Sublit Labin Handicrafts

Basking Weaving is one the living tradition and culture of Palaw’an tribe located at Sitio Kamantian up in the mountains of Samariñana, Brooke’s Point, Palawan. This basket weaving industry was passed through generations, and has evolved from traditional storage container for their harvested crops to modern functions. The various forms of each basket have specific utility uses and they come in different shapes, sized and designs.

They have basket weaving tradition in the form of the tibong, tabig and tingkep - containers that come with lids. The tibong and tabig are used for storage of harvested rice or palay. The biggest tibong can house one cavan of rice. The smallest basket called the tingkep is used for carrying rice seedlings ready for planting. These are made from woven soft strips of a variety of bamboo called buldong, bisnag and busnig held by a rattan frame which gives it shape and provides sturdiness to the container. The edges of the lid and main body of the basket are line with stropped yantok held together by entwined nito vines. The designs are derived from patterns in nature like wild pigs, worms and plants.

Sublito Tiblak, a resident of Sitio Kamantian make it into a business when there was a foreign people who visited their area give him an idea that those basket has a big potential in market. He start his business without financial capital but a trust from the weavers. He became an integrator of his co-tribe members to sell their products to buyers outside their place.

They start to weave about 30 pieces of basket made by 12 weavers & sell it to Pascual Enrique & Ms. Rosalinda S. Mercado, a residence of neighbor barangay.

At first, he was afraid to do business outside the town because he doesn’t know how to communicate in other language other than their mother tongue. But thanks to the help of a friend he was able to bring his product to the city. Still it’s hard for him to do business because he doesn’t have a chance to go to school. He doesn’t know how to write, count, compute & he is shy to communicate to the other people. But through the help of missionary of PTAPP they teach him how to count, compute & speak tagalog. Now, it is been a little bit easy for him to do business. He even received a lot of orders. He taught it was a start of his prosperity. But like the other MSMEs he also suffer downfall. He experience to be fooled by a buyer. He lost almost 100,000 pesos. But he still continue to do business for the future of his children &thanks to the trust of his co-member of tribe. They lend them their works & allow him to pay it when it has been sold.

To avoid the same incident, PTAPP personnel suggested him to register his business to DTI for him to avail more privileges come from government & help him to market his product. The DTI didn’t failed him. He registered his business on 2015. From then on the said agency continuously assisting him to run his business. His been enrolled to different seminars & trainings to improve his business. He attended Entrep mindset, KMME launching 2017 (module 1 and 2 topics) Products development seminar, Product development consultancy. He also joined different local DTI-sponsored Trade Fairs such as, National Arts & Crafts, MIMAROPA naturally, Manila FAME & even international trade fairs. Those trainings/seminars & trade fairs helps him to boost his self-esteem to communicate to different people & his marketing skills. Now his business has been improved. From 12 weavers they encourage & trained the other tribe members &now expand into 62 weavers. Sublito place 3 hour of walk (about 7 km away from access road). Yet, his basket reach not only the whole Province of Palawan but as far as Manila & other international country. He can’t now be fooled again for became wise from his experience. Now he know how to market his product & even close a deal with Balik Bayan & ABS CBN to be his major buyer.

Indeed tingkop basket is not only a storage for harvest but also a storage for hope of Kamantian tribe for their culture to be immortalize & be known to the world. To send their little ones to school so that they will not be like them. Storage for prosperity to improved their way of living& bright future.

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