A broom in Tagalog is called “walis”, and is a common cleaning tool partnered with a pandakot in the Philippines. It is used for sweeping and removing dirt, dust, and debris from floors, walls, sidewalks, and other surfaces. But while there are several types of brooms, only two of them are common in the country – the “walis tambo” and the “walis tingting.”
The walis tambo in English is a whisk broom or soft broom since the cleaning part has soft bristles at the end. Also known as Tiger grass (Thysanolaena maxima), tambo is a grass native to the Philippines. The Tambo reed is known for having long, slender but durable stalks, making it suitable for sweeping various types of surfaces.
Because of its softness, the walis tambo is commonly used in sweeping indoor floors rather than outdoors. This very popular type of broom does not cause scratches on surfaces, and its natural texture helps in gathering dust and debris effectively. The handle is also long enough to provide back comfort while sweeping hardwood floors.
On the other hand, walis tingting in English is stick broom or hard broom. Unlike whisk brooms, stick brooms are made of the midrib (thickest vein) of coconut tree leaves. These thin, hard stems are carefully cut into equal lengths and bundled together tightly. Because of this, the walis tingting is used outdoors such as in streets and backyards.
The hard ends of the walis tingting make it ideal for sweeping leaves, twigs, and large pieces of debris. Most stick brooms have long handles for comfort, especially for street sweepers. Those with longer handles are used to remove cobwebs on walls and ceilings. Some stick brooms used for cleaning backyards don’t have handles, though.
The walis tambo is being made in different parts of the Philippines, especially in Baguio City, Nueva Ecija, and the Bicol region. Meanwhile, walis tingting is made in various regions in the country, including Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, and Malapascua Island. But in general, the Filipino broom is a huge industry and is one of the biggest exports.
Use walis in a sentence.
- Kunin mo ang walis tambo at magwalis ka ng kwarto mo.
- Paki walis ang mga dahon sa bakuran. Yung walis tingting ang gamitin mo, ha?
- Get the whisk broom and clean your room.
- Please sweep the leaves in the backyard. Use the stick broom, Ok?