Philippines Handicrafts: An Overview

The Kalinga people in the Cordillera Administrative Region have long been renowned for their distinct weaving tradition, in fact, they are one of the most noteworthy Filipino artisans. Even if indigenous creative crafts in the Philippines, local craftsmen in the highlands are definitely worthy of attention and here is why.

What is Philippines handicraft?

Philippine handicrafts are usually taken into character in terms of jewelry, textiles, and artisan goods in which its raw materials are locally sourced. On this note, it is truly an advantage for Filipino craftsmen that there are abundant raw materials readily available for their trade.

Where to buy authentic Philippine handicrafts?

Authentic Philippine handicrafts are readily available in malls, local government centers and online. Since the ASEAN economic integration in 2016, local crafts in the Philippines have been neck to neck in terms of foreign competition.

What indigenous materials are used to make local handicrafts?

Another reason is that local craftsmen use locally sourced raw materials that are eco-friendly and respect their respective traditions. Kalinga weavers, for example, use locally grown cotton in making threads that will be used for weaving. Moreover, materials such as coconut shell, sea shells, pearls, precious stones and metals are typically used in Philippine handicrafts.

What local handicrafts should you buy?

The best handicrafts to buy are handwoven textiles since the traditional way of weaving has been kept alive to this day, meaning to say, the textiles that you purchase today are made the same way our ancestors have long been making them. Moreover, the color dyeing and patterns integrated in handwoven textiles are the same traditional patterns that have been used ever since the conception of the tradition.

What are the types of local hand woven handicrafts?

  • handwoven textiles

  • potteries

  • weaved baskets

  • artisan goods

One of the top Philippine handicraft is local textile. The practice of weaving is kept alive and the traditional ways of weaving has been treasured and passed on from one generation to the next. This means that the handwoven textiles that you are planning to purchase today have been made the way it has always been made for millennia. Local textiles have been creatively made into various garments for daily and occasional use such as face masks, scarves, home decors, turbans, bucket hats, bags, accessories, and so much more!

On the other hand, other types of local hand woven handicrafts are equally abundant throughout the Philippines. Some of them are pottery that is usually made by the people of Palawan. Made from clay, pot makers use the traditional way of preparing the clay, shaping the clay and drying the clay into different forms.

Basket weaving is also a notable work of art, the people from Mindanao are the masters of this art. Using Rattan wood, straw or Nipa, the weavers artistically line each strand in order to come up with a work of art. Moreover, a recent demand for tampipi from the pandan weavers of Cavinti, Laguna has been taking a notch in the industry. Usually, master weavers take around 2 days to finish a well-knit basket that can last decades.

Lastly, artisan goods that are organically grown such as artisan chocolate and artisan coffee are also breathtakingly remarkable. In various locations around the Philippines, growers of cacao and coffee take pride in their ways of growing the crop- strictly adhering to traditions that they inherited.

Whether dry goods or food products, the Philippines definitely is a goldmine of various traditionally made handcrafted products- it always has been, and always will be for more generations to come. 

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