[Vigan] ► Meeting the Oldest Palaspas Weaver for Palm Sunday at 74 years old

THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS FROM READERS
(The full article is posted below this discussion box.)

"All I can see to the face of Lola Conchita is the sincerity in her craft -- that she loves it so much in spite of her age. She started weaving Palaspas when she was 64 years old and at that age, she finds the "need" to do it to earn for a living."

Sitting along the busy street called Liberation Boulevard, Lola Conchita waits for customers to buy her craft called palaspas. At 74 years of age, she is the the oldest among about the 50 palaspas weavers that have occupied the shoulders and sidewalk of the street just in front of the premises of the Simbaan nga Bassit in Vigan City.


I asked other palaspas weavers if I can interview them about this craft [that becomes an industry every Holy Week] and they pointed me to Lola Conchita who hails from San Juan, Ilocos Sur.

I approached Lola Conchita and asked me who am I. I introduced myself as a travel blogger who wants to feature their wonderful craft this Lent. 

Upon saying that I am a travel blogger, she immediately told me that she will be tuning in to the local AM radio program to hear the news. But I told her that I am not involved in any radio program and my audience is internet-based then she stayed silent.

Lola Conchita earns a living through weaving and most of the products that she makes are woven bags, ikamen, and palaspas for the Holy Week.

She will be sleeping at the streets of Vigan overnight and wait for the palaspas buyers the next morning as they celebrate the Palm Sunday.

Rain or shine, she has to stay and wait for the Palm Sunday and sell her woven palaspas.

Lola Conchita told me that she earns 1 thousand pesos every Palm Sunday and she even wished to have 2 Palm Sundays in a year so that she can earn 1000 pesos a day twice a year.

All I can see to the face of Lola Conchita is the sincerity in her craft -- that she loves it so much in spite of her age. She started weaving Palaspas when she was 64 years old and at that age, she finds the "need" to do it to earn for a living.

Lola tells me that this is the only way she can earn. It is the only skill she can share to help her family and from Lola Conchita, she has passed the skill to her children and grandchildren who were mostly with her this time also weaving palaspas to be sold during Palm Sunday.
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Tags: Palaspas | palaspas weaver | pictures of Palaspas weaver | photos of palaspas weaver | palaspas weavers | Palm Sunday | Palm Sunday in the Philippines | Palm Sunday in Ilocos | Palm Sunday in Ilocos Sur | palm sunday in Vigan | Holy Week in Vigan

comment 46 #TownFolks Commented :

guolisha on April 1, 2012 at 9:18 PM said...

Woah an honor to meet such a woman. :) God bless her! And you too.. For making a post on her ;)

Edmaration etc on April 1, 2012 at 9:29 PM said...

Thank u guolisha. God bless us!

MaryJane Tauyan on April 2, 2012 at 12:07 AM said...

wow!! this post is very inspiring knowing that most of the people who's very old already and supposed to just sit and do the leisureness in their life is still working to earn for a living. this lady should be an inspiration to those people who's very busy being lazy! xx

Unsugarcoated Reviews on April 2, 2012 at 12:26 AM said...

This made me feel sad. I wish her the best.

ajpoliquit on April 2, 2012 at 12:30 AM said...

Awww just looking at Lola Conchita's photo, I also wished there were more palm Sundays in a year. I really like your kind of blogging. You always focus on interesting subjects not usually covered by run-of-the-mill travel blogs.

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 12:39 AM said...

Unsugarcoated Reviews on April 2, 2012 12:26 AM said...

This made me feel sad. I wish her the best.

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I was also deeply affected upon knowing that Lola Conchita still needs to work to help her family with that age...

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 12:41 AM said...

ajpoliquit on April 2, 2012 12:30 AM said...

Awww just looking at Lola Conchita's photo, I also wished there were more palm Sundays in a year. I really like your kind of blogging. You always focus on interesting subjects not usually covered by run-of-the-mill travel blogs.

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Whew! Thanks AJ for the very musical words from you

enzo on April 2, 2012 at 2:14 AM said...

It's a sad story. I hope that "lola" earns much this Lenten Season enough to survive her through the next Lent. I wonder how she makes a living when this season is over?

athena on April 2, 2012 at 2:49 AM said...

the expression on her face is so heart-breaking :(
hopefully she'll earn more than what she does.

jamesannjo on April 2, 2012 at 3:54 AM said...

Made me realize again how we should value our money. Some are hardly making a thousand pesos a day, but sometimes we just unwisely spend it. A good and timely realization I got after reading your blog, as the holy week enters. :)

germz on April 2, 2012 at 4:58 AM said...

art, it is. found her fellow palaspasan vendors too here in our place.

