Marinduque, Moriones, and more

Ay mandin pa!…That tagalog accent, uniquely Marinduque. When I was a kid, summer time means Marinduque time. Growing up, me, my siblings, and my cousins will spend our entire summer vacation in my grandmother’s place, in a small fishing village in the island of Marinduque, our hometown. So, where in the world is Marinduque? Located in the MIMAROPA region, a group of southern provinces of Luzon, in the center of the Philippines, a heart shape island-province, Marinduque. The province lies between Tayabas Bay in the north and Sibuyan Sea to the south. Marinduque borders south and west of Quezon, east of Mindoro, and north of Romblon.

Marinduque
Marinduque

The island is divided into 6 municipalities (Boac, Buenavista, Gasan, Mogpog, Sta. Cruz & Torrijos) and Boac as its provincial capital. Legend has it that the island of Marinduque was formed as a consequence of a tragic love story of Mariin and Gatduke. Just like the heart breaking love story of Romeo and Juliet, the father of Mariin, a local chieftain, did not approve their love affair and ordered the beheading of Gatduke. Before this could happen, the lovebirds sailed away and drowned themselves forming the island now called Marinduque. Aawww.. Interesting isn’t it!. Let me give you 5 good reasons why Marinduque is such an awesome province and why you should plan your next trip to this amazing island.

1. Moriones Festival

Moriones Festival, Marinduque
Moriones Festival
Photo by : Ike Jamilla

The island province of Marinduque is most known for its Lenten tradition of Moriones Festival. This annual religious festivity which originated in the municipality of Mogpog, is characterized by colorful Roman costumes and masks. Moriones, is a play based from a biblical story of Longinus. During holy week, aside from the festival, the island province also held a unique tradition of pabasa (recitation of Christ’s passion in verse) in every municipalities. In general, Lenten celebration in Marinduque is about the religious devotion of its participants. A vow of penance or thanksgiving among its practitioners, which is passed down from generation to generation.

2. Beach bum’s haven

Marinduque beaches
Beaches around Marinduque
Photo by: Ike Jamilla
Cj Yumul

Marinduque is an island-province, therefore, it  is naturally blessed with  360° of clear blue water and gorgeous shoreline. It is nearby, a perfect escapade from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle of Manila. Marinduque offers pretty much or even better from what Boracay and Puerto Galera has to offer, in terms of pristine beaches. Locals enjoy them all-year round…lucky!!!. Since it is not highly populated by tourists, the province remains its beaches as a perfect haven to unwind. By the way, if you want to go big time and fancy, you can check-out Bellarocca. The province is also surrounded by small group of islands, for us, island hopping during summer time is simply like a normal routine. With a bag of chips, a loaf of bread and big bottle of water, we’re certainly having a blast, pure pleasure.

And, if you want to go for ta dip in a hot spring, Marinduque have that covered as well. Once done soaking up the sun by the beach or pool, why not go for a splash in Marinduque’s waterfalls, then consider to go on a hike too. Adventure options are unlimited in Marinduque.

3. Culturally interesting

Marinduque
Marinduque’s architecture

Walking along the streets of Marinduque, you can still see ancestral houses that depict influences of Spanish colonial time, as well as the native Filipino house “bahay kubo”. You’ll also notice other architectural influences in every churches in the provinces.  And if you’re into archaeology, Marinduque is an archaeological site, providing vital archaeological finds about Philippines pre-Spanish era.

Marinduqueños are considered to be hospitable and very welcoming. One such proof to that claim, is the custom tradition of putong or tubong. A custom of welcoming and honoring friends and visitors. It is also a form of thanksgiving and prayer for a long and blessed life.

Another uniquely Marinduque, is the version of Tagalog spoken by its inhabitants. It has been described as “the root from which modern national forms of speech have sprung,” where remnants of archaic Tagalog could be found. If this linguistic theory is accurate, Marinduque’s Tagalog has contributed significantly to the development of the official Philippine national language. Even to this date, Marinduqueños speak a variation of Tagalog that is very similar to the way that Tagalog was spoken before the Spanish colonization.

