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Sta. Marcela, Apayao weavers combine expertise with basket makers – the result…


Sta. Marcela, Apayao – With their desire to add value to their products, the weavers and basket makers of Sta. Marcela join forces and combine their expertise to produce elegant, unique bags made of indigenous materials and locally woven fabric through an upskill and collaborative training from May 11-13,2023.

Elizabeth Palacay, the Focal Person and Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion Officer Designate, said by putting together the ingenuity of the two groups the results were surprisingly superior products.


“Nag-upgrade talaga ken makita diay added value… the shaping of the bags, designing, putting accents, partitions and decorations sa bags… maganda talaga,” related Palacay.


Sta. Marcela LGU, headed by Mayor Evelyn Martinez, and DTI-Apayao, led by Provincial Director Wena Buston, made means to provide the “Upgraded Training on Combined Weaving Techniques on seagrass and loom Woven Cloth”, expecting it would increase the income gained from local seagrass by-products and loom-woven cloth.


Mayor Martinez herself made bags from seagrass and loom-woven cloth. Said bags will be included in the items that will be showcased and sold during the Balangkoy Festival come June 15-17, 2023.

“This is one way to support our local economy and our local producers. Kailangan na tumulong tayo na-iupgrade sila para pwede sila makipagcompete sa quality at design ng mga products,” explained the Mayor adding she is planning to put the two organizations in one area to centralize production and reduce costs and problems caused by distance and possible miscoordination.


Meantime, the members of the Abra Village and the loom weavers of SIPA were grateful for the training and assistance provided to capacitate them saying they are happy to see that they were able to produce functional and aesthetically pleasing products of high quality and with a feel of Apayao culture.

During the training, the groups obtained useful knowledge and skills in using mix-media (a technique in combining materials to produce a more improved output), creative designs, and the selection of appropriate elements. The participants also learned effective ways to enhance business operations, identification of product risks and problems, as well as creating other products like souvenir items that may be offered to tourists.


“If you are free on June 15-17, come and join our Balangkoy festival and get a chance to buy these bags,” invites Mayor Martinez.


Sta. Marcela is about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Tuguegarao by car.

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