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Malou sews masks for family, friends, frontliners

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina–Malou Tabada Cordery started sewing face masks on her 50th birthday last March 28 and kept at it in the past four weeks ever since the supply of face masks went down. ‘I decided to give face masks as a gift to my friends and I sew them on my day off late in the day,’ she said.
Malou, a native of Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental, works at the Atrium Health Pharmacy here for the last 13 years and to date she had sown and distributed 150 face masks. “I gave face masks in my department, family, relatives and friends, cancer patients and their families. Definitely hard work and exhausting,’ she said.
An award-winning designer, Malou gave masks to the Carolina Panthers football team at the request of Jessica Reynolds, a diehard Panthers fan who also works at the Atrium. The Atrium Health Pharmacy is also the official pharmacy for the Panthers. “I used to prepare their emergency medication kit. And now when I see my co-workers and other people I gave facemasks to, wearing what I made, it makes me feel good knowing I can help if only in a small way,’ Malou said.
Malou said she has 20 orders being paid for and she uses the money to buy more fabrics and materials for the face masks. She said while it isn’t hard to sew, it is time consuming to make the fabric strap. ‘All the fabric stores are out of elastics, so I just made strings of the same fabric for the mask,’ she said.
As a young girl, Malou played with sewing machines. She was always cutting paper or shaping banana leaves in order to create doll dresses. The first part of her youth revolved around sewing machines. Born in Trinidad town, Bohol province in the Philippines, Malou Tabada Cordery married Richard Cordery and in their 27 years of wedded bliss, they raised two lovely daughters named Genevieve and Alyson.
Malou and her family were very active in the Filipino-American Community of the Carolinas Inc. (FACC) in the past. In 2005 her husband Richard served as second vice president and In 2010 Malou herself served as the 1st Vice President of FACC.  In the 2010 FACC Gala, Malou and Richard produced a stage drama recounting the life of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal. Richard directed the play and Malou choreographed all the different Filipino Folk dances in the play.
She is a dance choreographer and participated in various events here in Charlotte with her children. In the past Malou was one of the catechist teachers at St. Mathew Catholic Church. She has been very active helping the community through fashion show fundraising events and won awards several times for her recyclable couture which had been publicized in several magazines as well.
Graduating with a degree in arts at Cagayan de Oro City’s Capitol University,  Malou took up nursing but ended up working as a narcotic technologist at Atrium Health where she was commended for being the best employee and chosen as the ambassador of her department. Soon Malou said she would be sewing masks for the Air Force in Alaska after being requested by her co-employee whose son is an airman stationed in Alaska. ‘I feel bad about them without having any facemasks so I will be sewing for them,’ Malou said.

(For questions and comments email me at susanap@yahoo.com and also keep an eye out and hit the notification button for my online broadcasts at 105.5 Bay Radio Way Kurat FM Balingasag by liking, following and sharing the station’s Facebook page)

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