‘Lacion women weave sarok

Posted on August 11, 2011

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ART AND LIVELIHOOD. Women weave sarok or hats made of bamboo strips and banana leaves in Consolacion town's booth at the One Cebu Expo. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Each of these hats take two to three hours to make.

The sarok, a hat made of bamboo strips and banana leaves have come to be associated with Consolacion town in northeastern Cebu.

Three women demonstrated sarok weaving in the town’s booth at the ongoing One Cebu Expo in the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City.

Sixty-eight-year-old Guilerma Balaba of barangay Tulo-tulo, Consolacion said she started weaving sarok at age eight.

Her mother taught her the handicraft so she could help earn income for the family.

The raw materials come from barangay Danlag and trees near Tulo-tulo.

In a day, Balaba said she can produce two sarok. The hats come in three sizes – small (sold for P50), medium (P60) and large (P75).

Balaba said she always aimed for perfection in weaving so as not to waste materials and time.

“This product is difficult to make and time-consuming. But it is sold cheap,” she said.

With four children and household chores to attend to, the home-based mother struggles to find the time.

But she said sarok making helped send her children to school, though only one of them finished high school.

The finished products are sold in Carbon market in Cebu City.

Balaba said their hand-made sarok are in demand even today because they are durable and useful for farmers.

“Many customers look for these. Sometimes, we can’t keep pace with the orders,” she said.

Few people know the craft of weaving the sarok in Consolacion.

Two of Balaba’s cousins worked with her in the booth, Viviana and Anaclita Nahuman.

Albert Herbias from Consolacion said they wanted their booth to be unique and brought with them sarok weavers with the help of Mayor Theresa Alegado to promote the town’s native product. /By Jucell Marie P. Cuyos, Reporter