Another trademark of Tabaco is the razor-sharp tabak or bolo. You can’t forge this blade alone. Two blacksmiths or panday alternately hammer on the smoldering steel to shape it into its sleek final form before it cools off. More than the wisdom of striking the iron while it is hot, cooperation and hard work through harmonious partnerships are the time-tested values the Tabaqueños uphold. These ideals are showcased in this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
“Abaca is the source of a fiber of great utility, flexibility and elasticity. For a long time, abaca products, including Manila hemp, Manila paper and ropes, were top dollar earners.” says Congressman Edcel C. Lagman in his essay “The Proud and Gallant Heritage of Tabaco”  about this fiber of which Tabaco is known to have in abundance.

The fiber extracted from the abaca plant in a process called paghagot after aired and dried generally serves as raw materials in rope and basket making, and in certain handicrafts such as bags, purses, and slippers. But it is also used in the manufacture of varied products from tea to stencil, and even as casings of imported hotdogs and bologna.

Cong. Lagman further states that it is because of these qualities that the abaca fiber is utilized by some nations to enhance the material in their legal tenders.

A chair made in San Antonio can be sat upon for two decades without breaking.
The same goes with the rest of the furniture handcrafted from this place. Began in 1950s, the furniture business in San Antonio were solely made from wood, until resourcefulness drove the craftsmen to use indigenous materials such as balakbak, and  anonang. For years it has become the barangay’s top earner, as buyers of quality furniture flock the place.  

Another product that made the Bikolanos known for – Banig (Mat). This native product is made of karagumoy, a kind of thorny weed that commonly grows in wintry areas. From the raw plant to cutting to weaving, this product is another proof that Bikolanos are indeed creative and resourceful.


Of the family Burseracea, pili is native to the Philippines and can be found in especially in the Bicol region where it is an important crop and source of income of many families. Pili is a versatile nut being used for a variety of products. The nut kernel is the most important product. It can be eaten raw or roasted where its mild, nutty taste and tender-crispy texture can compare with and even found better than an almond.

Pili kernel is also used in chocolate, icecream, and baked goods. The young shoots and the fruit pulp are edible. The shoots are used in salads, and the pulp is eaten after it is boiled and seasoned. Boiled pili pulp resembles the sweet potato in texture, it is oily (about 12%) and is considered to have food value similar to that of avocado.

Pulp oil can be extracted and used for cooking or as a substitute for cottonseed oil in the manufacture of soap and edible products. The stony shells are excellent fuel or growth medium for orchids and ornamental plants.

Rice Cakes
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Rice cakes write ups here...
Ibos and Latik
Two of the many trademark delicacies of Tabaco ate Ibos and Latik. These are rice cakes matched with sweet and mouth-watering dip called “lunok.”