The pearl oyster (commonly known as "kapis" with the scientific name Placuna Placenta) is a bi-valve mollusk, commercially and economically important because of its translucent shell. In the 1500's during the Filipino Spanish period, these "window pane" shells were used for windowpanes on houses and convents.
Popularly known as "Capiz", pearl oysters reproduce prolifically, are ecologically harvested and flourish in the warm, tropical ocean waters of the Philippines. This shellfish is named after Capiz, one the five provinces of the Panay Island located 375 miles southwest of Manila.
Capiz is normally used as a raw material for home decoration and construction. The shell can be made into beautiful handicrafts like window sills, lamp shades, flower vases, chandeliers, chessboards, coasters, wind chimes, wall panels, and many other decorative accessories. These shell craft products have been exported to the USA, Japan, West Germany, and other European countries for generations.
Capiz oysters gathered from the wild are dried and graded according to quality and size. For Capiz to open naturally, the shells are dried, thus avoiding damage to the shells while the oyster meat inside is removed. The meat is edible and has a higher protein content (23.2g per 100g of fresh meat) than the common mussel or oyster. However, it is sacrificed during drying, but not wasted! It is most often made into a component for poultry and shrimp feeds.
Laminated Capiz products are truly a work of art as they are hand-fashioned by Filipino craftsmen. Art and modern science evolved a process whereby the finest quality shells are hand selected, processed and laminated to produce a unique and highly ornate surfacing ideal for housewares, tableware and gift items. After careful harvesting, the oyster-like shells are soaked, softened, molded by hand, and then individually painted to create luminous finished pieces.
During the final step of the process, each piece is sealed with a food-safe high polymer resin which is impervious to heat, alcohol, vinegar and stains, for use with warm and cold foods.
Please browse through our catalogue to see why 1968 Export Corporation is one the Philippines's leading exporter of capiz products.