I am Gladys Veloso and I’m 51 years old. In the year 2000, when I was 28 years old, I told my mother that I wanted to work for myself and to stand on my own. So I started my own hula skirt business. A year after that, I then came up with another business idea: the ‘Raffia Regulars’. I didn’t have any experience as a raffia weaver, so I just watched. That is why I’m working hard for the younger generation by teaching them how to tangkis (strip off the shoots).
I’m Antonio, I’ve been cutting buri palms ever since I was 22, and I’m now 69 years old. We harvest buri palms every month, but never the same plant. We work area by area, harvesting as we pass by, because the buri palms bud once a month, during the first quarter of the moon. That way we’re safe from dangerous animals. No one else can cut this entire area, only us.
My name is Artemia Kabilang and I started working with the loom when I was 15 years old. When in good form, we can make thirty metres in ten days.
Maria Isabel Villamor
My name is Maria Isabel Villamor. I was 31 years old when I started this job. This is a buri shoot that hasn’t been worked on yet, and this is the result from one buri shoot. Buri palms have many uses; they can be used for weaving, but more importantly they are the main source of livelihood in this area.