Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pagburnayan Pottery Makers of Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Hand-crafted Earthenware or clay pots and jars are mostly used for pottery and decorative ornaments featured in many landscaping displays. Depending on the creators, they could be tough and almost unbreakable even if you slam one down on any flat surface.

Well, that's what the potter did while showing us some of his creations. He just slammed one down the table to show us how unbreakable his works are. But that was just a small pot that fits on the palm of your hand, I'm just not so sure about the bigger pots if they too will be left without any signs of damage. As you would know, the bigger they are, the harder they will "break" or am I just convincing myself that there might be a breaking point to everything.

But who would want to break masterpieces? Of course you'll take good care of them. And as most of them ports are laid down on the ground themselves, these Earthenware pots kiss the Earth making it a harmonious existence.

Our trip to a couple of Pagburnayan Pottery makers was most definitely worth the addition to our travel itinerary. We were in luck because we got to interview two of the elders from the Go clan.

The two visits was with my photographer friends while we covered the Miss Tourism Philippines 2017 candidates tour of Ilocos Sur. The first one was by ourselves during our free time on our first day in Vigan, and the second was with the ladies.

We got to meet and talk to Vigan's pride, Philippine's National Folk Artist, Mr. Fidel Go, his son, and his brother Rafael Go - on separate interview sessions. Above you'll see our interview with the National Artist, while we'll show you the other interviews we made as soon as they're done uploading on our video channels.

They were the descendants from the original potters rooted from China. If you look at them closer, aside from their a bit darkened skin from the heat of the ovens, you would know that they do have Chinese heritage. If you have a good camera that could capture the details of the facial features, it is without doubt that you'll see their origins.

The place is of course coming from the root word "burnay" or terracota to mean the pots are created using the old ways. I asked why they do not want to modernize their pottery making, they simply said it will go against authenticity. True enough, there is added value in making things using the traditional ways. The imperfections of these hand-made pots and jar are part of the beauty.

This is where traditional burnay jars of varied shapes, designs and sizes are made. I am honored to receive a souvenir pot from one of the brothers (Rafael) too. It may not cost that much, but being given one is of high sentimental value. As what we would often say, "It's the thought that counts."

My photographer friend had a great photo of one of the candidates representing the Filipino Community of Australia trying out pottery making on her own.

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