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Philippine Mats (Banig): It's more than just a mat !
Banig, a handwoven mat made from an indigenous reed named tikog (Fimbristylis utilis), is usually used for sleeping. Overtime, it has been used in other forms like native bags, throw pillows, place mats, framed art works, and it now adorns modern walls panels, furniture mattings and even used in designer clothings.
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Puerto 12

Puerto 12

The current name of the game is banig – for environmental relevance, sustainability.

Puerto 11

Puerto 11

The country has a great resource of raw materials ideal for mat weaving.

Puerto 10

Puerto 10

Bolinao in Pangasinan has yet to make use of color spectrum in their designs.

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Roxas 8

Love of art in his veins
With many people in Basey engaged in mat weaving, it came as no surprise that there is now a scarcity of the raw material. Lilio reveals that they have to procure tikog from some Leyte towns like Mayorga, Abuyog, MacArthur and Sta. Fe, among others, to augment the supply that they acquire locally.

Roxas 7

A tradition lives on
Mat weaving is an old cottage industry of Basey, with many of its villages engaged in the craft. In Barangay Bacubac, some three kilometers northwest of the town proper, old women spend the day weaving banig inside their nipa huts, while their husbands prepare the tikog materials they will use.

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The Department of Tourism is also very supportive of the banig industry of Basey. Tourists are encouraged to visit the Adona showroom and workroom, for them to see that the traditional art of mat weaving is still very much alive--and expanding--in the old town of Basey.

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When they started their banig business, the couple said, it was just an "on and off" endeavor. It was not until 1993 when they really concentrated on their business. Running the business, it seems, was not a problem for the couple. The couple admits that their maternal parents, grandparents up to their great great
Julius Adre
Lilio, an activist in his student days who became at one time the provincial chair in Samar of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.
Edna Mendoza
"My great great grandfather, Mariano Zapanta, was among the artisans that built our church," Lilio proudly says, referring to the.
John Tinio
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Banig, a native handwoven mat made from an indigenous reed named tikog (Fimbristylis utilis), is usually used for sleeping. Overtime, it has been used in other forms like native bags, throw pillows, place mats, framed art works, and it now adorns modern walls panels, furniture mattings and even used in designer clothings.