ONE of the must-buys when you are in Bohol is basket ware. To get a good deal, especially if you are buying in bulk, go to Anteqeura.
Hailed the Basket Capital of Bohol, Antequera is a small municipality which lies 18.5 kilometers to the west of Tagbilaran City. The roughly thirty minute ride to Antequera may seem to be so out of the way, but Bohol’s stunning country side dotted with picturesque ancestral homes makes the time pass by unnoticed. Basket weaving has been the municipality’s main industry for years. Baskets ranging from the smallest to the biggest can be found and woven freely by locals who have been into the industry for years. These woven crafts are made out of wicker, rattan, bamboo, buri, nito and sig-id and other native materials.
The basket weaving industry, mostly home based enterprises, has been the main source of income for residents of the municipality since early 1900s with the skills of the craft having been handed down from generation to generation.
To date, there are approximately 10,000 weavers from Antequera who support three established firms in the industry.
As the basket capital of Bohol, the municipality is better known in the province as a craft village where children as young as five years old learn the intricacies of the craft from their parents and from adults. Over the years, the residents of Antequera have learned to weave even during their pastime — while watching television or listening to radio. There is no common production center where they work, rather weaving is done in their homes.
Despite stiff foreign competition, Antequera baskets still find their way to the export market because of its good quality and design.Â Buyers have specific product requirements — and SMEs in Bohol focus on a specific product line to cater to this demand.
These unique Antequera baskets will be featured in the coming Sandugo 2007, a festival of activities that will focus on the Boholano culture and lifestyle and highlight the One Town One Product (OTOP) of municipalities and cities.
The OTOP is a government program that seeks to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs through identification by local chief executives of specific products and services that have competitive edge.
The Sandugo 2007 events include the Sandugo Product and Lifestle Fair, Creativity agora, Creative Industry Forum, Bohol MagNegosyo Talk Show, Boholano Cookfests, Agricultural Entrepreneurship For a, Social Development Forum and Cultural Performances.
According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) â€“ Bohol, the added attraction of the cultural presentations will ensure that this yearâ€™s Sandugo will be a kaleidoscope of culture, crafts, food, agriculture, lifestyle, ideas, creativity and ingenuity.
The Sandugo Product and Lifestyle Fair showcases the best of Boholano craftsmanship and ingenuity with indigenous materials such as raffia and bamboo.
Aside from Bohol producers, producers of fashion accessories, processed food and home furnishings from other provinces within Central Visayas will participate in the trade fair this year, DTI-Bohol said.