4. Food worthy

If you’re a food enthusiast and always in the mood of new flavors, then Marinduque has something to offer for your taste buds. Big fast food chain restaurants are nonexistent in the beautiful island of Marinduque, therefore, what Marinduqueños consider fast food are homemade and prepped with passion and tradition. Make sure that when you visit this island province, you’ll add to your list these following Marinduque food (and local alcoholic drink) to name a few.

  • Pinaltok
  • Sinagol
  • Saludsod
  • Bibingka, puto & kutsinta (Marinduque style)
  • Kalamay
  • Arrowroot cookies
  • Gulay na santol
  • Tuba!

5. Going back to basics

Marinduque
The simple life in Marinduque

Marinduque is a quite, stunning, and relaxing province and it is exactly what it should be. When you go to Marinduque, you’ll be reminded of the simplicity of life and indulging in real simple life pleasures. That, in this fast changing world, where everything seems to be complicated, there is still a place on earth where life is like a walk in the beach (figuratively and literally). Marinduque will let you disconnect to connect once again to what really matters most in life. Personally, Marinduque is a place that always keeps me grounded, a place of  beautiful memories. It will always be a reminder that wherever I go, home is always there waiting for me, and deep down inside, I’ll always have that small town girl in me.  

Please come back and read more of our latest blog, make sure to stay connected with us. You know the drill, scroll up, choose and click on your right side the way(s) how you want to keep in touch with The Mixed Culture (e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Google+).

Hasta luego amigos!

Love,

Imelda

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any photo(s) without express and written permission from The Mixed Culture is strictly prohibited. For any photo related interest, please contact us.

My top five travel memorabilia: Bringing home a piece of culture.

Kamusta mga kaibigan!!! I bet everyone aside from tremendous photos you took during your travel, you picked up some knickknacks to bring back home. Some memorabilia of your amazing trip, to remind you of the adventure, fun and stress free time you just had. Others buy t-shirts, others caps, magnets or key chains. Aside that they are common and easy to grab, most of us simply just didn’t have the time to give it some thought and almost forget about it. At some point, I was like that. To break the bad habit, I started to choose differently.

travel memorabilia

I made a conscious effort that, when I visit a new place may it be local or abroad, I’ll bring home with me a piece of culture of that amazing place (it doesn’t have to be expensive all the time). Something that I will use everyday or if it will be for the people I love, I’ll make sure it is something that will tell them that I thought about them as well while I’m exploring, learning, experiencing new places and culture.

It is also the same concept that I’ll tell my friends who are travelling and asking me, what I want them to bring back home as a souvenir for me. I’ll ask them to get me something local, unique, a piece of culture. After giving it so much thought and serious deliberation in my head (nah), I’m happy to share to you all my top 5 all time favorite travel treasures to date, things that I picked up along the way and other amazing gifts from friends from their adventure. Every piece tells a story of adventure and fond memories. May you start bringing home a piece of culture as well on your next escapade.

5. You got mail

postcards
Anywhere in the world

Oftentimes neglected  in a souvenir shop today, postcards. Affordable souvenir with photos of beautiful places & culture, professionally taken and fits in your bag…beat that! It may be old-fashioned, but, I still believe that handwritten message in a postcard still have its charm to melt the recipient’s heart. Aside from social media, I still enjoy sending postcards to family and friends to communicate. The effort to write something on it and the magic it brings upon receiving it in the mail is priceless. I just love random old-fashioned catching up in a busy and modern world. So, to spice up that randomness, I use postcards I got from places I’ve been. Whenever I’m out there somewhere, I make sure I’ll grab a couple of postcards.

 4.  Bookworm’s bling

Handpainted bookmark
Huehuetenango, Guatemala

I love to read. When I saw this bookmark with hand painted mayan art, I knew I have to buy it. It is just a perfect bling for my books and as I turn the pages, it automatically reminds me of my alone time in the western highlands of Guatemala. I bought it while I was visiting the Zaculeu Ruins in Huehuetengo, Guatemala and on that day, I was interviewed by the local television channel about travelling. Detailed bookmark with lots of travel stories attached…winner!.

