Karaw Craftventures Disguises Sustainability as Engkanto Plush Toys
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, February 14, 2020 4:03pm
Art by Ahl Mirambel
We grew up hearing different characters from the Philippine folklore. There’s the manananggal, diwata, sirena—all of those creatures with supernatural abilities that may cause harm or fortune. Although they are used as a scare for children back then, they contributed quite a lot to our culture. Recognizing their importance in history, Karaw Craftventures, a design hub, made them into little plushies as a tribute.
The Philippine Encanto Creatures
Karaw Craftventures is known for its plushies, particularly the Encantures. This plushie line features different Engkantos like the Onglo, the ogre-like creature of the Warays; Oriol, a python enchantress deity of an epic of Bicolanos, Makaboteng, a spirit guide of Tinggians; Tamawo, the playful creature of Hiligaynons; and Daligmata, the kind spirit monster of the ancient Visayans.
Its Mananang-Doll, a manananggal plushie, can be divided into two and the center has “blood,” showing the ability of the creature to divide herself into two. The Mananang-Doll also has wings, ready to feast on its victims.
Apart from its folklore-themed toys, it also offers shirts, finger puppet book sets, among others. Karaw Craftventures also accepts personalized giveaways.
The Advocacy Behind a Plushie
Karaw Craftventures only started as a college project that boomed into a social enterprise. that creates products aiming to fight the deterioration of the environment. They upcycle materials as keychains, accessories, and plushies, just like the Encantures.
It taps people that handcrafts the toys to perfection—the Filipino artisans. Karaw Craftventures is not just a design hub or a toy shop. It is an organization that aims to empower Filipinos and promote sustainability.
For their advocacy, Karaw Craftventures received several awards for the past year including 2012 British Council’s I am a Changemaker, 2015 BPI Sinag Award, and the 2016 Future 2018 India-ASEAN Youth Awards, Corporate Social Responsibility Award.
The advocacy to enrich our culture and to protect the environment makes Karaw Craftventures thrive in its field. Karaw Craftventures retells the stories of the Philippine folklore. It puts the creatures in a different light—not to be feared but to be embraced as part of our rich Filipino culture.