The Art Of Pottery Called Ugu Bigyan

If Ilocanos have Fidel Go in the art of pottery, Augusto Bigyan is also the popular potter of CALABARZON.

Ugu Bigyan, now well-known for his stone craft and design is from Tiaong, Quezon province. In fact his name Ugu Bigyan now synonyms to his works. It denotes his art.

Visit his home in barangay Lusacan and the impression of his artistry will come in your eyes. The wide array of his crafts are displayed all over his place and amazement will just become a normal reaction on your face.

All of his unique pottery craft bearing his signature. His crafts have gone a long way to homes, resorts, hotels and restaurants, making them soundly adorable and amazing cool.

His crafts include leaves, animals, birds and fishes, pots, earthenwares, kitchenwares, souvenir items among others.

He’s doing this since he was at 20s. And each years of his craftmanship adding also to his legacy in this kind of art. 

“Arts flourish during Imelda’s time (Imelda Marcos),” he said during interview where he was also flourishing as an artist. He’s decades into this business and said he’s been into hard times when the products are hard to sell.

He wants the millenials to appreciate his art aside from art patrons and those loyal to his crafts.

But it may be hard livelihood but he continue his potteries because he knows there will always be a time his crafts will be needed.


In step by step process he showed his works:

1. Mixed white clay together with silica and bullclay.

2. Soak with water for a week or more.  The longer the soak the better it is.

3. Drained the water to get the desired consistency of the clay.

4. Mashed very well so no bubbles will occur.

5. Ready for molding.

6. Mold to desired design.

7. After molding, trimming and cleaning.

8. Air dry (not sun dry because it causes crack)

9.Bring to fiing area and heat for 7 hours at 1,000 degrees centigrade.

10. Cool for one day.

11. He will put his signature. Wax.

12. Fire again for 10 to12 hours depending on colors or design.

13. Add some design, roots (if needed), pricing, display or deliver.

Angono And Three Legendaries

Angono, dubbed as the Art Capital of Philippines. Ever wonder why? Because they are legendaries.

Giants roam around, artists are all over the places, ancient drawings called petroglyphs are in the stone shelter and even vandals are nice to view in the manmade cave and cactus, the walls of street arts, the cafe’s and restaurants with the touch of art, the cuisine harmonized in arts.

Then the people who are so inclined with art. The families are artists, from the lolo’s to apo. And the best thing, they support their artists.

Three legends that caught me during the phase 2 of NCCA- PIA Heritage Caravan in Calabarzon. These three got big influences to the town and its people. It greatly define what Angono is about art.

1. The Higantes.

Giants or Higantes festival now a popular fiesta activity of the town. 

The higantes are made from paper mache that measures four to five feet in diameter and 10 to 12 feet in height. Higantes was influenced by the Mexican art form of paper mache effigies.

Wonder why the giants are in akimbo? Because they represent angry and authocratic Spaniards during their colonization in the Philippines. 

Stories have it that a town folk made an angry giant effigy. Because of its huge size it draws attention of people during those times. After a while the they shouted for a woman giant as couple. Then children of these giants, and then other effigies followed. Now they are in parade as part of annual fiesta celebration of the town.

2. Botong Francisco

He’s National Artist because of his influence and contribution to visual art that include paintings and mural paintings. He is one of the discoverer of petroglyphs dating back BC. 

Along the Poblacion Ibabaw street of Angono is the avenue of array of replicates of Botong’s works. Its the walls and fences of arts, the murals of Botong mastery and legacy.

His house is within that street. He was born here. It is where he started his name as a painter, muralist where he grow up and become a big name in visual arts. Few of his works and collections are displayed here. 

3. Blanco, The Family of Painters

Jose Blanco, also known as Pitok is a fisherman, in fact his wooden boat still in display their museum house. But he’s also the big influence to his wife Loring, sons and daughter (Glen, Noel, Michael, Joy, Jan, Gay and Peter Paul) to love painting, then it goes down to his apo’s and then to his neighbors, and to the disciples of this art.

“They are precocious artist in their own right making the Blanco clan a unique collective of image of artists.”

Visiting the Blanco’s house museum of painting will surely amazes everyone. The array display of paintings is not just displays of greatness, mastery and artistry but also the stories of the family: how Pitok influence his family to love the art; how his children started to paint; how the children influence the mother; where they went to get ideas; what subject they are inspired to paint.

The museum is not just a house of paintings, its also workshops to mold and hone young artist, dreaming to be a painter, a place where artists gather and share stories, a place to get inspiration.

True to the theme “Sulong Luzon, Yamang Kultura at Sining.”

Sulyap, Taste Of The Past

Resort in nostalgia. 

Staying out of town now is not just about pristine nature, serene beaches and amazing mountains.

What’s in? Heritage. It’s all about the feeling of living in a period of time. Let’s say 18th century. Isn’t that reminiscing cool.

Sulyap, a boutique hotel built from materials olden materials like the woods, bricks, tin sheets among others. It is located in San Pablo, Laguna.

It’s also a museum gallery of the owner’s collections of old religious artifacts and statues, vintage bottles and kitchenwares, old things used by the early people.

Mr. Roy Impalmado, the architect of the houses and buildings and curator of the collections said its his actually his passion of collecting artifacts, remnants and things of the past. 

Sulyap, indeed the window of heritage and the window of the past. Staying in the bahay na bato/kahoy brings back you to the early period of Filipino living. 

You stay vintage-themed house and tour to the museum. Enjoy the nostalgic ambiance and reminisce the past in the almost two hectares area with the function hall, restaurants, cafe and hotels.

“Sulyap kasi… sulyap sa nakaraan,” Roy said in an interview.

He said the first project is the museum. So while in the museum he dreamed of old houses and sketch and that’s it, the rise of Sulyap resort.

“I want them to experience the past in modern times, with the use of modern living.” He said.

The restoration and refurbishing might be costly and time consuming but its all worth for him.

So the next time you want the snapshot of the past and relive the way our old folks way, taste the past in Sulyap.

Stone Sculpture: The 5 Faces In Bahay Na Bato

Have you ever been to Bahay Na Bato in Luna, La Union. The silent coastal place where a resthouse is situated now a famous tourist destination in the region. Thanks to the initiative of Mr. Bong Kim, a Korean art disciple who turn the place into enchanting destination. I chanced Edwin Oraw, the stone sculptor, while doing another project in the area and had conversation with him.

The 5 Faces below which I photo in the area are just few of his stone sculpture.

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