3. Divine intervention

Rosary
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mexico, Guatemala & Canada

I pray the rosary and I also carry one with me wherever I go. It wasn’t intentional to collect rosaries, it was more of a habit to get one every time I visit a church and then I realized I accumulated a lot already. The habit started back home when I’m about to leave the country in 2006. I wanted to have pocket rosary with me as I travel and begin a new chapter in my life. I also give it to dear friends of mine. I believe in miracles and the power of prayers. For me, faith/religion is a big part of any history & culture in every nation. So, when I’m  in a church visiting for the first time, I’ll get a new rosary and have it blessed.

2. Writer’s delight

Australia
Australia

It’s like Christmas in May when I received this beautiful notebook by mail. A dear friend of mine Samuel, a certified globetrotter got me this special notebook with a Warmun artist’s masterpiece, whose works are made of natural ochre and pigment on plywood from Australia (and it smells so good!!!). He knows that I write and what a perfect souvenir to give to a friend who writes…a notebook. Imagine this, Samuel bought it in Cairns, Australia, then wander around the country, later, he hopped in to Asia with it, continuing his adventure in Singapore, Thailand, then en route to China & New York on his way home to Montreal and then before leaving again to continue his journey, he sent it to me here in Guatemala. Whoah…what a ride for this notebook. But wait, mileage is not over yet for this special notebook, I told Samuel that I’ll bring it with me wherever I go. Therefore, the story of  the travelling notebook is still on. Notebook on the move (should I give it a name?). And where is Samuel now? you got it…he continues to discover the wonders of the world (and saves it as well 😉 ).

1. Dainty treasure

Philippines
Philippines

To date, it is the most expensive but worth it travel memorabilia I ever got. I can proudly say that I own a piece of Philippines natural treasure. When I visited the Philippines in 2011, I bought a pair of South Philippine Sea pearl earrings while on vacation in Palawan. Aside from its worth, I thought that it is something that I can pass on to my children and the beautiful stories behind these beautiful pearl earrings.

I am Imelda, a traveler, I cherish travel memories, and I bring back home a piece of culture with me. I dream to learn and experience more cultures from all around the world.

What do you cherish and what is your dream?

Hasta luego…..

Love

Imelda  

Parol: A symbol of Filipino Christmas Spirit

Parol

Filipino Christmas celebration is colorful, lively, full of traditions, bright and definitely twinkling. One of the most iconic symbol of  Filipino Christmas spirit is the Christmas lantern or locally known as “paról”. The star-shaped lanterns are displayed hanging outside the house, along the busy streets of the cities and even in provincial towns and small villages. May it be a parol with simple or intricate designs, for Filipinos it is an expression of shared faith and hope. It also symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and Filipinos’ goodwill during Christmas season.

For Filipinos, parol making and hanging them outside is a representation of the star of Bethlehem that guided the Three Wise Men to the manger of the newly born Jesus Christ. The origin of paról can be traced back during the Spanish era in the Philippines, when the Spaniards brought Christianity to the islands. Parols were initially used to light the way to church to faithfully attend the 9-day Simbang Gabi or Misas de Aguinaldo, which begin on the 16th of December, a devotion for petition of special favors. After coming home from hearing the mass, instead of putting away the lantern somewhere else, people would hang it outside the house.

Parol Christmas lantern
Parol
Photo by Ike Jamilla
http://emjamilla.googlepages.com

Paróls are star-shaped lanterns and traditionally made of  bamboo, papél de japón (Japanese paper) and illuminated with candle or kalburo (carbide). As times goes by, the lantern evolved into more intricate, lavish and brightly lit Christmas ornament. Aside from the traditional design of parols, other materials are used such as capiz shells with elaborated lights became very popular as well. Adding to the meaning of parol, the lantern also demonstrates the craftsmanship of Filipinos. Many communities, such as villages, schools, and groups hold competitions to see who can make the best paról. In the province of Pampanga, an annual Giant Lantern Festival is held, which attracts various craftsmen from across the archipelago.

Yuletide season is definitely bright and twinkling in the Philippines, no wonder with the paról, it became the Festival of Lights. To appreciate and see the peak of the Festival of Lights in the Philippines, one must travel at night from December 16th up to January 6th. All kinds of paróls will make your holidays merrier and bright. Filipinos’ Christmas lantern, a tradition, an art and an iconic symbol of Christmas.

