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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org