The bags made in pandan of La Libertad, Negros Oriental has only been in business for not less than 7 years.
These were made by an all-women group of weavers. The group is composed of housewives, mothers and dynamic women La Libertad.
The La Libertad Weavers Association has helped improved the living conditions of the families in the area. LALIWA, as what they are called does not only make the known pandan bags but they also regularly produce mats, baskets and accessories. They also have women entrepreneurs and businesswomen members that help the association develop and market its products.
The association is known for the bags as this is the first handmade product they put on the market. The bags are made out of the raw materials, pandan. The group started small by having around an 18 women as members from the northern town of Negros Oriental when it started their operations in 2004.
Pandan, scientifically known as Pandanus amaryllifolius is a tropical plant in the Pandanus (screwpine) genus, which is known commonly as pandan leaves. The tree grows to be twenty-six feet high. In ancient times, the leaves were used for making house thatching and women's grass skirts. In cooking, the leaf is used in making pandan cakes and has also been used in rice and other recipes. The strips of the leaves are used in making woven baskets, which are used to serve rice or other food items. The fresh pandan leaf also has medicinal properties.
Now, the LALIWA products are not only known in La Libertad. It's already being exported nationwide and to other countries.
Here are some of the products: (note that prices may subject to change without prior notice)
• Pandan Bags - Php350.00 (set of 3); Php450.00 (set of 4)
• Fruit Trays - 3 for Php100.00
• Nito Plate - Php180 per dozen
• Sando Bags - Php200.00 (large); Php180.00 (medium); Php350.00 (with lining)
• Pinaypay - Php30.00
• Coin Purse - Php20.00
• Cellphone Case - Php50.00
• Sinadyap - Php120.00
• Sling Tikog - Php80.00
How to Get to La Libertad
From Manila, you can fly to Dumaguete (estimated cost of Php4,000++, round trip, one hour and 15 minutes). Then, ride a bus going to La Libertad.
La Libertad, a town 105 kilometers north of Dumaguete City. Hugging closely to the coast of Tañon Strait, and nestling cozily in the wide fertile valley swept by the Hinobaan River lays La Libertad against a backdrop of a sylvan scenery. It bears a castellan name which connotes "freedom"!
product photos are from the LALIWA Pandan Products FB page