Filipino Brooms

There are two words in the dictionary that can serve as translations for the English “broom.”

The simple noun that is widely used is walis.

Up until a few decades ago, the word pamalis (pangwalis) was also common, and if you use it today, it can still be understood, because it is a conjugation of the verb walis and it literally means “something used for sweeping.”

Brooms of the Philippines

There are two types of native brooms used in the Philippines — the walis tingting for outdoors and the walis tambo for smooth floors indoors and perhaps on the patio.

Walis-tingting is a broom made from the thin midribs of palm leaves. The stiff ribs are tied up on one end. It is usually paired with a simply constructed dustpan, as you can see in the picture. The can used for the dustpan is usually a cutout of an aluminum can of cooking oil.

Walis Tingting at Daspan

walis tingting at daspan
broom and “dustpan”

Walis-tambo is a soft broom, usually made of the phragmites grass. You can see it in the picture below. It does shed somewhat, or eventually, but it feels so good to use it on a smooth floor — more fun than a Swiffer sweeper or cloth mop!

Buy a walis tambo!

In the United States, you can buy a Philippine-made walis tambo (whisk broom) online on Amazon.

You can also buy a 30-inch walis tingting on Amazon, or a slightly longer 36-inch one from the FilAm Store.