Fashion is really in trend nowadays. Different styles. Different expressions. Different personalities. If you belong to those people who are really fashion conscious, why not try experiment of using buntal hats as one of your preppy and chic accessory.
Buntal Hat is a world-class handwoven product made from buntal fibers. The manufacturing of these hats started since 1907. Buntal hats are sold in the world market and known as “Panama Hats”. Buntal Hat is of high quality, durable, has original and elegant designs, and most of all, gorgeous. It is perfect for all occassion because of its soft and comfortable feeling while wearing it. It has different designs based on what occassion you will use it.
Buntal Hat Festival is a ten-day festival celebrated every first week of May. This annual celebration showcases the main product of Baliwag which is the Buntal Hat, and other products made from Buntal fibers. Other products of Baliwag like longganisa, pastillas, lechon manok, and relyeno can also be seen.
Major activities of this celebration are exhibit showcasing the beauty of Buntal-made products such as hats, wallets, and bags, a fashion show of these Buntal-made products, and Buntal Weaving Training for those who want to experience how to weave a Buntal Hat. You can also see different programs like pageants, concerts, food festival, trade fairs, Dangal ng Baliwag, Street Dancing in the center of the town.
THE GIANT BUNTAL HAT
This year, Buntal Hat Festival 2011, highlighted “Giant Buntal Hat” measuring two meters in diameter and 50 inches in height. I heard from my mother (since she works in the Municipality of Baliwag) that it is equivalent to 1000 regular buntal hats and can provide shade to 10 persons. When I saw it, it looks like I cannot carry it and put it in my head without the help of other people. When you look it from afar, it is just like a giant plain hat. But if you will look close to it, you can see the intricate pattern. It was really awesome. That experience is priceless. Literally, if you ever try to put it in your head, the hat will be the only one visible. Do not ever try this giant hat as one of your accessories. :)
BULACAN WEAVING INMATES
Because of lack of manpower and shortage of skilled weavers, “Bulacan Weaving Inmates” have been discovered. Inmates of Bulacan Provincial Jail in Malolos learned this skill of weaving from Ms. Rosario “Rosie” Quizon-Decasa, the Tourism Officer of the town of Baliwag. Do not ever be suprise if one day, "Bulacan Weaving Inmates” would be one of the Youtube sensations.
Buntal Hat Festival showcases the sophistication of the designs and patterns and how exquisite and creative Filipinos are. This festival is trying to make efforts to fortify the century-old weaving industry of Buntal hats. As I look in these buntal hats, I can proudly say that I am proud to be a Baliwageño. And for me, this is really the best fashion accessory-a festival that is a part of my identity.