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Luisiana, Laguna's residents express their creativity through various products made from pandan leaves such as colorful hand bags, bayong (native bags) in different sizes, native hats, mats, coin purses, wallets, and other fanciful items.
Luisiana, an agricultural town in Laguna, is about 108 kilometers away from Manila and about 24 kilometers away from the provincial capital of Santa Cruz. Pandan grows abundantly in Luisiana; the products made from pandan have become the town's signature products. In celebration of the pandan crop and its products, Luisiana holds the Pandan Festival annually during the month of April. Pandan handicrafts can be purchased in Luisiana at the One Town One Product (OTOP) Showroom at the town center. But if Luisiana is far from your location, pandan products can also be purchased during the ANILAG Festival in Santa Cruz, Laguna (however, this festival is only held annually during the month of March).
How to make pandan mats and other products
"Craftswomen collect the pandan leaves from plants in the wild. Only the young leaves are cut so the plant will naturally regenerate. The young leaves are sliced in fine strips and sorted for further processing. Weavers produce basic pandan mats of standard size or roll the leaves into pandan ropes for other designs. This is followed by a coloring process, in which pandan mats are placed in drums with water-based colors. After drying, the colored mats are shaped into final products such as place mats or jewelry boxes. Final color touch-ups are applied to assure a product of high quality."
*Photos of pandan handicrafts (above and below) were taken during the ANILAG Festival held on March 7-14, 2010 at the Laguna Provincial Capitol grounds in Santa Cruz, Laguna.