Thursday, October 20, 2011

Palawan : Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm/Binuatan Creations


Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm is essentially a village in complete contrast of a penal establishment one would have in mind. There are about a two thousand prisoners there and in the center of all their work is the central village square. One might be surprised that the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm has no walls and almost no barriers. The only precaution that this establishment makes in terms of security is a head count 3 times a day when the prisoners are mandated to gather in the central village square. However, despite being a low security prison, no prisoners attempt to escape for a variety of reasons: first, prisoners are provided with vocational activities of their choice, transportation arrangements are almost impossible for a prisoner and if a prisoner chooses to escape through the mountains, they would face a certain death. In addition, the prisoners at Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm are allowed to live with their families during the time that they are serving their sentence.

 There is no entrance fee to see Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm but of course if one is to buy items from the souvenir shop, then this entails cost. Snacks and drinks are available at the souvenir shop and so are handcrafted items made by the prisoners. Upon entering the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm there are prisoners who already offer the items they made for sale to tourists and low security prisoners are allowed to roam freely.


Binuatan is a Cuyonin (the native Palawan dialect) word for creation.In Puerto Princesa City, it has become synonymous with woven products made from Buntal fibers such as mangrove grass, amumuting, buri sprigs and vetiver.At Binuatan Creations, they transform Palawan local fibers and grasses into sophisticated handloom woven products. Binuatan Creations products includes handloomwoven placemats, tablerunners, bags, blinds intricately designed.

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