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Bamboo crafts are promoted in villages by an antique university.

The University of Antique (UA), which manages a bamboo center and is the province’s only state university, will sponsor barangays to enhance bamboo craft projects.

In an interview Tuesday, Dr. Nelly Mistio, UA Project Component Leader of the Bamboo Center’s Bamboo Crafts and Furniture Facility, said that they will be adopting the barangays of Sibalom, Tibiao, Tobias Fornier, and others in neighboring municipalities of the province as production partners.

“We will also be deploying certain Bamboo Center equipment to the municipalities so that barangay-based bamboo artisans can use it,” she said.

Mistio explained that adopting a village is a method for UA to enhance the center’s production while also providing a source of income for the bamboo craftspeople.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has awarded UA PHP14 million in equipment through its Shared Service Facility (SSF).

The institution will also give training for bamboo craftspeople so that they can assist with order fulfillment.

“Because we have architecture students at the university,” Mistio explained, “they will be invited to create distinctive designs for the engineered bamboo furniture and other crafts that the UA Bamboo Center will produce with our partners.”

UA aims to sell its products not only inside the province but also internationally in the future, with the proceeds going to the bamboo craftspeople.

Meanwhile, bamboo craftsman Francisco Eguiso, president of the Tobias Fornier Bamboocrafters Association, expressed interest in collaborating with UA, which has cutting-edge equipment that could help them improve their livelihood.

“Bamboo craft had been my source of living ever since,” Eguiso said in an interview following a skill demonstration on April 28 at the trade and tourism exhibition, which runs until May 15 at San Jose de Buenavista’s newly renovated historic capitol building.

He claims that without the appropriate equipment, such as bamboo cutting and drying, it takes them nearly half a day to manufacture just one or two baskets, which they can sell for PHP50.00 to PHP150.00 apiece depending on size.

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