The Rurungan sa Tubod Foundation (RSTF), a non-profit organization, is based on the Island of Palawan, located at the southern tip of the Philippines. The Foundation creates an alternative livelihood for women in the more poverty stricken rural areas of Palawan by teaching piña weaving technology. The Foundation also provides the physical and financial infrastructure for these women to engage in this sustainable art form. This endeavor continues to lead to innovations based on the unique looms and weaving methods used on the Island of Palawan.
The Foundation’s name derives from Palaw’an, the language spoken by the Palaw’an tribe. Rurungan is an indigenous Palawan organizing model. It is a cluster of women, usually related or living in close proximity, that pools their work and resources for craft making, planting and other economic activities. A male member from the tribe, known as the panglima (the mediator), often heads the group. Coincidentally, the Board of Trustees of the Foundation is composed of 4 women and 1 man. Tubod is a local word for “spring”, the source of life-giving water, which sustains and is sustained by ecologically friendly practices.