Francis Balgos | Ang Pala-lagaw on April 2, 2012 at 11:06 AM said...

I wonder how the interview went through..
With my corporate job, I get to talk to a lot of elderly person over the phone..
Some with advance stages of dementia.
It's rather difficult, but they always have fascinating tales to tell..
Their life's memories and experiences are already worth a lifetime.
Our faces when we age shows how we lived our lives..
And for me, a portrait of an elderly is a story worth telling.
Nice photos!

Budget Biyahera on April 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM said...

Would love to meet her when we visit Vigan! Where does she usually sell her woven goods? Oh, must I say that for a woman of her age, she still creates such interesting pieces. Never dull in the eyes. =)

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 11:57 AM said...

enzo on April 2, 2012 2:14 AM said...
It's a sad story. I hope that "lola" earns much this Lenten Season enough to survive her through the next Lent. I wonder how she makes a living when this season is over?

---
Enzo, she told me she weaves other products such as bag and banig when it i s not palm Sunday

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 11:58 AM said...

athena on April 2, 2012 2:49 AM said...
the expression on her face is so heart-breaking :(
hopefully she'll earn more than what she does.

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Yep, I also wish the same way Athena

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 12:04 PM said...

jamesannjo on April 2, 2012 3:54 AM said...
Made me realize again how we should value our money. Some are hardly making a thousand pesos a day, but sometimes we just unwisely spend it. A good and timely realization I got after reading your blog, as the holy week enters. :)

----
True, some people are so much fortunate in life that we overlook some people who work hard to earn a living like Lola Conchita

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 12:09 PM said...

Francis Balgos | Ang Pala-lagaw on April 2, 2012 11:06 AM said...
I wonder how the interview went through..
With my corporate job, I get to talk to a lot of elderly person over the phone..
Some with advance stages of dementia.
It's rather difficult, but they always have fascinating tales to tell..
Their life's memories and experiences are already worth a lifetime.
Our faces when we age shows how we lived our lives..
And for me, a portrait of an elderly is a story worth telling.
Nice photos!

---
exactly, it shows deep meaning from the experiences in their lives that words can not explain.

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM said...

Budget Biyahera on April 2, 2012 11:38 AM said...
Would love to meet her when we visit Vigan! Where does she usually sell her woven goods? Oh, must I say that for a woman of her age, she still creates such interesting pieces. Never dull in the eyes. =)

---
Sadly she is not from Vigan, she is from San Juan, Ilocos Sur and she only come to Vigan during the Palm Sunday

EnAiRrAh (Ryanne) on April 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM said...

You did a great job, it is a very touching story. You can now host your own travel show :)

marri on April 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM said...

in fairness to LOLA, she 's got only few lines in her face knowing that she's already 74 yrs old.
she reminds me of my grandmother and i surely miss my NANAY TACING. let's give our oldies the proper attention because little things we do for them are very much appreciated.

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 6:27 PM said...

EnAiRrAh (Ryanne) on April 2, 2012 12:15 PM said...

You did a great job, it is a very touching story. You can now host your own travel show :)

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Awww, as of now, I can only do it in my blog Ryanna. haha

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 6:29 PM said...

marri on April 2, 2012 12:26 PM said...

in fairness to LOLA, she 's got only few lines in her face knowing that she's already 74 yrs old.
she reminds me of my grandmother and i surely miss my NANAY TACING. let's give our oldies the proper attention because little things we do for them are very much appreciated.

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I couldn't agree more

Kathy Ngo on April 2, 2012 at 7:24 PM said...

Nice ... nakakatuwa talaga ang mga ganyang kwento ... its a good thing that part of her story gets told.

Grysh Co on April 2, 2012 at 8:51 PM said...

Lola doesn't look like a 74 years old lady at all! She still looks younger than her age. w(°o°)w

A lot of people, especially of the lower social status are very glad to have days such as Palm Sunday. They get to earn more than the usual. Sometimes, on a regular day, they get no profit at all.

Making palms aren't easy, or atleast for me. But it is probably very easy for them. The way i see it, making palm for palm Sunday is like a work of art. Different palm made into different shapes and designs. I find that very awesome.(*^▽^*)

Grysh ★彡
http://gryshco.com

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 11:54 PM said...

Kathy Ngo on April 2, 2012 7:24 PM said...

Nice ... nakakatuwa talaga ang mga ganyang kwento ... its a good thing that part of her story gets told.

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I love learning the stories of ordinary people :)

Edmaration etc on April 2, 2012 at 11:56 PM said...

