A short visit to the basket weaving capital of Bohol

Categories Places
Antequera weaving

It was already almost 11 AM when we arrived at the landlocked municipality of Antiquera at the southeasten side of Bohol. Unfortunately, we sort of missed the peak of the Sunday market of the town. Antiquera was established in 1876 and is a fourth class municipality. It was named after the hometown of Joaquin Bengoechia, Governor of Bohol at that time who hails from Antiquera in Malaga, Spain. It is known for two things: Mag-aso Falls and as the basket weaving capital of Bohol.

Basket weaving has been a long tradition in Antiquera since the turn of the 20th century. Several artisans and their families producing these handicrafts thru the generations. From the humble bukag (basket), to several forms and different sizes using different kind of materials from bamboo, rattan, nito and other readily available materials. Many of these products not only found its way in Tagbilaran but the townsfolk have supplied major cities in the country like Cebu and Metro Manila and even fulfilled orders for export abroad.

The Sunday Market

As the basket weaving are all done at homes, you need to come early morning of Sunday in Antiquera if you want to see these artisans selling at the town gym. Products were still sold but at lesser quantity when we arrived. There were mats, some rolled, some spread on the floor. There were still different sizes of baskets and wonderfully woven native wares. The Sunday Market is also a place where bulk buyers check and perhaps order for markets locally, domestic or abroad.

But if you missed the artisans, you can just visit the Tourism and Information Office of the town, just right across the gym and at the side of the municipal hall. You won’t miss the small airconditioned room. Here, you will surely be in basket weaving heaven! Different types of basketry and woven products. From native trays to bracelets. From table sets to decors. There are even cute animal designs of woven trays and receptacles. And what’s better? All are cheap, when you compare buying it in Metro Manila!

Basket weaving in bohol
Only a few items were left when we arrived at the town’s gymnasium where handicrafts and other products are put on sale every Sunday
Basket weaving in bohol
Raw materials used in the town’s handicraft industry
Antequera weaving
Left, some different sized woven baskets at the Sunday market; right, arranged handicraft products at the handicraft center
Basket weaving in bohol
Piles of handicrafts at the municipality’s
Antequera weaving
A pile of native bracelets made from natural materials

Antiquera is around 18 kilometers from Tagbilaran City and usually takes 30 minutes drive. If you commute, take a jeep from Cogon Market in Tagbilaran City. The tourism office also offer a basket weaving experience tour.

Antiquera Tourism Information Center
LGU Compound
Poblacion, Antiquera
municipalityofantiquera@yahoo.com

Stan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London). His personal Photography work has been exhibited in Asia and Europe including Paris, Seoul and around the ASEAN regional capitals. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has been to all 81 Philippines provinces.

Open for work, collaboration and inquiry for site features. Check out his portfolio.