In an effort to promote the importance of bamboo and rattan in the Philippines, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) established the bamboo and rattan gallery. The gallery serves as a repository of relevant research outputs, literatures and information including photos of various species and products of bamboos in the Philippines and neighboring countries.
Dr. Aida B. Lapis, a retired Scientist, and former OIC Chief of the Grassland and Degraded Areas Research Division and Deputy Project Director of ITTO Philippines ASEAN Rattan Project initiated the establishment of the gallery which formally opened on February 21, 2007. According to her, "this is the only gallery or museum in the Philippines focusing on bamboo and rattan." She further said, "ERDB has embarked on research and development (R&D) on bamboo since 1978". Most bamboo production technologies emanated from ERDB research outputs that led to bamboo and rattan plantation protocols now being adopted nationwide.
The gallery showcases the Philippine native bamboos and rattan and their production, crafts and cultural influence to the Filipino way of life in both the low and high end of social ladder. It also displays the ingenuity and uniqueness of the ASEAN peoples in coming up with versatile bamboo products such as furniture, musical instruments, kitchen utensils, baskets, trays, bags, mats, clothing and other functional decorative materials. Various materials or crafts were categorized under the following themes: cultural, farm implements, decorations, utility, musical and others.
To date, a total collection of 272 bamboo and 195 rattan products can be seen in the museum from ASEAN and other countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and China. Edible rattan shoots (dried and bottled) and bottled fruit wine are also on display.
The gallery is open to the public from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Monday to Friday at ERDB College, Laguna. Marla V. Cambay, TDD