Philippines – Arts & Crafts

Read more about our Arts & Crafts Program in Philippines.

Aquarium top designs
Ship and Boat Models

Poseidon Sciences integrates with the communities where it has commercial presence by identifying livelihood technologies for coastal and inland communities near each of our stations. Such development program is administered through Poseidon Science Foundation and other marketing/technical partners. In the Philippines, this program is being developed under partnership with Sulu Explorers Society (

Philippines – Arts & Crafts in Aquarium Trade

In the Philippines, a new program was developed through a year of testing to create an artistic, decorative covers for the aquarium hobby industry. In developed countries, the aquarium hobby industry is a US $ 2 billion market comprising of ornamental fish, tanks, equipment and ancillary equipment and services. The majority of the aquarium tanks used, particularly by beginners, is the 10 gallon glass tank, equipped with lights and cover.

The Concept:
Plain aquarium tanks highlight the interior of the tank for viewing enjoyment, while the outer top is typically plain. The idea came from a visit at SHMRC research labs where decorative covers made of wood and bamboo are used as tops to enhance the beauty of the tanks. The idea was to conceive a more elaborate structure similar in design, using wood and bamboo that can cover the aquarium tops to create a decorative setting. Prototyping was done by wood craftsmen and artists to create several designs in 2010. These designs are being transferred for production by local artisans in 2011 being retrained for wood working to produce high quality products through a village cooperative scheme.

The success of such an endeavor involves both a high quality workmanship, reasonable cost and marketing of the final commercial products worldwide. It is a process that takes time and resources. However, if successfully implemented, this project can eventually employ hundreds of coastal fisher folks and artisans within the local community.

We hope you like our community concept and the designs shown here. Please send any comments to: Use Aquatops as subject heading. Thank you.

Philippines – Model Ships

The sea has always been a mystery for millennia. Only in the last 400 years of the thousands of years of human history did the sea become more known, more familiar. For mariners and those who love the oceans, ships, particularly old ships and boats, remain a fascination. Creating replicas of seafaring vessels has been a growth industry in Arts & Crafts. For this reason, we are putting together teams of artisans from the villages surrounding our research station to create unique replicas of old ships and boats, all hand made from local wood, such as mahogany and gmelina.

In Progress….

The Arab dhow.

“Dhow (Arabic, dāw) is the generic name of a number of traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region. Historians are divided as to whether the dhow was invented by Arabs or Indians. Typically sporting long thin hulls, dhows are trading vessels primarily used to carry heavy items, like fruit, fresh water or merchandise, along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and East Africa. Larger dhows have crews of approximately thirty, smaller ones typically around twelve.

The exact origins of the dhow are lost to history. Most scholars believe that it originated in China from 600 B.C. to 600 A.D. Some scholars claim that the sambuk, a type of dhow, may be derived from the Portuguese caravel.

Traditionally Yemeni Hadhrami people as well as Omanis came to Beypore, Keraa, India along the centuries in order to build dhows. The reasons were the availability of good timber in the forests of Kerala, the availability of good coir rope and also the presence of skilled carpenters specialized in ship building. Formerly the sheathing planks of a dhow’s hull were held together by coconut rope instead of nails. Beypore dhows are known as ‘Uru’ in Malayalam, the local language of Kerala. Settlers from Yemen, later known as ‘Baramis’, are still active in the uru business in Kerala.

Captain Alan Villiers (1903–1982) documented the days of sailing trade in the Indian Ocean by sailing on dhows between 1938 and 1939 taking numerous photographs and publishing books on the subject of dhow navigation.

Even to the present day, dhows make commercial journeys between the Persian Gulf and East Africa using sails as their only means of propulsion. Their cargo is mostly dates and fish to East Africa and mangrove timber to the lands in the Persian Gulf. They often sail south with the monsoon in winter or early spring, and back again to Arabia in late spring or early summer”


The Taal Lake Boats

Taal Volcano sits in the middle of the lake in Batangas Province in the island of Luzon (Philippines). From the mainland, travelers are ferried to the volcano island via brightly colored motorized boats.The traveling time is about 20 minutes, when the waves on the lake are not so heavy. The volcano is one of the iconic images of Philippines and worth visiting. Here we recreate a model boat based on the Taal Lake boat designs.


The basic The basic political unit of the Philippines is the barangay (or village). It was derived from the boat called barangay (or balanghai as Ferdinand Magellan’s chronicler, Pigafetta called them 400+ years ago). The largest barangay (about 25 meters) can carry over 400 people or practically the entire village, hence the reference. To know more about the balanghai, read one of our scienceblog articles about ancients ships. Please click HERE.

If you might be interested in our development programs or products resulting from these efforts, please contact:

Executive Director
Poseidon Sciences R&D