April 2015

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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"Abra has no beach. This river serves as a summer getaway. The sunset here is unique. It represents Abra's distinct landscape."

[BANGUED, ABRA, PHILIPPINES] ▬ The great Abra River is where the sunset appeared this time. So beautiful. It is my first time to write an article about a sunset over a river. I have one article though with photos of sunset over a river but the river was not my subject in that post (hover on photos to reveal the sunset colors).

ABRA RIVER SUNSET

[BANGUED] ▬ THE RIVER REFLECTS THE SUNSET


As our service car passed through the kilometer-long Calaba Bridge in Bangued, the sky is inviting me to stop for a while, savor its beauty and listen to what my heart is saying.

Abra River Sunset in Calaba

The setting sun hovers over the mountain ranges while the river duplicates its beauty. Sky, mountain, river + sunset is so wonderful for me. My happiness is shallow, I know.

ABRA RIVER SUNSET

[BANGUED] ▬ SUNSET, MOUNTAIN, RIVER

ABRA RIVER SUNSET

[BANGUED] ▬ LIFE UNDER THE SUNSET


It is summer, yet the great river doesn't run out of water coming from the mountains. It was vast as the sunset - reminds me of my dreams that's so vast too. You see, sunset puts me into introspection. 

ABRA RIVER SUNSET

[BANGUED] ▬ ONE HAPPY SWIMMER

ABRA RIVER SUNSET

[BANGUED] ▬ FLOATING HUTS ABOUND


Floating cottages abound. People swim in the river. Abra has no beach. This river serves as a summer getaway. The sunset here is unique. It represents Abra's distinct landscape.

 Final Thoughts

In every sunset that I witness, there is peace. That's why I always post an article dedicated for the sunsets I witness in my travels. Beach sunset, mountain sunset - I have them on this blog.

I don't know, but I feel so peaceful whenever I see a sunset. I'm a person who prefers being poor yet with peace of mind than being rich with a lot of pressure and many things to think about. That's why I go for sunset. I choose peace.

Up Next

It was already dark when we reached downtown Bangued and what I witnessed was a parade of lights that defeated the darkness. Trumpets killed the silence. Sound and lights made the night so festive. ▬ to be continued...

KAWAYAN FESTIVAL 2015

[UP NEXT] ▬ THE NIGHT BECAME FESTIVE. IT WAS A GOOD NIGHT. WHAT IS THIS BY THE WAY?

ABRA MARCH 2015 TRAVEL SERIES

Although the stigma of Abra in the politics world is the source of its infamy, there will still be a light to enlighten the dark ages. What are these objects for? Hang on for Part 5.
___________________________________________________
Part 1

[BANGUED] ▬ My First Midnight in the Hill of Cassamata via Oval Era

_________________
TEASER ► ...as the sun sets down with the silhouette of Mt Bullagao, west of the river valley, I leave the place. I never attempted to stay there after dark.
| Part 2

[BANGUED] ▬ Padaya Trade Fair: Abra Local Industries' Heart & Soul

_________________
TEASER ► I thought it would be another ordinary trade fair but I was wrong. The padaya gave me many answers on my search for truth and knowledge: reasons why I love traveling.
| Part 3

[LA PAZ] ▬ A Village of Abel (Loom) Weavers in Abra Called Bulbulala

_________________
TEASER ► Who would have thought that today, their pasture became greener by keeping the inheritance manifested through their weaving skills.
| Part 4 | Part 5

[BANGUED] ▬ Silnag: Night Parade of Floats, Lighted with Love and Pride

_________________
TEASER ► Although the stigma of Abra in the politics world is the source of its infamy, there will still be a light to enlighten the dark ages.
| Part 6

[BANGUED] ▬ A Night of Traditional Dances and Cultural Rites

_________________
TEASER ► I was surprised even more how rich the culture of Abra is. Very rich. Very unique. Their identity and culture make Abra a very interesting province to love and take care.
| Part 7

[BANGUED] ▬ Brgy Patucannay: of Waking Up Early and a Soup Dish

_________________
TEASER ► I observed how they prepare this popular soup dish. They just prepare everything right before your eyes. I saw bones, mainly skulls, in a stainless basin.
| Part 8

[BANGUED] ▬ Kawayan Festival: The Biggest Cultural Show in Abra

_________________
TEASER ► No million-dollar dance show can ever fathom the depth of the meaning of the dances their ancestors wanted them to execute.
| Part 9

[BANGUED] ▬ Bamboo Float Parade and the Cool Mountain Tribes

_________________
TEASER ► They have proven that the province of Abra is a sterling destination for mountain culture lovers.


