By Marjorie Gorospe
PANDAN, ANTIQUE– People in this town have already proven their superb skills when it comes to weaving. But aside from their beautiful and intricate designs, the products are also very durable because they are made from bariw and buri palm.
Bariw or pandan palm and buri palm are abundant in the province of Antique. In fact, locals claim that the town’s name “Pandan” was also derived from this plant.
Buri palm, meanwhile, is abundant in San Jose de Buenavista. The buri leaf is the most versatile material used in handicraft industry. The weavers simply strip off the leaves and dry the m under the sun. The leaves can then be easily dyed and woven into many shapes.
The Antique Development Foundation, a non-government organization, further saw the need to help local folks when it comes to marketing and selling their products to be equally competitive with other provinces.
Program officer Joey Pon-an says one good way of promoting and honing the skills of Antique weavers was through entrepreneurship trainings.
“We just developed what they already have and labeled the different products as ADF Arts and Crafts, now known as the producers of quality hand crafted products of bags, placemats, gifts and house ware,” says Pon-an, noting that their woven products have also been made synonymous to “soft” woven products.
ADF buys the finished materials of the local folks and then sell it to a larger market, but the profit goes back to the community.
“Weaving is also a tradition which has appeared even during pre-colonial times in Antique which is why it is not only a source of living but also a reflection of culture and tradition passed from one generation to another,” adds Pon-an.
Due to the high quality of the products, ADF has already exported to Spain, Belgium, and America.
ADF Resource Center is located at Don Angel Salazar St. Atabay San Jose Antique. Interested partners can check their official website or call (+6336)32014434.
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