Photo disclaimer: The Mixed Culture does not own the photo(s) used in this post, however, proper permission to use the photo(s) above was given to The Mixed Culture. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any photo(s) without express and written permission from the artist and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For any photo related interest, please contact the artist directly, by visiting the webpage provided or leave us a message.

The majestic Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan City, Philippines

Maria Cristina Falls
Maria Cristina Falls
Maria Cristina Falls
Photo credit: Israel Formales

          Maria Cristina Falls is Iligan’s greatest heritage, the landmark of Iligan City. Towering at the height of 320 feet high, spews 130 cubic meters of water per second, it is the second highest falls in the Philippines. The falls is located 9.3 kilometers away from the city proper, at the borders of Barangay Maria Cristina, Ditucalan and Buru-un. Its waters plunge down into the torrential Agus River and come from Lake Lanao of Marawi city. It is known to be the most resplendent among the 23 waterfalls present  in the “City of Majestic Falls” –  Iligan City. With its water, it is also the veritable source of electric power in the city, supplying city’s industries and majority of Mindanao region’s energy need.

         The falls is utilized for the hydroelectric power plant, it boosted the city’s urbanization leading to more business and people to settle in Iligan, making the economy of the city to prosper. Also, the majestic charm of Maria Cristina Falls added to the city’s progress being as a famous tourist attraction that leaves the both local and foreign tourists spellbound, adding more to Iligan’s city income. Since its water is being harnessed for electric power, its full grandeur viewing appeals more to the tourist and its twin cascades are still majestic. It is sometimes called “twin falls” since the flow is separated by a rock at the brink of the waterfall. It is also called as a “now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t” falls, because of the man-made controls operated by the National Power Corporation, which is essential for the production of electricity. Thus due to all these, Maria Cristina Falls is also tagged as the “Mother of Industry” and “Fountainhead of Progress”. Nature and mankind in harmony building wonderful experience and culture: The majestic Maria Cristina Falls.

Photo disclaimer: The Mixed Culture does not own the photo(s) used in this post, however, proper permission to use the photo(s) above was given to The Mixed Culture. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any photo(s) without express and written permission from the artist and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For any photo related interest, please contact the artist directly, by visiting the webpage provided or leave us a message.

 

Handcrafted guitars of Cebu, Philippines

Cebu's handcrafted guitars

       Aside from the beautiful faces of Cebu and the sweet smile of its people, Cebu is a hub of perfect melody. The province of Cebu is home for handcrafted guitars, an industry that adds more musical flair to its rich culture. Throughout the Spanish period, the gitara or kitara (from the Spanish guitarra) is believed to have been first manufactured in Cebu.  The guitar industry started when the Spanish friars assigned in Cebu needed to repair the guitars they were using. Instead of waiting for the guitars to arrive from Mexico, they commissioned the townspeople of Opon village in Mactan Island to make new guitars and repair the existing guitars they had; thus began the guitar industry in Cebu. Pioneering guitar industry in Cebu that eventually became a family affair are the Alegre and Malingin families. With their excellent luthiers, the guitars of Cebu are known both locally and internationally as world-class quality guitars.

Cebu's handcrafted guitars
Cebu’s handcrafted guitars
Photo credit: Israel Formales

These hand-made guitars are commonly made of soft and hard woods like jackfruit, narra and black wood ebony. Designs in every handcrafted guitars ranges from simple to intricate decors such as inlaid shell crafts. Buyers can also customize their guitar according to their own preferences. It is said that because of the exquisite craftsmanship of the artisans to each guitar, Cebu’s handmade guitars produces melodious tune. In addition to guitars, other string instruments are also manufactured in Cebu such as ukuleles, banjos, and mandolins. Today, Cebu’s guitars are still in demand both by local and international clientele.

Photo disclaimer: The Mixed Culture does not own the photo(s) used in this post, however, proper permission to use the photo(s) above was given to The Mixed Culture. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any photo(s) without express and written permission from the artist and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For any photo related interest, please contact the artist directly, by visiting the webpage provided or leave us a message.