► FOOTNOTES, DISLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] Big thanks to Abra Vice Governor, Hon Chari Bersamin, for inviting us to witness the Kawayan Festival 2015. With me is Estan Cabigas of langyaw.com.

[2] The map I used below is courtesy of Eugene Villar on Wikipedia.
Source: 1 | 2

___________________________________________________
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MORE POSTS FROM THIS CATEGORY: *SUNSETS*

[VIGAN] ▬ Sunset for the Future, Inspiring People of the Present

_________________
TEASER ► The Bigueño fishermen are heroes of the family they represent. I'm so proud of them.

[VIGAN] ▬ Mindoro Beach: Kissed 2013's Last Sunset Goodbye

_________________
TEASER ► It was freedom! I breathed the last set of fresh air from the ocean this year. I left my last footprints on the "sand."

[VIGAN] ▬ Witnessing 2013's First Sunset in Perspective

_________________
TEASER ► ...that beauty may fade but the memories will stay.

[LIGAO] ▬ Lovely Sunset Over Mt Masaraga

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TEASER ► The clouds were trying to veil the sunset but their capability was just limited to conceal the glorious beauty of the orange sky."

[NARVACAN] ▬ Sulvec Bay: Sunset Over Paraiso ni Juan and the Memoirs

_________________
TEASER ► This sunset I am seeing brings back good memories of dreams and how the simple dreams were fulfilled. Owning a digital camera to capture the sunset was just a fantasy when I was still a student but became a reality later on. This sunset is making me remember that dream.

[STA MARIA] ▬ Magnificent Sunset Over a Remote Barrio Called Gusing

_________________
TEASER ► Unspoiled, sincere, peaceful, surprising - this is the sunset over a remote barrio that is not usually experienced in crowded beaches and touristy islands.

[SAN FERNANDO] ▬ Pagoda Hill of La Union: Everyday is Valentine's Day

_________________
TEASER ► It is a no question why the couple I am seeing is faced before the sky because I have personally seen how romantic the sky that time is.

[LIGAO] ▬ Smoking Mt Mayon During Sunset and Twilight

_________________
TEASER ► The scenery was very unusual seeing a very majestic volcano standing so high in her own splendid making the surrounding communities nearby to live with awe and pride!
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"Who would have thought that today, their pasture became greener by keeping the inheritance manifested through their weaving skills."

[LA PAZ, ABRA, PHILIPPINES] ▬ The cultural immersion I am experiencing in Abra seemed to never stop. After checking out the local products of Abra in the padaya trade fair, I've learned interesting new things, one of them is the weaving industry of Abra. Colorful fabrics called abel were featured in the padaya. But the search for learning doesn't end there because we're going to visit a village known to be the source of these abel products.

ABRA LOCAL PRODUCTS

[LA PAZ] ▬ ABEL WEAVER OF BULBULALA, LA PAZ, ABRA


ILOCOS

ILOCOS

is known to be the source of the woven fabric called abel Iloko like this one woven in Abra. On how abel weaving started in Bulbulala, La Paz is a very interesting story I've discovered as told by a descendant of the original abel weavers who introduced this art in Bulbulala.

However, aside from abel weaving, Abra also has its own distinct traditional weaving done by the Itneg tribes which is different from the Ilocano's abel in terms of design, concept and purpose. But for this post, I will focus on the abel done in Bulbulala.

En Route to Bulbulala

For first-time visitors to Bulbulala, reaching the place is quite a challenge. Although there are road signboards showing the direction to Brgy Bulbulala, you might still need the help of some people to find your directions so I would suggest to hire a tricycle driver who is knowledgeable of the place.

Asking directions from the right person is alright. But for our version of this trip, there was a twist. It was spiced with some unexpected adventures not normally done along the way.

ROAD TO BULBULALA

[LA PAZ] ▬ UNEXPECTED ROAD OBSTACLE TO BULBULALA


We were lucky that someone drove us to Bulbulala. However, the road leading to the village was closed for construction. But we didn't give up the search for the village. We used another route instead which is twice farther than the regular route.

We passed through narrow farm-to-market roads and a river. Good thing the river was shallow so we decided to cross it in the name of  traveling. We didn't expect that we'll be encountering this kind of situation along the way. We survived the route and reached the village by asking direction from people we met along the way.

