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.

The Lambanog Tradition

Naay man, you say when the cup was handed to you that was filled with lambanog or coconut nectar wine.

Pakinabangan po, the tanggero and people in the crowd would say and you will drink the wine made from coconut sap from the cup.

This is the tradition/practice that lies within the strong essence of lambanog during the olden times of Quezon province. When umpungan (gathering) is held, men and women alike, including olds and children gather together in a such celebration. The lambanog wine will become the symbol of bonding and camaraderie of the community where the common cup will be pass to each and everyone present in umpungan. 

Its like the damaan of tribal community of Ilocos where a cup of tapey (rice wine) will be pass to the elderly relative and drink the wine during the wake of the dead. But in damaan the relative who hold the tapey should utter some impression to the deceased relative before drinking it.

In umpungan, not necessarily a celebration or feast. It could be just a gathering of the community, like bonding, talking with each other.

This is the tradition that the provincial government of Quezon wants to revive in some special occasion through the tourism department.

During the heritage caravan of media practioners and bloggers from Region 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 including CAR, the tourism officer explained their desire to revive the practice.

And why not when the place is well known to lambanog and take proud of it. They have come up with different flavors and presentations of it. It is just proper to relive the tradition of the unique wine from coconut.###

Dadapilan Of Ilocos

Dadapilan refers to the simple machine use by sugarcane farmers to extract the juice from sugarcane stem and made it into different products such as vinegar, sugar, molasses, wine among others.

During the early times dadapilan was so common in every backyard or front yard of the farmers. The early dadapilan consists of two big trunks of logs with teeth serving as grid, the sugarcane will be placed between these trunks and will be pressed as the carabao or cow move in circular. 

The modern dadapilan now is almost the same though the trunks were replaced by iron (as seen in the photo).

Though sugarcane farming still exist but very few dadapilan now exist. Some are still being used in extracting the juice but mostly now are made into fine furniture like tables, chairs, cabinets and display item.

Farmers now are using modern juice extractor powered by electricity.

The process of extracting of sugarcane is called panagdapil. 

Ilocano’s of Ilocos Sur have the products from sugarcane like suka or sukang-iloko, basi or sugarcane wine, balikutsa or sugarcane candy, tagapulot or moskovado and many more. Each of the product have their own process to make the product.

Some delicacies are made with the help of the sugarcane.

Dadapilan is a tradition to Ilocano. This has been here long time ago and have been part of its history. If could be a synonym to ilocano culture.

There would be no sugarcane if the dadapilan didn’t existed. And as long as dadapilan existed in the lawn and field of the farmer, sugarcane industry will continue. And the life of Ilocandia will stay as sweet as the way it used to be.#

House Of Salt

house of salt

Commonly made from coconut leaves, rice stalks and bamboos, the saltmakers of Ilocandia uses this bahay kubo for the production of salt. It is so common along the seashore in Ilocandia when the residents cooked salt from the saltwater. The granules are so pure white and with naturally iodine content salt. The house is also the best shed of the saltmakers against the extreme heat of the sun.###

How Important Almiris In The Kitchen?

The craft of San Esteban, Ilocos Sur called almiris (mortar and pestle)
The craft of San Esteban, Ilocos Sur called almiris (mortar and pestle)

Dish is more delicious when ingredients are done with almiris.  Ingredients like pepper, garlic, lemon grass, and other kinds of kitchen condiments that need to be crush, squeeze and pulverize.

This is what we called almiris or mortar and pestle.  Ilocano prefer to use stone rather than plastic, wood mortar and pestle.  We believed that ingredients done in almiris bring out the true taste of the food.

Continue reading “How Important Almiris In The Kitchen?”

Vigan City; Carbao and Boklan Festival

Kas kunada, its better late than never. Its only now that i find my time to post some of the pictures i took during Vigan City’s Binatbatan Festival.  Opppss, before my writing dominated the pictures, here they are now.

Painted Carabao with a message saving mother earth

A carabao painted in blue advocating stop illegal fishing and the carriage with bahay kubo and a tree with a message preserving mother nature.

First prize winner in Boklan contest

A mother and a child planting a tree in the heart of Vigan City. The two guys make it to bagged the top prize. Boklan is an art arranging seeds into a beautiful image with a message that can touch the heart.

Continue reading “Vigan City; Carbao and Boklan Festival”

Ti Abel-Iluko Iti Caoayan, Ilocos Sur

Salaysay ni: Mancielito Tacadena

Sumagmamano a produko nga abel (ladawan: Frankie Frio ken Kelly Ferido)

Maysa kadagiti ipampannakkel a produkto ti Kailokuan ti aramidda a tela nga aw-awaganda iti Abel-Iluko.

Manipud pay idi punganay, talaga a natibker dagiti naabel a binakol nga ules, sinamay a moskitero ken dadduma pay a pagimeng a pagaayat nga usaren dagidi appotayo a lallakay ken babbaket.

Kas man naiyabel metten iti biag ni Ilokano ti panagusarna iti tela a napartuat babaen ti manu-mano a panagtitipon kadagiti no mano a bilang ti sag-ot tapno mabukel a tela.

No damom ti makakita iti umaabel, masdaawka la ketdi iti napartak a panagkuti dagiti imana nga agsinsinnublat a mangsippaw iti kartilia a nakaiputipotan dagiti sag-ot. Lalo la ngaruden no maimatangam ti kumpas dagiti sakana nga agdangdanggay a mangbaddek iti kasla pedal ti pagablan.

Continue reading “Ti Abel-Iluko Iti Caoayan, Ilocos Sur”

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