Sunday, August 21, 2011

Marinduque Buntal making its mark

Buntal fiber comes from the buri palm tree and are turned by loomweavers from Torrijos as export quality placemats, table runners, blinds and lamps.

In Torrijos, the frontrunner in this industry is Julie Anne’s Handicrafts from Bonliw, owned by Julie Ann and Luisito Reginio. The couple started with just five looms and a few weavers in 2007, but now have 25 loom, 25 regular weavers and 20 more weavers who work at home using their own looms.

Buntal bags and coin purses, on the other hand are produced in Napo, Sta. Cruz by Lina Ramos. Most of her products are sent to Bulacan province where she has ready buyers.

The Fiber Industry and Development Authority (FIDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Marinduque Office are at the forefront of fiber-industry development in this island-province. In 2010 FIDA in its annual report stated that baling and trading of buntal stepped up to 15.1% higher than the previous year largely brught about by substantial surplus in the outputs of Palawan and Marinduque.

The favorable situation was attributed to the better demand for the fiber by local fibercraft processors. FIDA reported that Palawan consistently remained as the leading producer of buntal with a share of 71.0% to the annual aggregate output while Marinduque took over Quezon in the second slot with 15.0% contribution. Quezon shared 12.3% while Bohol accounted for 1.7% of the total baling in 2010.

Placemats and table runners from Torrijos

Trade exhibits in Metro Manila and other cities such as Baguio City for the Panagbenga 2010, participated in by DTI Marinduque feature these products alongside other local products produced in Marinduque's six towns.