Being a t-shirt junkie, Kuweba was the very first shop I looked for after alighting in Coron, following an article on the airline magazine about the custom-printed shirts they make. I got a few custom printed shirts from Baguio City and Sagada and they were among my favorites from the piles and piles of shirts stacked at my closet.
Finding this store proved to be elusive however, as it turned out that they have already moved shop. After a few directions and misdirection from the locals, I finally found it at the place where I made my very first walk in Coron, in front of Gateway Hotel near the market.
Allow me to quote the store’s owner as to what Kuweba is all about:
The owner and resident craftsman, Rodney Formaran, had a dream of putting up a shop specializing in accessories, installation arts, and native decoration - all handmade and made of materials found in nature like corals, driftwood, bamboo, coconut, stones, shells seeds and bones. Kuweba made its debut in September 2008, one of the very few souvenir shops in Coron offering unique native island art handcrafted within the shop itself.
The shop displays bracelets, arm bands, anklets, necklace, and earrings alongside hand stitched leather and cloth bags, wood carvings, lamps and chimes. Native instruments like hand drums, two stringed guitars, wooden gongs, kubings, bamboo didjeridoos and flutes add to the charm of Kuweba, which means "cave" in Filipino.
The store is as unique as the description portrayed above, more so I would say.
But good art does come at a price and the unique pieces found in this shop commands a higher than usual tag than the regular souvenir store. This shop is really for those that can afford to spend a few hundred pesos for a piece of something unique. I do wish though that they would offer something not so expensive for the casual travelers. Give the masses a chance to own art I’d say.
Well pricey or not, I was still determined to get that shirt from Kuweba. Most unfortunate me, they were out of stock during our visit and one of the very courteous and chatty fellow manning the store said that it would take days to finish one up. Time though was the luxury we didn’t have, so I guess it would take another trip to Coron to get that handprinted shirt. I’d better call in advance just to be sure I’d get one next time. Pfffft.