Friday, June 3, 2016

Developing and Transforming Iloilo’s Backyard Industries

weaving in Barangay Indag-an, Miagao, Iloilo

Small Scale Industries may sound small but actually plays a very important part in the overall growth of an economy. Our Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises or MSME sector has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of our local economy. It provides large employment opportunities assuring more equitable distribution of local income and wealth thereby contributing enormously to the socio-economic development of our country.

In the Ilonggo economy, where many communities are characterized by serious unemployment problem, small-scale and cottage industries are emphasized. Cottage industry is one which is carried on wholly or primarily with the help of the members of the family, while small-scale industry employs hired labour.

Our small-scale and cottage industries occupy an important place because it provides sustainable employment especially to our rural artisans and our local Government has taken a number of steps to promote them. It has been observed that various communities have gone long strides in this field.

bolo-making in Barangay Bingawan, Badiangan, Iloilo

Pagpamanday or bolo-making continues to remain a relevant symbol of the people In the remote barangay of Bingawan in Badiangan, Iloilo.  It is the town’s most popular backyard industry and several kinds of bolo along with its specific uses are produced, namely: (1) Binakuko for chopping wood; (2) Sinuwak for carpentry and cutting shrubs and smaller trees; (3) Ginunting having the same function as the Sinuwak; Pinuti for slicing meat; (4) Tangkap for kitchen use; (5) Linamay, Surot, and Balintawak are used in gardening; (6) Kayog is used to harvest rice; and (7) Wasay used to chop lumber and bigger trees. Bolos are made by hand with blades made from recycled steel. The handle is usually made from hard wood found in the area. A day is spent in producing a single bolo. The men are doing all the hard labour such as the forming of the metal, while the women are the ones doing the hasiwas or the pumping of bamboo implements inserted to the metal pipes to produce the air needed to continuously heat to the coal that is used to shape the metal.

loom-weaving in Barangay Indag-an, Miagao, Iloilo

Panghabol or weaving has been a part of the culture of Miagao, Iloilo. It is one of the most important crafts handed down from generation.  It is a livelihood program where the ancient craft of hand-weaving, along with hand-spinning, remains a popular in many barangays up to this day. The town has a small industrial sector, dominated by artisan production and small home-based businesses specifically in hand-loomed fabrics such as Patadyong, Polyabaca and Hablon. These fabrics are mostly of cotton with relatively small quantities of rayon, and polyester cotton. And these hand-made textiles have been able to compete successfully with machine made fabrics. Weaving is done using two sets of threads interlaced; the warp which is run lengthways, and the weft that runs across one end to the other. The fabric is woven on a wooden loom, a device that holds the warp threads in place while filling threads are woven through them.

nito weaving in Sitio Ngpana, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo

Nito-weaving in Sitio Nagpana, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo is a popular backyard industry where viitors to the area can gain a better understanding and appreciation of its Aboriginal culture. Nito is a type of vine that grows clinging on trees and rocks. To use the vine, it must be gathered and then expose to sunlight to dry. As an art material, it does not need to be treated by soaking, scraping or hacking processes to enhance its natural beauty and color. The elements are mostly flat flexible strips popular for in matting. The weavers of Nagpana uses nito to produce beautiful baskets, hats, bags, coin purses, coasters, placemats, bracelets and even rings. Nito weaving is this community’s primary means of increasing their income. In fact, they organized themselves as The Nagpana Nito Weavers Group that was established in 2005.

shell-craft making in Barangay Cagbang, Oton, Iloilo

Barangay Cagbang in Oton, Iloilo is a center for the producing quality shell craft products that will make that perfect holiday souvenir. Visitors can choose from a wide range of hand-crafted shell fashion accessories, curtains, jewelry boxes, lamp shades, candle holder, picture frames, table decors and many other items all handcrafted and made of natural shell component and materials. Oton’s shell-craft industry has metamorphosed into one of Iloilo’s top pasalubong items. 

traditional pottery in Barangays Jibao-an and Pandac in Pavia, Iloilo

Pik – Pik Koron, the century-old style of pottery is still being practised in Barangays Pandac and Jibao-an in Pavia, Iloilo.  Pottery makers made pots or coron, firewood-fired stoves or sig-ang, drinking jars or banga and water containers or tadyaw using the open pit firing method. The soil sub-stratum in the barangays mentioned is best suited for pottery-making thus, pottery-making became the livelihood of many in the area.

Small Scale Industries act as an essential medium for the efficient utilization of such skills as well as resources available locally. These small scale Industries have helped the various sections of the Ilonggo society especially our local artisans to hone their skills to continue the tradition. Though the art of making these local products has changed over the years, and the process has been modernized in some ways, things have remained constant down the generations: the passion of local artisans showing for their craft and the hard work they commit to it.

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