Article and photos by Rose Ann Panaligan and Jeselle Dela Cruz
We cannot deny the fact that the province of Batangas is one of the best places in our country for its well-known beaches and delightful
dishes such as lomi, bulalo, and goto to name some. Aside from these popular trademarks, there are still other things that we, Batangueños should be proud of – like the buri products made by the women of Verde Island.
Verde Island is the center of the center of marine biodiversity. Aside from the magnificence of its aquatic resources which is made known to the world, Verde Island is also a place where ‘buri’ is abundant.
To make a better understanding, the buri palm is the most stately and largest of the Philippine palms (Wikipedia.org). There are many products that could be made from its trunk up to its fruits. Some of these are bags, hats, mats, brooms, fans and bayong.
It takes several days for women to create these products which are considered one of the island folks’ sources of income. These products are not only beautiful, they are known to be of good quality. To make their products apart from the others’, customers who intend to buy can make it personalized by having their names included in the design, incorporate another element, or shape it according the client’s wish to make the designs unique.
Pakaskas is a native delicacy made of buri sap. Although it is extremely sweet and sinful for some, people in Verde Island believed that this won’t cause them diabetes.
These unique products can be bought directly in Verde Island at very affordable cost. But if going to Verde Island seems impractical to you, you can also purchase buri products in some shops around Batangas, but getting it directly from the producers will allow you to choose the best designs (or again, have it customized) and at the same time, you can get it at its lowest price (depending on your haggling skills or pagtawad).
We are hoping that one of these days, the buri products of Verde Island will be given extra support from the local government and for the locals to patronized this indigenous and ingenious product.