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Using the banig in different ways

Can you think of different ways to use the banig?
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Most of us know that the banig or hand woven mats are used for sleeping in the farm, or back in the days when mattresses were exclusive for those who can afford. With the increase in trade and cheaper production costs, the banig was moved into oblivion as Filipinos opted for the western made spring mattresses.

At the recently concluded Philippine National Trade Fair, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts showcased the different ways that a banig can be used aside from its usual purpose of being as a sleeping mat.

The banig is by no means just an ordinary mat, ordinary as it may seem. Starting from the raw materials, the banig is made from reeds, palm species, or the pandanus plant that is endemic to the area where the banig originates.

Curator David Baradas said that Sulu makes banig from pandanus plants, which thrives in the swampy areas of the province. While the banig from mainland Mindanao and Samar are made from the tikog or sesed, a reed that thrives in watery areas. The banig from Bicol and Central Luzon are made from Karagamoy, a specie of palm. The Cordillera make their banig from runo, solid reed that extensively grows in the area.

With raw materials easily sourced from the respective localities, the NCCA took part in the National Trade Fair to encourage entrepreneurs to look at the possibility of developing banig into high value products.

For the past six months, Baradas said, the NCCA went around the whole country to look for some of the best pieces made from banig. And the ten best pieces are in the slide show below.

So, what products can you think of that can be made out of the banig?

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