After a grueling but super fun morning spent
at Barangay La Paz’s sand dunes (that’s in Laoag), I begged asked my friends to
visit the oldest potter in Batac and try out something new like shaping mud. Of
course they gave in to my request because it’s within our route and because
they want me to be happy. Chos. Haha!
Twenty minutes or so passed when our jeepney stopped
over a pottery store just by the highway. We were asking ourselves if that’s
already the place when I saw THE old lady shaping mud in her veined hands. “Eto
na yun!” I remembered exclaiming. The rest was history.
|That's Lola Paulina surrounded with freshly made pots.|
I heard of Lola Paulina (if my memory serves
me right) when I listened to Mayor Nalupta on one of the good practices sharing
sessions I have attended. The session was focused on further localizing
education through various local government efforts. In order to instill culture
and a sense of history to the younger people of Batac, the local government
thought of mainstreaming pottery again. It was one of their more steady streams
of local income before; when the once sleepy town became one of the province’s
urban hubs, pottery was sidelined and was left to the older people to pursue.
Lola Paulina was one of the last traditional potters left in town who still
pursues the craft and is willing to teach eager people.
While I was busy trying to shape a mound of
mud, my friends did the informal interviews. We learned that Lola Paulina was
working for the store. And we thought she or her family owned it. Customers
from within Ilocos and those from nearby provinces really visit the store to
purchase bulks of pots and other earthenware. They usually don’t get much, I
think, because the stuff they sell are sold cheap. I mean their flower pots are
ranging from PhP40 to 70 while the smaller versions are for PhP20-30. They even
have miniature pots and chicken feeding plates sold for PhP5 and PhP10/3
pieces, respectively. When you compare those sold in Manila, there’s a huge
|I was just trying to be funny there |
but the mold's really heavy. #truestory
A few more minutes and I’m done with my pot.
I only shaped mud through a mold which you might say is not really a legit form
of pottery. I could have tried the more difficult stuff or wheeling and feeling
all that mud in your hands but the guide said they’re not doing one yet. So we
stuck with the mold. I felt happy with my finished product. It was slightly
easy except on removing the shaped pot from the mold. I did make futile
attempts but it was really heavy. I managed to remove it, though. Of course
with help from our guide. Hehe.
I remembered it was on my bucket list.
Another one done. When I was doing it, I felt like a town’s culture slowly slipping
through my hands. I felt their hardship through the sweat that beaded my brows
and their pride as soon as I finished one. Cheesy, eh? Yep. And fun. You should
try it. :)
|THAT'S MY UPSIDE DOWN POT! Happy girl here! :)|
Labels: 2013, 22, Batac, bucket list, experiences, Filipino pride, friday, friends, Ilocos Norte, pottery, roadtrip, stories, summer, third world happiness, WoW PHL