Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sustainable Tourism through Small Scale Industries

Badiangan’s economy expands and develops in many unique ways, its backyard industries in particular have accelerated, fed by its own culture and a better accessible capital market. The town has such wonderful development in the whole area that the products they now promote are fast becoming an easier sell.

One of the main players in Badiangan’s backyard industries is weaving. Although many women still depend on subsistence farming as their main source of income, weaving has become a popular income-generating activity in the community. The weaving of the traditional fabrics is a skill that has been passed from one generation of women to the next for centuries. It has traditionally been, and still is, important in this municipality. Today, the cloths provide a valuable source of income for women in an area where unemployment is prevalent. The fabrics are especially valued because they are used in traditional cultural events and festivities. In Barangay Cabayogan, around three kilometers from the poblacion, the production of hablon and patadyong is done almost on a full-time basis. Formerly, weaving was strictly a woman’s activity, but now men are involved. The Cabayogan Womens Loomweaving Association has four (4) encouraging members that gains self employment and assisting others. To carry out the development activities there are looms for every weaver in the weaving center. This two year association is currently headed by Mrs. Mae Anata.

A very good source of income as inter crop with fruit trees. Banana is a good source of regular weekly or monthly income for the farmer’s family. Millions of farm households all over the country depend on banana as their source of income. Banana is still the leading fruit crop in terms of area, volume and value of production. It is a widely grown fruit in many province and is planted as a component of their farming system or as a main crop. Among the wide range of products that could be produced out of bananas, banana chips is considered to be the most marketable product. This product is processed in small scale by rural households and sold in the local market. Growing bananas for banana chips production has become more lucrative agribusiness in the area. Chips are the most commonly consumed first generation snack foods. They are used as snack food both in domestic as well as in fast food centers and restaurants as side dish and as garnishing. Moreover, the product can be safely stored for up to six months without any change in quality. In Barangay Poblacion, the small business of banana chips has provided income to the family of Mrs. Hesusa Telebrado in the last 40 years. She consumes 30 kilos of banana daily producing 50 packs of chips sold at P30.00 per pack. Her chips business is also another source of income for several other business establishments in the area and neighboring towns. What makes her banana chips special is that is has n o preservatives, no artificial coloring and bananas are fried with care. Presently, she is also producing coconut strips and coconut balls we she sells regularly in the area.

 Bolo making is still one of the sources of income for the locals in the area, especially in Barangay Bingauan where 1/3 of the population in the area are craftsmen that make bolos. A day is spent in producing a single bolo. The men are doing all the hard labor such as the forming of the metal, while the women are the ones doing the hasiwas or the pumping of bamboo implements to the metal pipes to produce the air needed to continuously heat to the coal that is used to shape the metal.

These small-scale industries are the backbone of Badiangan’s economy. These small scale industries are skill based, wherein the skill for manufacturing is passed on from one generation to another. The municipal mayor, Hon. Suzette A. Mamon has supported the growth of tourism in the area through its small-scale industries because it will help the poor people of Badiangan to come up. These are not capital-based industries, but a talent and effort-based business. Badiangan has been gifted with adequate natural resource, so this is a favorable factor for the establishment and growth of small-scale industries.

The municipality of Badiangan is made up of 31 barangays over its 7,750 hectares land area. The town is located in the northwest central portion of Iloilo Province, 40 kilometers from the city. It is bounded on the north by the municipality of Dueñas; on the northwest by the municipality of Lambunao; the municipality of Pototan on the east; on the southwest by municipality of Janiuay; and the municipality of Mina on the southeast. To get to Badiangan, one must take a jeepney or van at the terminal fronting Christ the King Memorial Park in Jaro. To know more about this town, visit the Tumandok exhibits on September 4-8 at the fountain area of Robinsons Iloilo.

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