CRAFTS are sometimes called "handicrafts," and while sometimes no distinction between the two. Handicraft subtly implies a more useful or non-decorative handmade goods, while crafts may imply items made for entertainment or decoration, often solely as a hobby instead of a trade ( But both are works of art.

Hands on International (HOI), whose office is located near Aldevinco Shopping Center, Roxas St., started functioning as a small scale Japan exporter of handcrafted products since June 8, 2006.

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Camilo Tan spearheaded in creating the business. Tan used to work in Japan and every time he visits his hometown, Davao city, he would usually bring back native crafts to Japan as gifts to his fellow Filipino and Japanese friends. Then he eventually design his own souvenirs hence the start of Hands on International.

According to Maria Lourdes T. Reviral, HOI manager, establishing a craft shop was not the first business plan of the family. She added that putting up a business center was the first plan but they ended up with Hands on International.

"If you abbreviate Hands on International, you’ll come up with a word 'HOI' which means a shout of awareness or calling everyone to appreciate handcrafted products," Riveral said.

"The name itself suggests that all products are meticulously made by the hands of the Dabawenyos, we would like to promote handmade products," she added.

Quality and design are the pride of the company. They make sure that their products are of good quality and the designs are always new or fresh.

"Every year we make new products, so every year new designs," Reviral said.

They export quality handcrafted products with reasonable prices and accepts made to order products for occasions such as wedding, birthday, and christening giveaways, corporate souvenirs and gifts.

They keep on creating original and new products from home decors, fashion accessories, bags, lamps, hand fan, greeting cards, souvenirs and other state-of-the-art artifacts. Most of the products are made of woods which are abundant in the province – Rosewood, Panganton/white wood, gray wood, dark and white bayong, mahogany, sebacao, kamagong, coco, madre cacao and mangga.

Carabao and cow horns are obtained in the slaughter house and are used in designing accessories like necklace, choker, and earrings. They also make bags out of katsa and dagmay cloth from Mati City. They also sell crafts made of shells – lamps and chimes for home décor. Souvenirs like key chain, bookmarks, pencils and letter openers are also available.

With its good quality and innovative designs, HOI products (souvenir items, fashion accessories, home décor) are being supplied to private and government institutions, tourist spots and local restaurants for their decorative and souvenir needs.

"Before ka magput-up og business you have to plan well, positioning, target market is important," Riveral said. "You should have the right knowledge of the business you’re going to put up. Dili na kabalo lang ka magluto pero kung magluto ka lami bah?"

Not only do they sell competitive souvenir items, they also help in preserving and developing the culture of our country, taking pride in work done by one's own hands. Developing culture through handcrafting.