One of the country’s potentials that has yet to be discovered to its fullest is actually found in Eastern Visayas Region 8.
Ticog, as the locals call it, is considered as the most important matting sedge in the country. This ticog is an indigenous material that is soft but durable, and becomes smoother from constant use.
It grows abundantly in some Eastern Visayas areas like Samar, Leyte, Bohol and Mindanao and centuries before, locals have learned that ticog serves well as weaving material. As familiarity with the plant grew, they learned that any material woven with ticog in a cave ended snugly fit because of the cool surroundings.
The stem is woven into hats, slippers, mats, cushions, and market bags. The stems are used either whole or split. After being gathered, they are bleached for several days by spreading in the sun. The reed plant thrives well in densely forested areas and grows even in rice fields. A fully-grown ticog reaches up to 3 m. Its width ranges from 1.5 mm up to 6 mm, with the finer types being preferred by weavers.
Ticog is widely distributed in the Philippines, although of somewhat local occurrence. It grows at a low altitude in the settled areas, in wet swampy places, and in rice paddies. The ticog stems are cut according to the desired length and then dried under the sun. Some of these stems are dyed with a desired color and again dried. These are then flattened just before they are woven into mats. The usual designs of the banig are yano (plain), sinamay (checkered), and
bordado or pinahutan (embroidered).
Today, ticog is considered as one of the major sources of income in Eastern Visayas because it doesn’t only help the unemployed but the products made out of the ticog are world class, the designs and everything are original and only in the Philippines.
So let’s promote and patronize this locally produced product and let it be known not only here but also abroad.
MA. DONNA ERIKA T. NAVARRO
LEYTE NORMAL UNIVERSITY- ABCommunication Intern