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FOLK ARTS FROM CAGAYAN VALLEY AND CENTRAL LUZON

CAGAYAN VALLEY
Cagayan Valley is Region II. It is a wide valley in the northeastern part of Luzon and
irrigated with the waters from Cagayan River the longest river in the country. During the early
times, the valley is believed to be dominated by the elephants and other animals that are already
extinct in the Philippines. Fossils displayed in the National Museum includes bones and
skeletons of prehistoric animals. Recent archaeological finds revealed that it is in Cagayan that
the earliest human appeared which dates back as far as 22,000 years old.
Cagayan Valley is composed of the provinces of Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva
Viscaya, and Quirino.

BATANES
The Ivatans are people living in Batanes group of islands. They are often visited by
typhoons. This is the reason why they learned to adapt to the frequent weather disturbances as
manifested in their stone houses made of limestone. Most of the Ivatans are farmers and
fishermen. They plant garlic and herd livestock such as cows.
The Ivatan women wears a head gear called vakul. It is a clothing to protect them from
the heat of the sun and during the rainy season. This special clothing is woven from abaca fiber
or the vuyavuy palm a plant similar to coconut.

NUEVA VISCAYA
The Gaddangs of Nueva Viscaya are known for their crafts and textiles. Nueva Viscaya is
located near Ifugao, Benguet and Quirino. This province is mountainous.
Gaddang weavers are known for their bakwat, a belt used mothers after giving birth. This
cloth, unlike of the ikat of the Ifugaos, is usually made of white with beads as accents and
patterns of rivers and mountains with beadworks on the central portion of the cloth.

BULACAN
The historic town of Bulacan is regarded as the center for canon-making before the
coming of Spain. It was in Barasoain Church where the first written constitution in Asia was
adopted and many more historic events.
Bulacan arts and crafts include singkaban, pastillas wrapper, and fire crackers. Singkaban
is the local term for bamboo arches elaborately designed with kayas. The old Bulacan women
usually cut intricately pastillas wrappers with different linear, curvilinear, and geometric designs
that blend with the color of the paper. Puni or poni is decoration during fiestas and special
occasions made from young coconut leaves those that are popularly used during Palm
Sunday. The province is also known for its firecracker industry. Fire crackers are enjoyed by
many people especially at night during fiestas and celebrations.

PAMPANGA
Pampanga is known for its giant lanterns or parol. Big lanterns with several lights,
shapes, and colors are used to adorn houses, streets, and buildings especially during Christmas
season. These lanterns serve as inspiration to many Filipinos and reminds us of our identity as a
nation.
Food is an important part of Pampango culture and a source of artistic expression. A
cabalen is to have a delicate taste. This type of art is called culinary art the art of preparing
food. The Pampangos also incorporate the arts in their food such as weaving the coconut leaves
wrapping for their delicacy called patupat.

ZAMBALES, TARLAC, NUEVA ECIJA, AND BATAAN


Nueva Ecija is known for its rice production. Aside from rice, they also plant onions,
garlic, and other vegetable. In the Tanduyong Festival, the Nueva Ecijanos celebrate
thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest each year.
Tarlac and Bataan played important roles In shaping the Philippine history and
government. The last defense of the Filipinos and American troops in the Philippines fell to the
Japanese forces during World War II. After the fall of Bataan, prisoners of war marched from
Bataan to Tarlac in a historic Death March.
Zambales is known for its mangoes and other indigenous fruits such as camachile,
cashew, and others. Because of its proximity to Mount Pinatubo, Aetas are often found in the
public market of Iba selling their baskets, bilao, and other woven products made from bamboo,
rattan, and other materials that thrives in the mountains.
Patupat, a delicacy from Pampanga are also found in the Iba market together with other
native delicacies.
Folk arts in these provinces resulted from the merging of the traditional belief and
Christianity. The unique blend created by this merger provided a new horizon in the art
particularly in making jewelries, bead works, and other souvenir items particularly those that are
sold in Subic and Olongapo City.

LAGUNA
Laguna is the home province of our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. This lakeside
province is rich in natural resources and blessed with fertile soil for farming.
The Lagunense are proud of their wood carving in Paete. This town is dubbed as the
Wood Carving Capital of the Philippines. Most of the Paete motifs are floral and full of curves
and hooks which they call ukit.
Lucban is famous for its barong Tagalogs
embroidered to perfection.

that are carefully woven by hands or

Other form of folk arts in Laguna are kayas and taka. Taka is a papier mache technique
while kayas is a type of art made by scrapping the softwood thriving in sierra Madre Mountain
and make them into beautiful floral and faunal decorations.

