08 June 2008

Rarong and Sampaloc

A rarong. There is no cover on the front, so you may put loads of different bulk and shape in, with the thicker canes as guides. You can secure or tie as you see fit.

A rarong is a woven backpack that they use to carry heavy things in Palawan. It is made with some kind of thick cane as well as nito or vine.

Seeing simple things like this all over Puerto Princesa makes me happy. It is great that people believe they can still make and mend things, without going through factories. From experience, I've seen that this ability makes people more experimental and more resourceful-- they are of a certain personality type. I've seen people make graters by nailing holes through flattened tin cans, handles from spoons, etc. They don't see the need to always buy products, or throw out broken things.

Side view of the rarong. The straps are made of old sacks.

In my fortunate experience, these people's resourcefulness and small innovations also apply to their cooking, among other areas. They are ultimately one of the ingredients to an interesting world.

These were some ruminations while heading back from the Subterranean River. So we stopped by a sari-sari store , where there was the best sweetened sampaloc I had ever tasted. Balled tamarind pulp. With sugar and salt. Yum.

Sampaloc balls, for only one peso each.

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