Saturday, September 20, 2014

Here's Why Antequera Is the Basket Capital of Bohol

Hailed as the Basket Capital of Bohol, Antequera is known for its basket weaving industry, whose products are widely accepted in the world market. It is one of the major sources of income of the Antequeranhons, especially the women.

Baskets / handicrafts are being woven/made in almost all households after which are brought to the market for selling on sundays (market day), or to the cooperatives. Others are being exported abroad.

Samples of the said products are displayed at the Antequera Tourism Information Center which is located within the Municipal Hall Building Complex. An annual festival centered on the basket weaving industry is held in March of every year in observation of the municipality’s foundation day.

Antequera baskets, including other native products such as hampers, home furnishings, wall decors, furniture, bags and fashion accessories, come in all shapes and sizes. These handicrafts are made out of whatever native material is on hand: from bamboo, rattan, wicker, nito, buri, sig-id and other vines.

With dexterity and precise movements, learned from years of practice, the crafts are magically woven and shaped by the weavers of Antequera town into beautiful pieces worthy of recognition. 


In fact, because of the very good quality and design of their products, demand has steadily increased in the international market scene and expected to continue to increase in the coming years.

Antequera’s market on Sundays is a hive of activity. Baskets of all shapes and sizes litter the area and it is only in this place where one can get a really good buy. Buyers on wheels and on foot come to give and get their orders and to see new designs. Curious tourists drop by to see the wares, seek out weavers and then take pictures. When they publish their trips in the internet, they unwittingly helped to advertise and promote further the basket industry of Antequera.


The cottage industry of the town started sometime in 1911 with one family in barrio Bicahan engaged in the making of “Bukag”, a big basket or wide-mouthed container, with big “eyelets” and about one-half meter in height, which was made from the splits of bamboo or rattan. This container was used for containing anything which did not pass through its holes, particularly in transferring rice seedlings from the seedbeds to the ricefields.
The “Bukag” was the forerunner of the “container for all seasons” – the now popular “market basket”. A few years before the outbreak of World Was II, two or three families in the barrio of Bicahan were already producing the market basket. 

During those times, we used to see a seller in the market place during market days watching over three or four pieces of market baskets waiting for customers.

A market basket then would sell from two to five centavos a piece depending on the quality and kind of materials used. 

A devastating 7.2 earthquake may have shaken the ground on which the town of Antequera stands on but the very core of the Antequeranhon enterprising and resilient spirit has remained steadfast

Weave on mga paisano from Antequera

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