RIZAL PROVINCE
Angono in Rizal province is the Arts Town of the Philippines. Two of the National Artists
hail from this town Carlos Francisco for painting and Lucio San Pedro for Music.
The town of Angono is home to many visual artists. The town is also famous for its
petroglyphs that are among the oldest artistic expressions in the Philippines and listed as a
national cultural treasure. These petroglyphs are said to exist since 3,000 BC.
Angono is also known for its Higantes Festival, a celebration conceptualized in 1980s by
Perdigon Vocalan. In the colonial times, the town folks makes higantes, a big papier mache of
human figures to air their sentiments about the Spanish hacienderos. The traditional higantes are
composed of a father, a mother and a child giant measuring four to five feet talla and usually
seen in fiesta celebrations to add fun and color. The higantes of Angono are made of
papermache which was probably influenced by Mexican art.

CAVITE AND TAAL, BATANGAS


Cavite is the most populous province in the country. From the land of tulisanes during the
Spanish time, Cavite is now the haven of foreign investors and for those who are looking for a
greener pasture.
Cavite is known for its Tinis Kawit celebrated during Christmas season, the tradition
narrates the story how Joseph and Mary found a place to give birth to Jesus. Other important
tradition is Karakol dancing during fiesta celebrations, the Lutrina or the Santacruzan of the
farmers. Art is often associated with food such as the colourful sapin-sapin atype of delicacy
made from grounded glutinous rice, tilbok, putok, puto, kutsinta, and lansong.
According to some accounts, Taal was founded by Datu Balensuela (or Balensusa) and
Datu Dumangsil two of the ten Bornean castaway datus. Currently, Taal is the cradle of
Tagalog culture.
Taal, Batangas is popular for its embroidered pinya fabric made from the fibers of
pineapple. The silky but delicate fibers of pineapple are woven into a costly fabric for pinya
barong, wedding gowns, and other formal attires.
Taal is also the barong Tagalog and Balisong Capital of the Philippines. The Batangueos
take pride in their balisong a type of knife that can be folded like a fan which comes in
different sizes. Balisong is also known as butterfly knife.

QUEZON
The town of Lucban Quezon is famous for its Pahiyas Festival every May in honor to
San Isidro Labrador the patron saint of farmers. The festival is not complete without the

colourful kiping decors that are made from ground glutinous rice thinly coated on a special
leaves and cooked over a low fire. The colored kipings are made possible by adding the desired
colored into the kiping mixture.
Aside from Lucban, other municipalities have their own version of Pahiyas such as
Pabitin, San Isidrohan, Aranya, and many more.

BICOL REGION
Bicol region is known for its baskets, bags, slippers, coin purses and other crafts that are
made from abaca and raffia fibers. The abundance of these natural fibers in the region prompted
the Bicolanos to excel in weaving. Unlike the northern cultural communities, their motifs are
simple.
The town of Buhi in Camarines Sur is known for its weaving. Their weaving includes
garments, mosquito nets and blankets. They use cotton from Manila which were later dyed into
several colors in the town. Weaving is a century old tradition in Buhi.

MARINDUQUE, MINDORO, AND ROMBLON


The island provinces of Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, and
Romblon are known for fine baskets and mar weaving. For example, the Iraya Mangyan in
Mindoro are fond of making baskets with intricate patterns and designs of men, animals, and
trees and other objects. In Marinduque, mat weaving from buri or raffia plant is the popular craft.
They are also known for their Moriones Festival celebrated every Lenten season.
On the other hand, Romblon is known not only for its fine marble products but also for
their beautifully woven mats and bags out of romblon plant.

PALAWAN
Known as the countrys last frontier, Palawan is rich in cultural and natural diversity. The
Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the recently recognized Seven Wonders of Nature
officially confirmed on January 28, 2012.
It is said that the first inhabitants of Palawan are the Tagbanuas. There are to groups of
Tagbanuas in Palawan each group speak a different language that belongs to Austronesian
Palawan language group. The Tagbanuas are believed to be the descendants of Tabon Man and
most civilized indigenous people to live in Palawan because they already have a writing system
that they used in communication. Similar to Buhid and Hanuno scripts of Mangyans in Mindoro,
this ancient writing system can be the earliest attempt of the Filipinos to document their own
history.