The Philippines both being rich in resources and creative people have been blessed with something that the country could surely be proud of. The production of Banig products such as a Banig bag, Banig clutch, and Banig carpet has found its way to lead in the market as the demand for these products has slowly risen.
A Banig is basically a hand-woven mat made of Buri, or Pandan or seagrass leaves and not a textile. The leaves are dried and dyed and woven afterward to produce a uniquely designed or patterned mat. These mats are usually used for sleeping and eating but are now being made into another new and creative materials that could also be useful to people.
A place in the Philippines widely known for its complex designs formats is Basey, Samar. In this part of the country, their woven mats are made of “tikog” leaves, reed grasses that are found in swampy areas which were dyed with various colors and woven into designs you never thought would be possible.
Through time, Banig weaving has been one of the main sources of income of the locals, most especially for the housewives. This traditional art has grown in the old town of Basey way back years ago and was passed on from generation to generation. The “Paraglaras” or the weavers, usually women, were taught and have started the weaving at an early age long before the Spaniards came.
If you are planning to purchase one of the Banig products, the colorful ones are more expensive than the simple ones, yet the most satisfying. And because of the increase in demand of this native Philippine product, it has now been made into bags, clutches, decors, carpets, placemats, and ceiling decorations.
And if you wish to travel to the town where the art of weaving is fully practiced, it is best recommended to go to the local tourism office so they can bring you in a showroom where the wide array of finished products are placed and to the workroom where you can be able to see and witness the traditional mat weaving.
With all this creativity and abundant things the country was blessed with, It is truly more fun in the Philippines!