Carving Capital of the Philippines: Paete, Laguna

Woodcarving of Paete, Laguna
Woodcarving of Paete
Woodcarver of Paete
Photo credit: Jay Javier
http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com

In the northeastern part of the Province of Laguna, located is an inland town of Paete. A town that is about 113 kilometers away from Manila, along the scenic Laguna de Bay. The small town of Paete was founded around 1580 by Spanish friars, Fray Juan de Plasencia and Fray Diego de Ongresa. Before the arrival of Spaniards in the town of Paete, it is believed that the first inhabitants of the place were of Malay lineage, coming all the way from Borneo in their swift and sturdy boats called “Balangay”. Prior to being a Christian settlement under the Spaniards’ occupation, the town was first part of Pueblo de Lumban. Initially, Paete was called as Pueblo de San Lorenzo, as derived from the first Patron Saint San Lorenzo Ruiz, given by the missionary priests. But, where does the name Paete came from? According to town’s story, once there was a young Franciscan priest who was asked by his superior to pay a visit to the new settlements situated along Laguna de Bay. With little knowledge about the territory, the young priest asked a native for the name of the place. Mistaken by the question of the priest, the native thought that he was asked for the name of the tool he was using. The native replied Paét (chisel) thus, the name Paete derived from.

Although, Paete is very small compared to its neighboring towns, the town became very famous of its woodcraft, the artisans, its highly skilled craftsmen and its rich culture. With the religious influences from the Spaniards, no wonder most of the products in Paete have primarily religious themes. The exquisite talents of Paeteños reached overseas and the superb craftsmanship of their works reportedly displayed and used in some countries such as the Vatican and United States. It is also a given fact, that the town’s hero is not a soldier nor a statesman but a wood-carver, Mariano Madriñan. The master artisan, Mariano Madriñan, whose finest obra maestra, the life-like Mater Dolorosa, was honored by the King of Spain with the prestigious award  in Amsterdam in 1882.

Pioneering the industry of woodcarving, Paete have a great reputation of handcrafted products. Aside from religious wood carvings, the town became distinguished for wooden shoes (bakya) beautifully handcrafted and chiseled in various remarkable designs. It also believed that the modern yo-yo, which originated in the Philippines, was invented in Paete. Today, the town still continues to keep the impeccable traditions and skills of woodcarving. This lucrative industry unfastened several other crafts, like woodcarving, furniture making, papier-mache, paper pulp, resin and countless notable creations from the town declared as the Carving Capital of the Philippines on March 15, 2005 under Presidential Proclamation No. 809.

Photo disclaimer: The Mixed Culture does not own the photo(s) used in this post, however, proper permission to use the photo(s) above was given to The Mixed Culture. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any photo(s) without express and written permission from the artist and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For any photo related interest, please contact the artist directly by visiting the webpage provided or leave us a message.

Filipinos will make it through.

Prayers for Filipinos
Prayers for Filipinos affected by Yolanda
Photo credit: Jay Javier
http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com

       Filipinos are being tested again with another natural calamity and this time with the world’s strongest storm ever recorded, lets offer a prayer for those who are affected by the super typhoon, with a local name Yolanda.  As the storm pounds Visayas region, displacing many families and destroying millions of infrastructures,  it brings Filipinos together to help one another.  But Filipinos’ resiliency to any trials is tried & tested, that Filipinos will make it through, will stand up and build again when the storm is over. Indeed Filipinos are true survivors. Our prayers and thoughts goes to everyone in the Philippines.

Photo disclaimer: The Mixed Culture does not own the photo(s) used in this post, however, proper permission to use the photo(s) above was given to The Mixed Culture. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any photo(s) without express and written permission from the artist and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For any photo related interest, please contact the artist directly by visiting the webpage provided or leave us a message.

