Morion's PhotoTravel Diaries| Souvenirs from Tribu Mamanwa

For me, WORK equals Travel. Every time I travel, the first thing that comes into my mind (aside from work of course) is what I can bring/buy as a souvenir or pasalubongYeah, I love shooting and clicking my cam and freeze moments as I do believe that these images are the best souvenir from my travels. Aside from the photographs stored in my drive, I do finding and buying products that can be displayed in our house that will make me remember the places I explored and visited. Instead of the usual printed t-shirts and mugs I prefer buying souvenirs made from indigenous materials or simply handmade products.

Mamanwa Handicraft

During my assignment in South Cebu in 2009 to 2011, every time I go home my wife asked me to bring native bags from Dumaguete City or Lapu-Lapu City of Mactan Island. That costs me 150-250 pesos per native bag made from buri/buli leaves. And that was the time I also get hooked to native products and handicrafts.

Then in 2012 I was transferred here in Northeast Mindanao. As usual before the 4th week of the month -my regular home visit/vacation, I do hunting of native products for pasalubong and collections. Last month while doing the usual members’ visit in Dinagat Province, one local approached me (mistaken that I am from DTI) and offered her handmade product - a bag made from abaka and pandan leaves. And I bought one for 250 pesos. Of course this means happiness for my wife. Cheap and incomparable to Gucci and Louis Vuitton - “priceless” according to her.   


Mamanwa House

This month I was so lucky to visit one of our centers in mountainous Barangay of CAMP EDWARD in Alegria, Surigao del Norte. A significant number of our program members in the said Barangay are from the “Mamanwa Tribe”. We are giving assistance in terms of capital, savings program, insurance and training in this organized group we called "center". While doing the center visit, one of our center members invited me to their village to show their handicraft project. Majority of the residents of this village, including her, are Mamanwas.

Mamanwa Handicraft

I was surprised and at-awe when I saw their products which are mostly made from indigenous materials. Hats, Bags, and Boxes made from abaka and pandan leaves are patiently weaved by Mamanwas' artistic hands. Products are sold from P90-200 pesos only or almost 50% percent OFF compared to price in pasalubong centers. I bought one backpack made from abaka which cost 200 pesos only and a beautiful weaved hat amounting to 90 pesos only. “Bakit po mura eh ang tagal at effort talaga ang paggawa ng bag? (Why are you selling this cheaply considering the time and effort in making this bag?), I've asked Kuya Ronald Baybayon – he is one of the weavers and buyer of handicraft products of Mamanwa Tribe members then selling it downtown by order. “Nagsisimula pa lang naman kami, para ma promote muna ang aming mga gawa Sir...” (We are just starting and our aim is just to promote our products...), he said. That's it!  :)


Mamanwa Handicraft

That was the time I decided to help them in my own little way by doing this post featuring their handicrafts and encourage you guys to support by just spreading and sharing about this.

I do believe that if we are buying and patronizing these handicrafts, we are also keeping the art, tradition, and livelihood of these tribes alive and preserve.

Mamanwa Handicraft

Please spread the words about these beautiful works of art, products of culture and never fading  tradition - by sharing this post. Let us connect them to the market and keep their "arts and livelihood alive".

Feel free to contact Mr. Ronald Baybayon or Ms. Flordeliza Morta @ mobile #09496984125 or visit them at  Purok 3, Camp Edward, Alegria, Surigao del Norte- if you are interested to buy their beautiful handmade products . 
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This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for June 2013 with the theme "Travel with a Cause" hosted by Grasya Bangoy of This Grasya on the Road.





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36 comments:

  1. Those bags are lovely. My Australian boss is a huge fan of native bags. I'm sure she'd love those.

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  2. @Pepper Tan- ganda ng designs nila Pepper at talagang matibay. Thanks for dropping here. Please share

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  3. getting these lend you culture and history, of course crafts and ancestry, intangibles which are not for sale even in rich boutiques. It is what keeps the community alive and I thank you for featuring them.

