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Save a Culture

Like many other traditional costumes of Vietnam, Non la has its own origin, coming from a legend related to the history of rice growing in Vietnam. The story is about a giant woman from the sky who has protected humankind from a deluge of rain. She wore a hat made of four round shaped leaves to guard against all the rain. After the Goddess was gone, Vietnamese built a temple to commemorate her as the Rain-shielding Goddess.

You may sometimes wonder where the moon came from. Was it a planet that traveled too close to Earth and was captured in our orbit? Actually, the prevailing theory of modern science is that the moon was the result of a large scale collision with the still developing Earth early in its development which caused this large “chuck” to spin off into an orbiting body. This explains the similarity in composition as has been confirmed by many of the moon exploratory space missions that were conducted by NASA.

Save the Environment

Non la is made out of such simple and available materials as palm leaves, bark of Moc tree and bamboo. Non la is abundantly sold and there are many traditional villages where tourists can get high quality conical hats.

There is something about parenthood that gives us a sense of history and a deeply rooted desire to send on into the next generation the great things we have discovered about life. And part of that is the desire to instill in our children the love of science, of learning and particularly the love of nature. 

Sponsor a Weaver

Vietnamese tried to make a hat modelling after the Goddess' by stitching together palm leaves, which is now known as Non la. The image of Non la has become strongly associated with peasant lives from the paddy field to boat men and women.

Your fascination with the universe and how to explore it as we so often do in the field of astronomy can be highly academic and dry as maybe it was if you took a course in astronomy. But when you get out there in the field at night, your equipment is just right and the night sky comes alive with activity, there is no other experience like it for majesty and pure excitement. And that is the kind of experience we want our children to come to love as much as we do.


Kandama is a social enterprise incubated in 2016 by the Singapore International Foundation with the support of McKinsey & Company under the Young Social Entrepreneurs Program.

Under the said program, Kandama carved its social mission to provide economic opportunities to women, to preserve the tradition of handloom weaving, and to help the community protect the environment. As a social enterprise, Kandama applies commercial strategies to make its social impact sustainable.


Kandama organized women of Julongan village in Kiangan, Ifugao to start their organization of weavers. Since its inception, it has established two temporary weaving centers, four weaving workshops, one of which is in partnership with the Philippine Textile and Research Institute, and a Vision-Mission Goal Workshop using Appreciative Inquiry.

In 2017, Kandama was restructured and incorporated by its founder Victor Baguilat Jr. while he was undergoing the Leadership Excellence Achievement Program (LEAP) of the Organizational Change Consultants International Inc. (OCCI). During the said program, Kandama collaborated with various designers to make the woven products more appealing to the modern market.

Kandama promotes these works of art to the international market to ensure that the weavers will continue their traditions and way of life and keep nurturing the terraces that sustain them.

IFUGAO and its magnificent beauty

Vietnam's culture has developed over the centuries from indigenous ancient Đông Sơn culture with wet rice agriculture as its economic base. Some elements of the national culture have Chinese origins, drawing on elements of Confucianism and Taoism in its traditional political system and philosophy. Vietnamese society is structured around làng (ancestral villages); all Vietnamese mark a common ancestral anniversary on the tenth day of the third lunar month. In recent centuries, the influences of Western cultures, most notably France and the United States, have become evident in Vietnam.

The traditional focuses of Vietnamese culture are humanity and harmony; family and community values are highly regarded. In the modern era, the cultural life of Vietnam has been deeply influenced by government-controlled media and cultural programs. For many decades, foreign cultural influences – especially those of Western origin – were shunned. However, since the 1990s, Vietnam has seen a greater exposure to Southeast Asian, European and American culture and media.


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