05 Feb2011


On our last morning in Coron, we had planned to purchase a cooler to fill with fresh fish to bring back to Manila with us as luggage, but there were really slim pickings at the market. So while we were standing waiting for a tricycle, I spotted this lady who was trying to sell these “homemade” baskets to a handicraft store in the market. The owner of the store tried to drive a hard bargain, and in the end didn’t purchase anything from this lady, who was there with her young son, who carried more baskets on offer…


So I ended up with this nice picnic type basket for PHP250, her original asking price. I am not sure what they use to color the materials, but the basket was nicely hand made with muted colors to add interest to the piece.


We then headed straight to a dried fish wholesaler some 5 minutes away by tricycle, and proceeded to get roughly 8 kilos of dried squid, anchovies (dilis), fish, etc. that was all nicely packed into the basket for a trip to the big city…


At the conveyor belt in Manila, among a sea of black and similar looking bags was this basket that proudly stood out… It made it home in great shape and will definitely be re-used several times. And yes, that’s a little lock to protect the precious dried fish within. :)



  1. bearhug0127 says:

    That is one nice basket! And cheap too, I suppose.

    Feb 5, 2011 | 5:50 pm


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  3. EJ says:

    Very nice basket and very nice of you, MM!

    Feb 5, 2011 | 6:11 pm

  4. Junb says:

    A bargain for a nice looking basket…and this doesn’t resemble any LV, Gucci, Armani nor YSL bag. It’s just plain creativeness from the people who created it :)

    Feb 5, 2011 | 6:23 pm

  5. teacupmoments says:

    how cool and convenient. straight from the market! just add a lock (so cute) and check it in. so easy to spot on the baggage carousel.

    Feb 5, 2011 | 6:31 pm

  6. Patricia says:

    That’s one beautiful basket!

    Feb 5, 2011 | 6:41 pm

  7. Betchay says:

    Wish I could have one too! :) That’s a bargain! Would be nice to use as a hamper or magazine storage.

    Feb 5, 2011 | 7:03 pm

  8. ka_fredo says:

    That is a good buy MM. It will look good as clothes hamper too.

    Feb 5, 2011 | 7:25 pm

  9. Peach says:

    Very nice find! :-) Definitely better than palengke styro coolers as it’s environmentally friendly and can be repurposed for so many other uses. I like!

    Feb 5, 2011 | 8:12 pm

  10. marilen says:

    Fantastic, MM!!

    Feb 5, 2011 | 8:24 pm

  11. britelite says:

    am so happy you did not bargain!

    Feb 5, 2011 | 9:13 pm

  12. Ingrid says:

    MM, your basketa maleta can be transformed into a wonderful picnic basket like this http://www.optimacompany.com/vintagecollection.asp

    Feb 5, 2011 | 9:18 pm

  13. millet says:

    very nice! i love buy ing native baskets to store pasalubong, and i find that many provinces have varying weaves, materials, patterns and colors.

    Feb 5, 2011 | 9:46 pm

  14. millet says:

    those other baskets beside the lady would make nice hampers or plant stands.

    Feb 5, 2011 | 9:48 pm

  15. bertN says:

    It’s not only beautiful but cheap and it proved it can survive the rough handlings associated with checked in luggages.

    Feb 5, 2011 | 10:06 pm

  16. natie says:

    yeah, the baggage handling and the carousel were def. the tests for strength…not only pretty but strong! love the contents as well! but will that help MM’s diet??

    Feb 5, 2011 | 10:34 pm

  17. rosedmd says:

    I SUPER LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!! Love it actually. nice job MM!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Feb 5, 2011 | 10:38 pm

  18. mikee says:

    Hi MM!…organic luggage? Coool! :D!

    Feb 5, 2011 | 11:20 pm

  19. eustressor says:

    Really nice! I’m actually on the lookout for something similar but smaller because I saw a lady on the road (in Manila) just last week carrying one (although in the usual “native” brown hue). I’ll be in Coron this August, hopefully i can snag one of these =)

    Feb 5, 2011 | 11:24 pm

  20. Biy says:

    a modern tampipi

    Feb 5, 2011 | 11:34 pm

  21. Diane says:

    Wow. I want one! That would be perfect for my small home office where I can keep some magazines and other clutter. Seriously,, 250 pesos for that a nice basket is a super bargain!

    Feb 6, 2011 | 12:23 am

  22. nina says:

    wow! Pretty durable to withstand airport handling. Lovely colors!

    Feb 6, 2011 | 1:52 am

  23. Mike says:

    Nice to know there still are artisans out there plying their craft. Happy for you MM that you picked this one over the homogenized Armani’s, Gucci’s, etc.

