Made of buri (Corypha elata), a native palm, these hats use the same pattern and style of weave as the karagumoy hats. The pin wheel style on the top weave is definitely Bulusan folk weave art. It is called ‘balay’ or ‘ririk’ by the locals.
Several villages in Bulusan produce these hats like Barangay Sabang, Mabuhay, Balete, Lalud, Buhang and even bordering villages of towns adjacent to Bulusan attesting that traditional craft knows no borders. Bulusan, however, remains the center of trading and weaving of these buri hats.
Weavers produce these natural hats from the strips of young buri leaves prepared by boiling and drying under the sun to attain the desired natural whiteness.
The traditional buri hats hand-woven in Bulusan for several generations past are of two sizes as shown in the photo above.
Photographs by Alma P. Gamil
Bulusan, Sorsogon, Philippines