Bulbulala: a Village of Loom Weavers

Knowing that we've reached the weaving village safely was a breath of fresh air. The village is situated in a hilly terrain. The locals provided  much help in finding our way to the house of a certain Naty Quiday, the most popular household name in the village in terms of abel making.

ABEL WEAVING IN ABRA

[LA PAZ] ▬ FOOT WORKS IN WEAVING

ABEL WEAVING IN ABRA

[LA PAZ] ▬ ANOTHER LOOM WEAVER IN THE VILLAGE

ABRA ABEL WEAVING

[LA PAZ] ▬ THREADS OF VARIOUS COLORS

ABEL WEAVING IN ABRA

[LA PAZ] ▬ ORANGE THREAD

ABEL WEAVING IN ABRA

[LA PAZ] ▬ CAREFULLY EXAMINING THE THREAD


The contact person we were looking for wasn't around because according to one of her helpers, she often travels to showcase her craft to different trade fairs in the Philippines. According to some people we met, the weaving center we've just entered employs women from the community to meet the demands for the product. Leila's loom weaving is the name of the center and it is the largest in the village. However, there are also other households who do the pinagabel.

How Loom Weaving Started in Bulbulala? The Ilocos-Abra Connection

A man introduced himself to us as one of the owners of the loom weaving center. I can't exactly remember his name but he is very closely related to Naty Quiday. Ever since I've learned that there are also abel weavers (agab-abel) in Abra, I've been very curious how this old-age industry (pinagabel) started here. Upon knowing that their surname is "Quiday," a hypothesis suddenly popped out my mind on how the weaving started in the village so I have to ask the man to confirm if my theory is true.

ABEL WEAVING IN ABRA

[LA PAZ] ▬ SELFIE-ING WITH MR QUIDAY, A DESCENDANT OF THE ORIGINAL WEAVERS IN BULBULALA


My theory goes this way: In ILOCOS SUR

ILOCOS SUR

, one can tell where is your hometown (or the hometown of your ancestors at least) basing on the first letter of your surname. In Ilocos Sur, the original settlers of each town have surnames that start with the same letter. Like in the case of the town of #BANTAY

#BANTAY

, original settlers here have surnames starting with letter "P" (Paa, Patubo, Pala-Pala, Pardo, Parilla, Pe Benito, Paroligan, Palpallatoc, Palacpac, Paz, etc). The same with the municipality of #SANTA

#SANTA

wherein surnames start with letter "B" (Bagorio, Bello, Balatico, Balallo, Brillo, Bueno, Benavidez, Bielza, etc) and many more.

In the case of the town of #CAOAYAN

#CAOAYAN

, their surnames start with letter "Q" (Remember Pres. Elpidio Quirino? He's from Caoayan town.) and this town is known to be the home of the best and most number of abel weavers in Ilocos Sur (sadly, the number of weavers is decreasing gradually now). Most weavers from Vigan actually live near Caoayan-Vigan boundary.

[LA PAZ] ▬ PARDON THE WATERMARK, THIS IS IN LA PAZ, NOT BANGUED

[LA PAZ] ▬ PARDON THE WATERMARK, THIS IS IN LA PAZ, NOT BANGUED


Basing on Mr Quiday's surname plus the weaving skills his family has, I was confident to tell him that he is not an original settler of Bulbulala and he must have come from Caoayan. The man smiled and confirmed that my theory is true. He told me that he has a lot of relatives in Caoayan and Vigan, the hometown of his grandparents who migrated in Abra in search for arable land for living. Carrying the bloodline and culture of abel weaving from Caoayan, they settled in Bulbulala and continued the learning they inherited from their Ilocano ancestors. Caoayan is one little coastal town at the mouth of Abra River.

During the old times, people sail via the Abra River to reach the province of Abra. For the ancestors of Mr Quiday, they've found a green pasture in Bulbulala but they did not forget the art they learned from their forefathers.

ABRA LOOM WEAVING

[LA PAZ] ▬ ABEL WEAVING IS NOW A LIVELIHOOD IN ABRA


Who would have thought that today, their pasture became greener by keeping the inheritance manifested through their weaving skills. It's not all about the arable land now. It's about the weaving.

Ending Thoughts: Preserving a Tradition

The tradition of pinagabel is on its glory days. The demand for this fabric is getting high as more people are getting aware of the existence of these textiles. Unlike other arts and crafts on the brink of extinction, the best is yet to come for abel Iloko.

