many people expressing interest in purchasing his creation; what used to be just a hobby is now how Padilla earns for his family.
Some high-profile celebrities who have taken notice of Padilla’s work include Vice Ganda, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, and Marvel stars Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo.
Believe it or not, this #Pontoon doll is made from recycled tsinelas (it’s Tagalog for flip flops). Elmer Padilla did it for me, so I just wanted to give a good shout. Not only is it inventive and creative, but it’s durable and just plain awesome! Thanks Elmer! pic.twitter.com/JiA4E91LjZ
—Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 20, 2017
Although the pandemic has forced Padilla and his family to use much of their spending, he vows to continue making slipper toys with his daughters as inspiration.
“Kahit anong mangyari, itutuloy ko pa rin ang simple ko dahil ang dalawa kong anak is inspired by the inspiration of buhay ko, na maibigay ko ang pangangailangan nila,” Padilla said.
Padilla hopes that other creatives like him will keep this initiative to keep honing their craft, “Kung anuman ang talent natin, ituloy lang at wag susuko. Tulad nga ng sabi nila, kung talent mo talaga, talent mo.”
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