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Mayor promises festive unrolling of world record "hinabol" entry

Tagbilaran City (26 June) -- Festive, promises Team Inabanga's man of the hour as the town unrolls the 1.7-kilometer continuous hand-woven raffia hinabol nga saguran.

Hinabol nga saguran, or raffia are Inabanga's hippest products from the buri palm and are traditionally hand-woven from looms here.

Not that saguran is stunning for Inabangnons who have used the woven fabric to dry palay. But with a new product elevated into hinabol, it should generate world attention during its unrolling June 29, Inabanga Mayor Jose Jono Jumamoy said.

For the momentuous event, he talks about costumed street dancing contingents performing to the pulsating calypso drum beats over oversized festival drums which accompany the unrolling of the gigantic hand-woven table runner announcing the town fiesta from Barangay Lutao to Poblacion.

The youthful mayor also talks about their streets lined with revelers and supporters holding the unrolled fiber. Later that night, attention shifts to the lime-lit catwalks teeming with models clad in raffia inspired garments in an exciting gala fashion show. And yes, food too.

The craftsmen and creative weavers here spread on that day its masterpiece: possibly the world's longest continuous hand-woven raffia and to be recognized as the home of the best hand-weavers in the whole world and the raffia capital in the country.

On that day, the local government team wants no slips.

The objective is to grab enough momentum to mainstream their saguran into a world-class hinabol, now slowly dominating modern lifestyle accents, Mayor Jumamoy said.

And when they do, expect to see a product far from that drab and coarse saguran that immediately comes to mind upon the mention of the fiber mainly for drying palay here.

Inabanga, home to 1910 raffia weavers in 80% of its barangays would be presenting the green and bleached hand-woven hinabol, beating its own target of unrolling a mile-long fiber weave.

But not known to many, for Team Inabanga's top man said the bid is to spruce up more employment opportunities for Inabanganons whose lives have been intricately woven in the industry.

"One of our biggest challenges to get our people working back in handlooms for the new hinabol, which is now getting high market demand and catch up with the purchase orders," he shared during a recent interview.

Last years' most promising Bohol product at the sandugo Showcase, the Inabanga handwoven raffia racked in P40M in gross sales and orders making it the fair's top-seller.

But with majority of its weavers still learning how to transform the saguran into high-end fine-woven hinabol bearing interesting optical art designs and patterns, Jumamoy said winning the world record boosts 5370 of industry's support workers into going mainstream.

Too cash-trapped to invite international adjudicators, Inabanga's bid is now focused by lenses of local and regional media as documentors to validate the product and hopefully generated enough attention for world judges to come and see for the record, the youthful mayor said. (PIA) [top]

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