Friday, July 27, 2012

Next level for Argao buri-weavers


Romblon's DTI PD Rudy Mariposque in skills upgrading for buri-weavers.
With the abundance of buli (buri palm), that grows in the hills of Argao and nearby areas, residents of this coastal barangay are themselves convinced that they could sustain the production of bayong and fashionable bags from buri as an alternative means of livelihood. Since the conduct of a skills training program on bayong/bag weaving last year, followed by another session on modern design trends for bags out of buri, a training on bleaching and dyeing was recently conducted by DTI Marinduque for the participants.
They are composed mostly of more women than men, pleased with what they have earlier been taught, continuing to make buri bags during their spare time. Since then, they have received and delivered orders from a few clients for small bags for use as gift baskets in general. Such orders, however, follow designs chosen by their clients out of the very few naturally colored designs they have presented. The inference is that they could not just make the same buri bags unless they have sure buyers and that it would be better to be able to present them with more designs to choose from. 
A training on bleaching and dyeing for the introduction of colors in those buri products from Argao was thus undertaken to make the items more attractive to customers. A trainer from the Cottage Industry Technology Center, Ms. Zemarjudia Pacuribot was invited by DTI for the purpose. Various methods for bleaching and dyeing buri strips were thus introduced involving the use of chemicals and additives.  
To ensure that new and marketable designs of buri bags and even placemats are produced by the would-be local entrepreneurs, DTI's provincial director, Carlito Fabalena invited no less than his counterpart in Romblon, provincial director Rodolfo Mariposque to share his expertise. Some of Romblon's towns are known for their basketry and traditional buri and raffia weaving traditions that are further strengthened with the infusion of new designs and colors.
Mariposque, who is fondly called Rudy by his DTI colleague hails from Boac. Aside from sharing his expertise on trends and designs, Rudy also conveyed his thoughts on strategies that may be adopted by the Argao participants to sustain their production.
Rudy also shared with the participants his knowledge on the use of natural bleaching methods.
Rudy in a one-on-one with a participant.
The participants were divided into several groups with each group
 engaging in a style of weaving different from the rest.
Hands on bleaching and dyeing methods were learned 
and practised by the participants in three days.
Training on skills upgrading was conducted by 
Mariposque for two days more.
Some items produced by the participants by day's end.
Mariposque ensured the participants that he would be willing to return to provide follow-up technical assistance if needed.  He also noted that the participants could consider themselves lucky as Congressman Velasco, from among the representatives in the Mimaropa Region composed of the Mindoro provinces, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan, is the only congressman who has introduced a direct tie-up with the Department of Trade and Industry to facilitate livelihood training programs such as this, and the implementation of a micro-financing program, as well. 
Participants after the first 3-day program on bleaching and dyeing with representatives from DTI, CITC and the Office of Cong. Velasco (with IT Officer Erick Anthony San Juan, in extreme right)

Photo with Cong. Velasco from earlier initial skills training on bayong weaving. 

View of the south from Argao beach.
View of the north from the same spot.
Silangan and San Andres Island lie behind the rocky hill
.

Argao Beach.

Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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