    Feb 6, 2011 | 5:54 am

  24. millet says:

    i noticed that with “luggage” or packaging like this, the cargo handlers tend to be more careful, and arrange them so they don’t get squished by the more macho pieces, so that’s another thing going for these “organic luggage”!

    Feb 6, 2011 | 8:25 am

  25. rocky says:

    Classy and environmentally friendly. *thumbs up*

    Feb 6, 2011 | 8:31 am

  26. kitongzki says:

    I just might get one when I get to Coron by the end of the month. The basket will be good for my mom’s handicraft stuff. hehehe

    Feb 6, 2011 | 10:55 am

  27. RobKSA says:

    i would have bought it myself if i found something like that in coron. really really nice!

    Feb 6, 2011 | 12:36 pm

  28. andrea says:

    its nice! would love to have one too! :)

    Feb 6, 2011 | 5:48 pm

  29. Marnisa says:

    ang buwad tawon….

    Feb 6, 2011 | 6:50 pm

  30. Marnisa says:

    ang buwad tawon….

    Feb 6, 2011 | 6:50 pm

  31. Mylene says:

    This would be so handy for shopping in Muntinlupa since plastic bags are no longer allowed in supermarkets, groceries, etc…..

    Feb 6, 2011 | 7:29 pm

  32. atbnorge says:

    I love woven baskets!!!

    Feb 6, 2011 | 10:11 pm

  33. DJ says:

    i love baskets!

    Feb 6, 2011 | 11:06 pm

  34. EbbaBlue says:

    Yes Bear Hug, that is pretty reasonable. Last year, I spotted in Quezon Province, homewoven baskets that sells for P80-100; and I bought only one for 3 or 2 more wouldnt fit in my little luggage. May of this year, I was ready to purchase more baskets (as it is now ok to bring back a balikbayan carton box to US [I found out SM sells this size box], but what I found instead is this bayong-looking “bag” made of used drinking straws, selling for P40.00. The lady in this public market told me she just did not want to throw these straws so she decided to weave them, for use as pampalengke. I asked her if she can make more using “unused” straws, and I would pay more. She agreed, and I came back here to Texas with 6 pcs. for pasalubong. Upon seeing my gift, my daughter said they sell in Walmart – this similar Bayong Style bag, made out of sturdy plastic.. and the price – P10.00. Wow, kung bibilhin ko ito at dalhin to Pinas, pagtatawanan ako ng cousin ko at sasabihin eh kulang na lang ng butas itong bayong at pwede ng lagyan ng manok pang-sabong. This type of bayong is the usual carry-on for fighting cocks. Hahhahaa.

    Feb 7, 2011 | 5:30 am

  35. rita says:

    that. is. one. gorgeous. looking. basket! i’m sure you just made one lady happy and made her day, even. i’m so jealous. wish i have a basket that pretty to use when i go to the open markets here. and, for PHP250 – that’s a steal! enjoy the basket.

    Feb 7, 2011 | 7:27 am

  36. mary chen says:

    this post is heartfelt. it made me smile. and my smile became wider towards the end.

    Feb 7, 2011 | 9:54 am

  37. bagito says:

    I definitely need a “LIKE” button for this!

    Feb 7, 2011 | 1:10 pm

  38. jnuarin@mondenissin.com says:

    dafinitely stood out from the line, ang cute… i’ll buy one if i happen to see the lady when i visit palawan soon…(“,)

    Feb 7, 2011 | 3:40 pm

  39. Kat says:

    It’s something I’m sure that friends from abroad will want to purchase. I have a tita who always buys Filipinana crafts here as pasalubongs to her friends abroad and they love it. The price is a steal, MM.

    I think we should support people like these, who are artists in their own right. It’s not easy to make these baskets, not including the gathering of materials and preparing them for use.

    Feb 7, 2011 | 4:23 pm

  40. satomi says:

    I want one too! I collect baskets. I started collecting/using them when I was 1st yr high school. I put scarf/ribbons/lace, paint over them or add beads. I hope to get one similar to your bayong to use for my craft supplies.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 2:07 am

  41. menchie says:

    What a lovely native basket you have there MM! very nice.

    Feb 8, 2011 | 3:12 am

  42. Quillene Petite says:

    That’s a great find, MM!

    Feb 8, 2011 | 1:55 pm

  43. S says:

    Good buy!:)

    Feb 10, 2011 | 12:23 pm

  44. yeni says:

    this gesture touched me intensely. i’ve always been a supporter of backyard enterprises. it always breaks my heart when they get cheated by the middlemen. thank you very much for choosing to support manang! may you be blessed :)

    Feb 14, 2011 | 12:08 pm


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