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  4. This bags are really authentic handicrafts. They should be featured in Balikbayan Expos or handicrafts shops across the Country.

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  5. Thanks Doc Wends and Bro. Franc for dropping here. Please do share- let us link them to market and buyers.

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  6. the bags and hat looks so nice! i have bought really nice bags from a tribe back in vietnam! and the wuality is very good! Like this on the photo as well! xxx

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  7. This is an excellent way to help the locals earn money out of the abundant resource they have.. :D

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  8. These bags are also sturdy and very much usable aside from their artistically made design.

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  9. I find it hard to find souvenirs that are distinctly from the places I visit, I try as much as possible to get a souvenir that can only be found or is special to the places I visit. We must also preserve the cultural heritage of those craftsmen when we buy souvenirs.

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  10. Aside from good photographs from all our unforgettable experiences in different places we've been to buying these handicrafts made by the locals are really a big help for them and a souvenir that will last forever :)

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  11. The back pack or bag is really unique. A friend of mine is fascinated into craft bags like this. I bet if he had seen this he might look for it when he visited the Philippines.

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  12. Its a taker..
    parang gusto ko yung backpack.
    Ive never seen anything like that even in native stores.
    I do handicrafts from time to time.
    Its not just a past time for women. hahaha!
    these items here looks to be authentic and original.

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  13. Great craftmanship! In these crafts you will see the soul of our people!

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  14. I want one .. meron bang ung panlalaki ...ganda ng mga craft ng mga natives natin .. product of love and passion .. not for mass production na machine made ,,..

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  15. making native products is a skill... we must patronize these products made by indigents. Yahweh bless.

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  16. @Love Mindanao- Maganda yung Hat for men, I think pwede sa male at female yung backpack.

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  17. sabi nga nila, lahat daw ng native ay napaka simlpy at maganda. Well, i'm sure walang kokontra nyan. .kita naman sa mga larawan dito. ..

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  18. Wow. Talk about creativity and inventiveness, all at the same time. Awesome handicrafts. :)

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  19. Amazing ethnic products. Abaka-made bags are known internationally. Great experience bro.

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  20. nice to see how the Mamanwa Tribe lives and they are really creative to create those bags.

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  21. Amazing works by the Mamanwas.. handmade crafts are really priceless..

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  22. I want to have that backpack made of abaca too, it's veeeery beautiful. And whoah??! for Php200 hope all of us can help to spread this native products and handicrafts of Mamanwa Tribe.

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  23. I totally agree with you. I hope the local government would support them more in promoting locally-made handicrafts and products. Great job by sharing this! :)

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  24. Those are lovely bags, I hope we can help our kababayan in promoting their native products.

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  25. These are very personalized items. Products made by hand are truly unique and creative. Natives should be properly compensated.

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  26. These are man made handicraft called in our hometown. This is a great product.

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  27. Shared it in my facebook page. I hope a lot of people would patronize it.

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  28. Ang ganda ng backpack. :)
    Mukha talagang matibay siya.

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  29. beautiful. i hope the government could help these people to export their craft or even include them in exhibits like Manila Fame...

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  30. Really nice handcraftmanship, I do hope a lot of people, businessmen, entrepreneur read this post and be interested to help them, our countrymen =)

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  31. I did buy some souvenir items from the far places I have visited as a constant reminders of those memorable locations, historical points or places. They make me feel satisfied, contented and happy.

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  32. "Cheap and incomparable to Gucci and Louis Vuitton - 'priceless' according to her." I love the thought. And the bag, yes it is beautifully made! :)

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  33. I like to have those bags weaved by Mamanwas. It is very affordable for 90-200 pesos. It looks durable because it is hand-made.

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  34. I love that native hat. I used to collect before such kind. It is indeed in good quality.

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  35. beautiful.. truly aPHilippine pride :

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