Image from Haydee Abid-Sijera.

Banig or mat weavers on Cocoro Island in the island municipality of Magsaysay have received training and funding support from the community empowerment program of BEAGIVER, a social enterprise organization that inspires generosity as a way of life for communities to become resilient.

Haydee Abid-Sijera, its Palawan chapter leader, told Palawan News on Monday that their support to the banig weavers of Magsaysay aims to raise the living condition of the community by creating a sustainable livelihood program for the weavers.

Sijera said this will be done by working closely with them to develop products and that these will find the right markets.


Image from Haydee Abid-Sijera.

“Cocoro Island has a long tradition of weaving, making them very skilled weavers. Each mat or banig is carefully hand-woven using traditional techniques that make each high quality,” said Sijera.

She said the pandan plant that they use as the material is widely available on the island.

Sijera said this is a factor that they considered since there will be no need to source them out somewhere else.

BEAGIVER, she said, will help not only through funding but also product development training and marketing.

“There’s no need for them to travel to the mainland, sell around, with no assurance if they can find buyers. This group will be the one to handle the advertising and selling, so they can be more focused and motivated in weaving,” she said.