CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela (PIA) - - The Local Government Unit of Echague is promoting its rattan handicrafts as the highlight of this year’s Mengal Festival.
The Mengal Festival is an annual activity of the town and this 2022, the festival will focus on the promotion of rattan finished products, which are expected to be sold in local and international markets.
Municipal Cultural and Tourism Officer Louie Simbi said that rattan handicrafts have been in existence for decades, originating in a remote barangay, Annafunan, and still flourishes today.
He said that rattan handicrafts need to be promoted, and their production and marketing in various forms like chairs, tables, decorations, must be expanded.
“As part of the Local Government Unit of Echague’s efforts to introduce the rattan industry to the national and global markets, the rattan exposition has been born, particularly in the town of Echague during this year’s Mengal Festival,” Simbi added.
“Rattan is one of the products of Echague that needs to emphasized and be promoted as this is a heritage for the Yogad people,” he said further.
He also added that during this year’s Mengal Festival, the LGU of Echague, in partnership with the Echague Rattan Weavers and Manufacturers Association, will be crafting or assembling the biggest Ten-feet Rattan Shell Chair that will be displayed at the municipal compound of Echague as a symbol of achievement.
The officers of the Echague Rattan Weavers and Manufacturers Association were also invited to showcase their rattan handicraft finish products during the Mengal Festival to promote their own products and market them as well.
According to Joselito Balunsag, president of Echague Rattan Weavers and Manufacturers Association, he has seen how his parents, at his young age, assemble various rattan crafts.
He inherited the manufacturing tradition of rattan and up this date, he crafts and sells them in different local markets.
Balunsag said that the showcasing of their various products during the duration of Mengal Festival is a great help in expanding the marketability of their crafts in other places either here in the country or abroad.
He said they keep on innovating and enhancing new designs of handicrafts made out of rattan to keep them more saleable and be appreciated more by buyers.###