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Resurgent bamboo craft industry in far-flung village

Manila Bulletin    11/27/2014 9:43:00 AM    ReadCount:395

The Department of Trade Industry based in this province has visited the mountainous villages that have traditionally leaned on bamboo craft works as their main source of living and has discovered a strong revival in the industry in Barangay Duplas.

Villagers in the barangay, which is hours away from this town, have newfound hope in traditional bamboo craft production, an industry which went on the decline in the 1980s when plastic and aluminum products started to flood the markets.

BAMBOO BOOM – Melisia Gom-o, 70, deftly weaves light bamboo, locally called ‘bolo,’ into a basket backpack, which is just one of the hundreds of bamboo craft products being produced by DBHWA in Barangay Duplas, La Union. (Erwin G. Beleo)

Production and sale of bamboo craft like basket backpacks (pasiking), wallets, coin purses, cellphone cases, key chains and others that use light bamboo materials locally called “bolo” have recently gone on an upsurge.

Duplas-Bulalaan Handicraft Weavers Association (DBHWA) member Leovi Donato, 32, told the DTI officials that she remembered how difficult it was for them to make bamboo craft in the traditional process due to lack of equipments and tools.

“Dati nakikigamit lang kami kung saan meron sewing machine at nakikipila para lang makagamit,” Donato said while adding that only two sewing machines are available in their area.

Under the DTI’s Shared Service Facility (SSF), tools and equipment used to process gift items, decorations and other houseware were given to DBHWA last year. The SSF eventually improved the development of the industry’s efficiency and product-quality.

Donato declared: “Bumilis ang trabaho namin, na susuplyan pa ang mga orders.”


Sudipen, La Union