Kathy Ngo on April 2, 2012 7:24 PM said...

Nice ... nakakatuwa talaga ang mga ganyang kwento ... its a good thing that part of her story gets told.

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Yes, it is not easy, it needs proper training anf of course passion :)

adventuRoj on April 3, 2012 at 12:17 AM said...

Hi Edmar!

Galing ng article ah! Very moving. I really have a soft heart to the elderly, just seeing your images with Lola Conchita's emotions conveyed very well is enough to speak the words of your post. If wishes do come true this holy week, I am one with her in wishing na sana dalawa na lang ang Palm Sunday para naman magka extra income siya. *sniff.

Thanks for sharing this!

Edmaration etc on April 3, 2012 at 12:24 AM said...

OO nga Rojae, my heart is unto her. Hope she will just be ok always and have a happy and contented life.

Your Help on April 3, 2012 at 4:43 AM said...

She makes palaspas with quality, from here we can say that she loves her work!

cherry on April 3, 2012 at 6:59 AM said...

i admire people like lola. earning from what they love to do.

RC Gweniful

bayenmd on April 3, 2012 at 8:03 AM said...

powerful images here.

Edmaration etc on April 3, 2012 at 10:44 AM said...

cherry on April 3, 2012 6:59 AM said...

i admire people like lola. earning from what they love to do.

RC Gweniful

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That's passion :)

Edmaration etc on April 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM said...

bayenmd on April 3, 2012 8:03 AM said...
powerful images here.

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Thanks

merlmd on April 3, 2012 at 1:03 PM said...

behind the faces are sad stories...

Mhe-anne Ojeda on April 3, 2012 at 3:29 PM said...

lola conchita's face captures the dedication to her craft,the love for work and the willingness to sacrifice.those are traits that she can live as legacy to her children and grandchildren more than the money she can get from the palaspas.

Traveler on a Shoestring on April 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM said...

Lola Conchita is so lucky she's alive, could weave and still healthy at 74 years of age. My mom is not as lucky. How I wish I could trade wealth for some more years with my mom:-( Please swing by my page too!

Travellers Confessions on April 3, 2012 at 5:29 PM said...

One thing I miss home is this pamaspas seller super ang dami madaling araw pa lang gising na. In the UK we do have pamaspas or palm cross. But it's free all you have to do is to make your own. Happy Easter! God Bless

Edmaration etc on April 3, 2012 at 11:48 PM said...

merlmd on April 3, 2012 1:03 PM said...

behind the faces are sad stories...

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Hi merlmd, I think not all, Lola Conchita is still happy doing this although she is not fortunate in life because she is contented with the simplicity of her life :)

Edmaration etc on April 3, 2012 at 11:49 PM said...

Mhe-anne Ojeda on April 3, 2012 3:29 PM said...

lola conchita's face captures the dedication to her craft,the love for work and the willingness to sacrifice.those are traits that she can live as legacy to her children and grandchildren more than the money she can get from the palaspas.

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You've said it exactly Atty!

Edmaration etc on April 3, 2012 at 11:51 PM said...

Traveler on a Shoestring on April 3, 2012 5:27 PM said...

Lola Conchita is so lucky she's alive, could weave and still healthy at 74 years of age. My mom is not as lucky. How I wish I could trade wealth for some more years

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God has really given her the favor, and God Bless her

Edmaration etc on April 3, 2012 at 11:53 PM said...

Travellers Confessions on April 3, 2012 5:29 PM said...

One thing I miss home is this pamaspas seller super ang dami madaling araw pa lang gising na. In the UK we do have pamaspas or palm cross. But it's free all you have to do is to make your own. Happy Easter! God Bless

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I must say it is really more fun in the Philippines, hehe

Amadeus Baraan on April 4, 2012 at 12:39 AM said...

This is a moving post! It's refreshing to read something about Palaspas weavers. Kudos!

Edmaration etc on April 4, 2012 at 1:28 AM said...

Thank you sir Amadeus.

ralph on April 4, 2012 at 1:57 PM said...

lola had mastered her craft... nagpaturo ka ba, edmar? Yahweh bless.

http://trunklocker.blogspot.com/2012/03/foreigners-in-singapore-fifth-day.html

Edmaration etc on April 4, 2012 at 2:17 PM said...

Ralph, hindi eh... Pinanood ko lang.

Chilipina on April 6, 2012 at 11:11 PM said...

I don't know why, but this post surely pulled my heartstrings. I feel bad for Lolas who need to work pa. They should be relaxing and be taken care of na lang. :(

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