Traditionally, materials used include premium hardwoods such as narra, tindalo, akle and ipil. These species used to abound in the Philippine forest.
Because suitable wood materials are scarce, there has been a shift to the use of minor forest products for furniture manufacture. These minor forest products include rattan, bamboo and buri. Surprisingly, furniture made from these materials were accepted easily both in the local and foreign markets. However, due to overexploitation, these forest
resources are likewise depleting. Thus, exploration for other prospective raw materials continues.
Several wood species are being used in the manufacture of these novelty products. Dau, balete, kakawate, and tan-ag are preferred for sala sets. Balete, acacia, pili and antipolo are used in the manufacture of bar sets.
There are several steps in the manufacture of these novelty items. These are the following: digging, transporting, cutting, debarking, scraping, drying, bleaching, sanding and preservative and varnish application.
Digging of the stumps is done in logged-over areas in Tayabas, Gumaca and Sampaloc in Quezon Province. After digging, these are immediately transported to Pansol, Calamba, Laguna for processing is easier when the raw materials are still fresh.
Upon reaching Pansol, the stumps are cut into the desired sizes; after which these are debarked, scraped and sundried for about five hours.
Sundrying follows after scraping. Then, coarse sanding, bleaching and fine sanding are done; after which preservative treatment is applied to the product.
The last step is the application of varnish or lacquer to the finished product to enhance its appearance.
A great number of the buyers of these novelty products come from Taiwan, Japan and as far as Saudi Arabia.
Source: PCARRD Monitor, Feb-Mar 1989