MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – There is an apparent shortage of bilao in the Philippines. These hand-woven bamboo trays are used for rice winnowing and also as containers of take-out family food like pancit (noodles).
The shortage may be traced to an advertisement by Pottery Barn, a furniture and home accessories chain in the United States. The particular ad promotes the bilao as a wall art for the price of $299.
Bilaos can be purchased in the Philippines for about $2. They come free for every take-out purchase of a family-sized pancit and other Filipino delicacies.
An Adobo Chronicles investigation showed that bilao manufacturers are holding on to their stocks while others are hoarding supplies in the hope that they could export their product to the United States, or become suppliers for Pottery Barn.
Meanwhile, whisk broom manufacturers and vendors in Baguio City are also starting to hoard supplies in anticipation that Pottery Barn will consider selling the Philippine broom as wall art.
This is a developing story.