The buri industry in this town is bouncing back after it slowed down due to the lockdown amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
In an interview Tuesday, Precious Cayaon, owner of Kawayan Nature PH said her business that includes buri-made products was greatly affected by the lockdown but the “plantita/plantito (plant lovers) trend” is helping the buri industry bounce back.
Kawayan Nature PH is a Philippine-based company supplying and promoting eco-friendly products.
“Our products are being exported to the Maldives but it (shipment) was stopped due to the lockdown. And even the resorts at the Maldives have ceased operation, our products are being sold in the resorts there,” she said.
The company thus added buri planters to its existing buri bags and mats to cope with the demand of plant lovers.
Buri are leaves from buri palm that are dried and used to make different handwoven products.
“The local government unit of Bolinao reached out to me for the livelihood of the communities in the town making buri products. So I said, we will introduce in-demand items that they could make and right now buri planters are a hit,” Cayaon said.
Cayaon said the five barangays, including Barangay Salud, Pilar, Victory, Boli, and Enve, at the Santiago Island in this town are producing the buri-made products being sold by her company.
“Each barangay is making a specific design or product for us and we name the products after the barangays. This is also to give livelihood to the community,” she added.
Cayaon said their products are sold through the online shopping platform, Shopee.
“We are also open for resellers in the Visayas and Mindanao areas,” she said.
The buri-made products are also made available through the provincial government of Pangasinan’s ‘Pamanang Yaman, Produktong Pangasinan’ project wherein a truck carrying products of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the different towns and cities in the province sell these goods in the province.
Aside from the local market, the company has received orders from Singapore, some inquiries from Turkey, and other countries with the help of Cayaon’s overseas Filipino worker (OFW) friends.
Cayaon herself is an OFW and a travel consultant who is now working from home while managing the business with her husband.
She said her company, which they launched late last year, has introduced eco-friendly products such as reusable bamboo straws, bamboo tumblers, bamboo sunglasses, bamboo toothbrushes, wooden comb or hairbrush, plantable pencils, products in the Maldives, and later on added buri-made products.
“Buri is known (for its) formats and bags but in the Maldives, we are marketing it as a beach or picnic mats. Since I am from Bolinao, I thought of marketing buri as I saw how the foreigners have embraced eco-friendly products,” she added. (PNA)