Basey Banig Weaves

Basey Banig Weavers Build a Name for Filipino Export Products

Lory Joyce Andagan | June 23, 2020

Basey Banig Weavers Build a Name for Filipino Export Products

Lory Joyce Andagan
Lory Joyce Andagan | June 23, 2020

Filipinos are known for their artistry and creativity. One of the best examples is the weaving industry that was passed on from generations to generations of women and indigenous tribes and is widely practiced all over the country. But aside from textiles, there are other products made out of weaves that showcase the creativity of the Filipino. The municipality of Basey in Samar has a banig weaving industry, exporting to different parts of the world.

Banig is a handwoven mat usually used for sleeping that can also be used to create functional pieces suited for your lifestyle. It is usually made of buri, a palm genus found growing in various parts of the Philippines, but in Basey, Samar, they also use tikog, which is an indigenous plant commonly found in swampy areas. Out of these materials, they make products such as fashion and home accessories. They often dye these strips to make different designs. Banig weaving in Basey is special because they combine traditional and modern techniques. Though the process of weaving is essentially the same as the traditional one, their designs cater not only to the locals but also to the international market, featuring pattern designs that are more geometric in aesthetic, as well as others that bear florals, portraits, and even logos.

[related: The Charie Chronicles: Tacloban's Tikog Crafts]

Eva Marie Adona is an entrepreneur that owns a local handicraft banig manufacturing business established in 1980 in Basey, Samar. She inherited the business from her parents when they turned over the business in 2009. Their enterprise produces a wide range of products such as bags, clutches, floormats, frames, and many more. They have 10 embroiderers in their shop but soon shifted to mass production and exports. Through her business, she travels internationally to showcase Basey's banig industry. She is also able to help the weavers in their community. Today, there are more than 100 people involved in the initiative from weavers to farmers. “Importante ito (banig weaving) para hindi ma stop ang traditional weaving sa Basey, Samar. We need more women to be inspired and teach the younger generation about banig weaving,” says Adona.

In any business, there are always ups and downs, and Eva’s business was no exception. In 2013,  when super typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas region, their shop was washed out and they lost everything. “As someone who survived one of the worst natural disasters that ever hit the country, I know how it is to lost almost virtually everything,” she recalls. She knew she needed to stand up not only for her family but for her workers to help the industry rebound and recuperate.

The tragedy not only made her stronger but it also gave her hope. “As I saw men and women cooperate and work together to confront what seems to be an impossible situation and then thrive, I gained tremendous optimism for the future, and my faith in God and people deepened,” she says. This did not stop Eva from dreaming. They ramped up participation in different local and international trades conducted by DTI and exporting products in international markets. Now, they are one of the biggest names in Samar who creates out one of the best banig products in the Philippines.

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TAGS: Basey,Samar,Estern Visayas,Visayas,Philippines,banig,weaving,banig weaving,yolanda,typhoon,Designs,buri,tikog,banig products

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