The golden fruit of the Philippines: Manila Mango

Philippine mango

      Succulent, meaty, sweet, nutritious and deliciously tempting, these are just some words to describe Philippine Mangoes. Mango or mangga in Filipino, is the national fruit of the Philippines and is then third most important fruit crop of the country next to banana and pineapple. In Philippines alone, different varieties of mangoes grow, which locals enjoy tremendously. The most common variety of mango in the Philippines is what Americans refer to as champagne mango. It is also called Manila mango, Ataulfo mango (named after its Mexican grower) and Honey mango.  For Filipinos it is manggang kalabaw (carabao mango) while for commercial trade, the Philippine government refers to it as ‘Manila Super Mango’ and is the country’s top export variety and is considered one of the best mango varieties in the world. Manila Super Mangoes are meant for export, 12 hours after harvesting they go to a factory for Vapor Heat Treatment. In VHT chamber, mangoes stay for about five hours from pre-heating to cooling. No chemicals are sprayed on them; they are merely steamed. In 1995, the Guinness Book of World records listed the Carabao mango variety in the Philippines as the sweetest fruit in the world, specifically the Guimaras mango. Guimaras Island is located in the Western Visayas region in the Philippines.

Photo credit: Jay Javier http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com
Manila Mangoes
Photo credit: Jay Javier
http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com

With its golden color that signifies richness and a heart shape that symbolizes a very important part like in human anatomy made Manila mango to be the national fruit of the country. Mango has been known too as the “Fruit of the Gods”. The Manila mango has a yellow-orange skin and more slender compared to other large mango varieties. The flesh or the meat of manggang kalabaw has an almost velvety buttery texture and really sweet. For Filipinos, the best way to eat ripe Manila mango is by slicing it lengthwise, making three flat slices, the middle slice containing the large seed. With the outer slices, where the fleshy part is, you either scoop out the flesh with a spoon or make cubes using the “hedgehog” method (make a crisscross grid with a knife), turn the flesh out with your hands and then scrape off the chunks.  Furthermore, Filipinos love to eat green , unripe mangoes  (manggang hilaw) and dipping it in rock salt or with shrimp paste (bagoong). The naturally delicious golden fruit of the Philippines: Manila Mango.

Photo disclaimer: The Mixed Culture does not own the photo(s) used in this post, however, proper permission to use the photo(s) above was given to The Mixed Culture. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any photo(s) without express and written permission from the artist and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For any photo related interest, please contact the artist directly by visiting the webpage provided or leave us a message.

The Art of Making Burnay: Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Burnay jars Photo credit: Israel Formales
Potter of burnay jar. Photo credit Jay Javier http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com
Potter of burnay jar.
Photo credit Jay Javier http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com

As Vigan is known for its historic ancestral houses that illustrate a fusion of architecture from Spanish colonial time with Asian influences, the people of Vigan also exert great effort to preserve the tradition of making “burnay”. Burnay is unglazed earthen jars, an industry that dates back to pre-colonial times when immigrants from China came and settled in Vigan. Burnay jars have small openings, and its earlier use were for tea drinking, storage for water, rice grains and as container for salt, brown sugar, local wine (basi) and bagoong (fermented fish). It is even said that basi and bagoong taste much better when stored inside burnays.  Burnay jars are also utilized in fermentation of vinegar that comes from the sweet sap of the Arenga Pinnata, a sugar palm tree more commonly known as “kaong.”

Burnay jars Photo credit: Israel Formales
Burnay jars
Photo credit: Israel Formales
for http://www.themixedculture.com

These earthenware jars are crafted by a potter’s skillful hands with a help of potter’s wheel and a kiln. The potter uses a grade A clay that is widely available in the western area of Vigan. Fine sand is used as a tempering material to achieve the desired shape, afterwards, it will be placed inside a high-temperature ground kiln made of brick and clay.  Because of this, people say that burnay jars are harder and durable compared to terra cotta.

The art and technology of making burnays were brought to Vigan by Chinese artisans. For which, the art of making burnays existed in the area of Vigan right before the Spaniards came in 1572. These Chinese artisans, who built this industry relied on the locals of Vigan for their clay and labor.  The industry of making burnays prosper in 1890, when Pedro Go, a Chinese settler from Chinkang, in Fukien, Mainland China set-upped his camarin (jar factory) along what is now known as Rivero Street in Brgy. VIII. Later on around 1916, Ongkai Go, son of Pedro Go’s brother, came to the Philippines and worked with him, however, Ongkai went back to China to get marry when he was 18 years old.

