Walis Ting-Ting

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Some things we just take for granted. Take the walis tingting, for example. Practically every single day of my life in the Philippines, I have seen someone using a walis tingting to sweep away leaves or other garbage from streets, lawns, etc. And I actually knew it was theoretically made from the ribs of coconut leaves, massed together to make a uniquely strong broom with needle like bristles, but incredibly pliable at the same time. But I had never actually seen it made until this recent trip to Malapascua. We happened upon a lady sitting under a coconut tree, making a walis tingting from scratch. Omigod. Mind numbing, labor-intensive work! But I suppose if you sing a song or daydream about your daughter graduating valedictorian from the local highschool, the time would pass quickly. She said it took some 3-4 branches of coconut leaves to craft one broom.

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Using a small sharp knife, she just sat there amongst a pile of coconut leaves, stripping the green or yellow leaves from the central rib and setting aside hundreds of ribs to be grouped together into a broom. I asked her if she preferred to use the broom freshly made, or when it had dried out and hardened a bit, and without hesitation she said, “definitely better freshly made,” and preferably by her own hands. The purchased dried brooms at city markets were seriously inferior, in her view. :) She also said that the leaves could be used to make puso, those little satchels of boiled rice wrapped in banana leaves. Now that I have figured that out, would anyone care to educate me on what exactly is the tambo in a walis tambo? :) Thanks.

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19 Responses

  1. Hi MM! Hope you and your family are enjoying your vacation!

    I remember watching one of my lolo’s making walis ting-ting from scratch, but the leaves he used were almost yellow and he used a smaller knife.

    Walis tambo is made from lasa or tiger grass…you’d see these mostly growing beside the highway going to Baguio (La Union route), the tips are dried first before bunched together to form walis tambo :D

  2. Goodness, that’s nearly as bad as those farmers who harvest saffron from flower stamens in Spain! I will revere the walis tingting I have in my backyard from now on.

  3. we make our walis tingting supply every holy week with our neighbors, specifically during Black Saturday..the leaves will be made into the palms to be used on Easter Sunday :-)

  4. “Tambo” is a Tagalog name for the Tiger grass used to make the walis. “Tambo” is synonymous to “lasa”, a name from another province which I cant remember at this moment.

  5. walis tambo in tagalog but also well known as baguio broom….
    the walis tingting is for sweeping the bigger pieces of trash or mostly outside the house.
    the walis tambo is for sweeping the dust or smaller pieces of trash or mostly used inside the house. also this gets messed up easy when wet.

    the process to make a walis tambo is more tedious than the walis tingting.
    3 steps:
    1) drying the tiger grass post harvesting. it has to be dried good to have the leaves straight and the seeds easily separated from the stems.
    2) preparing the tiger grass.
    a) each stalk of tiger grass has to be rubbed between ones hands to remove the seeds and helps keep the stems pliable and stronger.
    b) then each stalk of tiger grass is trimmed to the desired length of broom by breaking off a couple of stems until the remaning stems left is of the desired length. the removed stems are then tied together to be used in the middle uf the broom.
    3) creating the broom. it takes two ways to create a broom, either with use of rattan/plastic and GI wires. the use of either deals with a lot of energy to just make one broom. for decoration purposes just like what you see most in baguio they are made quick and flimsy. but for stronger and last longer the brooms have to be bound real tight and sturdy.

  6. the best walis tambo is made in Abucay, Bataan which can last
    more than a year of normal house use. you can have a lighter kind which is cheaper or a special kind which is heavier and longer lasting, much much better than what is normally found in the markets.

  7. Walis Ting-Ting, I am amazed with this simple household tool. Even balikbayans bring it abroad or ask relatives and/or friends to buy it for them. Check in NAIA, you can see at least 1 person carrying walis ting-ting.

  8. I am a small time manufacturer of walis tingting in San Jose Village, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Raw materials comes from our farm in Brgy. San Isidro, Lipa City Batangas. Anyone who is interested in buying bulk orders, just call or txt me @ 0922-5805676 / 02-8078711.

  9. hi mm! i recently saw this on a martha stewart episode- handcrafted brooms made from broom corn stems- check out their website here https://justameretreefarm.com/brooms/- they look so wonderful i wish i could have them all. am thinking though how my daughter will bring it back home (wouldn’t she look like a witch with a broom in hand in the airport?)if i get her to agree hand-carrying the thing, i will have it by christmas…i wish.

  10. In South Luzon there are trwo types of walis tingting…”tingting sa kaong” and ”tingting sa niyog” …kaong walis tingting is preferred over ”niyog tingting” beacuse its more durable since he midribs are thicker compare to coconut frond midribs,,….

  11. I need a walis tambo and walis tingting supplier, quantity of approximately 3,000 pieces, please contact #09228877591.

  12. This is very informative, especially to those who have no idea about how the walis tingting is made.
    Where can I find manufacturers of walis tambo/tiger grass softbroom with wooden title?

    -gennoma@yahoo.com

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