About Batak Craft

What We Do

Batak Craft is an effort to rehabilitate the Batak Tribe’s physical and cultural health by addressing the root causes of their depopulation through enterprise facilitation: specifically, by creating a sustainable basket-weaving business for the Batak.

Batak Craft addresses the main problem of the Batak: poverty. Being a hunter-gatherer tribe, the Batak are ill-equipped to operate in today’s market economy. Without access to education, they have a hard time working with lowlanders and finding appropriate jobs, and therefore earning a steady income. With the forest-resources on a steady decline, the Batak are losing more and more of their natural food source, health, and cultural identity.


Our solution is to work within the tribe’s cultural foundation: Batak Craft will develop the tribe’s skill and process efficiency in traditional basket-weaving, document the tribe and its culture alongside, and sell their products to the international market. Batak Craft will achieve four goals: enable the Batak to earn a sustainable living, document the cultural practices before it vanishes, disseminate the information to a global audience, and inspire the Batak to nourish their culture. With this project, the Batak can earn enough for their basic needs like food and medical treatment, since majority of them are malnourished and sick. Then when the basics are covered, they can begin to think about self-actualization.

Sitio Mangapin Batak Chieftain's wife, Teresa Madamay, weaves a basket in

Sitio Mangapin Batak Chieftain’s wife, Teresa Madamay, weaves a basket in “tiningkulob” style.

The Blog


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Who We Are

Our Team

At its heart, Batak Craft is made up of people who have a passion for the tribes and the environment, driven by a mission to preserve the local traditional heritage and help facilitate the Batak Tribe’s transition into this new economy.

Lara Frayre
Lara Frayre


Lara is Batak Craft’s Manila-based founder. She is a web and graphic designer by trade, and she helps nonprofits and social enterprises build their brands to tell meaningful stories. Her Design Research Studio - Culture Movers - funds Batak Craft’s operations.

Renato Estepa, Jr.
Renato Estepa, Jr.


Renato, also known as Rudra, is a local from Palawan, and is an independent chef by trade. Rudra is Batak Craft's on-the-ground person, and his deep knowledge of local cultural dynamics helps us foster an inclusive, communicative environment with the Batak tribe members.

Let’s work together.

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Batak Craft: Traditional Skills and Livelihood Development for the Batak Tribe of Palawan, Philippines

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