My research on this topic continues. I came across this very informative article at Manila Standard Today by Portia Elaine Bismonte. According to her, tools, materials, color coordination, nimble fingers, and a little bit of creativity are all you need to succeed in this business.
The required tools include two types of pliers, a long-nose pliers and a rounded one, a wire cutter (which can be your old nail cutter), a glue gun, a bead holder or tray, and a piece of cloth to keep your beads from rolling away.There are different types of beads too. There are glass or plastic beads, real or imitation crystals, semi-precious and precious gem stones, and those made of porcelain, ceramic, wood, metal, shells, corals, and many others.
These different types of beads are available usually at P20 to 50 per pack at bead shops like Wellmanson's Sewing Notions located at Villalobos Street (fronting the church), Quiapo, Manila. I visited the shop yesterday and was totally amazed, not only with the great number beads and other materials available, but also with how lively the "beading" community visiting the shop was.
I was told that other popular bead shops are located at Avenida and Divisoria.
For threading, the simplest available are beading wires and fishing or spring nylons or garters which all come in various sizes. I guess experience will familiarize you with what size to choose. For me, it's still a guessing game.