   Ongkai went back to the Philippines in 1922, and together with his cousin Igan Go, they built their own jar factory known until today as Ruby Pottery. Years later, the son of the late Ongkai, Fidel Go, inherited the factory from Igan Go. Continuing the tradition of the craft inherited and preserving the art of making burnays, Fidel Go was awarded with the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Folk Artist Award) of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts in 1990.

Potter of burnay jar. Photo credit Jay Javier http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com
Potter of burnay jar.
Photo credit Jay Javier http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com

As of today, there are, three (3) “burnay” factories remain: RG Jar Factory, Ruby Pottery, and NP Jar Factory. These “burnay” factories are the only ones found throughout the country.  Nowadays, varieties of burnay jars are made, mostly for decorative purposes. People buy them mostly to serve as decorations inside their homes and gardens. Burnay jars are also sought-after by foreign and local tourists. It has reached the markets abroad, especially in Europe. Foreign and local traders made contact with burnay factory owners to order not only the traditional designs of burnay but as well according to their preferences. Through these continuous demands of earthen jars, it has sustained the livelihood of many Chinese and Fil-Chinese generations who own burnay factories or camarin, and most importantly the preservation of the craft. The art of making burnay stood the test of time and continues to showcase Filipinos artistry and craftsmanship. Highly quality products and preserved tradition: Burnay jars of Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Photo disclaimer: The Mixed Culture does not own the photo(s) used in this post, however, proper permission to use the photo(s) above was given to The Mixed Culture. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any photo(s) without express and written permission from the artist and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For any photo related interest, please contact the artist directly by visiting the webpage provided or leave us a message.

The bargain district of Manila: Divisoria

Divisoria: the mixedculture.com

        Filipinos are bargain hunters and they’ll make the most value of every peso they have. Though big shopping malls sprouted like mushrooms all over Metro Manila, Divisoria still reigns supreme as the go to place when it comes to great finds and bargain shopping. It is the hub of wide assortment of low-priced goods, wholesale items and retail shopping. People of all walks of life make a trip to this “mecca of value shopping” because it offers both of cheap finds and one stop shopping.

Divisoria: the mixedculture.com
Busy street of Divisoria
Photo credit: Jay Javier
http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com/

You’ll find everything in Divisoria, from ready to wear clothes, textiles, party needs, toys, decorations, novelties, electrical supplies, construction needs, household stuffs, food and local delicacies, crafts, medicines, books, fashion accessories, gadgets, even pirated films and music. Everything that you can think of, Divisoria has it. Not to mention, it is the best place to get Chinese medicines and other knickknacks since Divisoria covers various parts of the city of Manila such as, Binondo (where Filipino-Chinese are highly located), Tondo and San Nicolas.

Shopping in Divisoria
Busy street of Divisoria
Photo credit: Jay Javier
http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com/

Commerce in Divisoria started during the Spanish era in the Philippines, when non-Christianized Chinese were forbidden to make trade and live inside the nearby walled city “Intramuros”. Since Chinese merchants have an undeniable entrepreneurial skills, they created their own community known now as Binondo and slowly built shops in the surrounding areas including Divisoria. Towards the 1900s, as the commerce in the area continued to blossom into commercial center, having the Tutuban Central Station nearby, former main station of the Philippine National Railway, Divisoria became a major drop-off point of trading goods coming in from various provinces. Adding to the historical value of Divisoria, are the two prominent figures in Philippine history namely, Andres Bonifacio a revolutionary hero and the first Filipino saint San Lorenzo Ruiz, both born around the area.

shopping at Divisoria
Busy street of Divisoria
Photo credit: Jay Javier
http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com/

Divisoria is considered as one of the premiere economic center of the National Capital Region. It is a known fact that in Divisoria bargaining happens. Shoppers can make a deal or haggle to get the best price for a merchandise. Going to Divisoria is a test of negotiation skills, patience and endurance since the place is packed with different merchants and lots of shoppers. It is also advised to take precautions from pickpockets and scammers, which is quite common in a very crowded area. Divisoria, a unique shopping experience with a dash of history and culture.

Textile shopping in Divisoria
Busy street of Divisoria
Photo credit: Jay Javier
http://eastofherewestofthere.blogspot.com/

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