[LA PAZ] ▬ WEAVING THE WHITE THREAD

ABEL WEAVING IN ABRA

[LA PAZ] ▬ INSIDE LEILA'S LOOM WEAVING



According to Mr Quiday, most of the weavers here [now] are migrants (usually women who married a man from Bulbulala). These female migrants learned this art in Bulbula for their living - some are already employed by the weaving center in the village. For these abel weavers, the life in weaving might be a bumpy road, but this road can still lead them to their destination - a place for success and prosperity.

We left Bulbulala satisfied. We witnessed the beautiful sunset on our way home and I'm excited to share to you where have I seen it. ▬ to be continued...

ABRA KAWAYAN FESTIVAL

[UP NEXT] ▬ YOU'LL LOVE THIS SUNSET TOO.

► ABRA MARCH 2015 TRAVEL SERIES

Abra has no beach. This river serves as a summer getaway. The sunset here is unique. It represents Abra's distinct landscape. Hang on for Part 4.
___________________________________________________
Part 1

[BANGUED] ▬ My First Midnight in the Hill of Cassamata via Oval Era

_________________
TEASER ► ...as the sun sets down with the silhouette of Mt Bullagao, west of the river valley, I leave the place. I never attempted to stay there after dark.
| Part 2

[BANGUED] ▬ Padaya Trade Fair: Abra Local Industries' Heart & Soul

_________________
TEASER ► I thought it would be another ordinary trade fair but I was wrong. The padaya gave me many answers on my search for truth and knowledge: reasons why I love traveling.
| Part 3 | Part 4

[BANGUED] ▬ Abra River Sunset in Calaba

_________________
TEASER ► Abra has no beach. This river serves as a summer getaway. The sunset here is unique. It represents Abra's distinct landscape.
| Part 5

[BANGUED] ▬ Silnag: Night Parade of Floats, Lighted with Love and Pride

_________________
TEASER ► Although the stigma of Abra in the politics world is the source of its infamy, there will still be a light to enlighten the dark ages.
| Part 6

[BANGUED] ▬ A Night of Traditional Dances and Cultural Rites

_________________
TEASER ► I was surprised even more how rich the culture of Abra is. Very rich. Very unique. Their identity and culture make Abra a very interesting province to love and take care.
| Part 7

[BANGUED] ▬ Brgy Patucannay: of Waking Up Early and a Soup Dish

_________________
TEASER ► I observed how they prepare this popular soup dish. They just prepare everything right before your eyes. I saw bones, mainly skulls, in a stainless basin.
| Part 8

[BANGUED] ▬ Kawayan Festival: The Biggest Cultural Show in Abra

_________________
TEASER ► No million-dollar dance show can ever fathom the depth of the meaning of the dances their ancestors wanted them to execute.
| Part 9

[BANGUED] ▬ Bamboo Float Parade and the Cool Mountain Tribes

_________________
TEASER ► They have proven that the province of Abra is a sterling destination for mountain culture lovers.


► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

[1] Big thanks to Abra Vice Governor, Hon Chari Bersamin, for inviting us to witness the Kawayan Festival 2015. With me is Estan Cabigas of langyaw.com.

[2] The map I used below is courtesy of Eugene Villar on Wikipedia. Source: 1 | 2
___________________________________________________
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More Stories from #LaPaz

Location Map of La Paz, Abra, Philippines

Map Showing the Location of #LaPaz


YOU MIGHT LIKE: MORE STORIES COVERING ABRA

CLICK MAP TO DISPLAY LATEST ENTRIES COVERING ABRA.

MORE POSTS FROM THIS CATEGORY: *LOCAL PRODUCTS*

[BANGUED] ▬ Padaya Trade Fair: Abra Local Industries' Heart & Soul

_________________
TEASER ► I thought it would be another ordinary trade fair but I was wrong. The padaya gave me many answers on my search for truth and knowledge: reasons why I love traveling.

[DAGUPAN] ▬ Beyond Bangus: Industries for Hopes and Dreams

_________________
TEASER ► While the old cathedral exudes peace and calmness, this area is the contrary. Almost everyone has a mission to accomplish. This street is action-filled."

[VILLASIS] ▬ I Didn't Know there's Tupig in Villasis, Pangasinan

_________________
TEASER ► Villasis is booming, many industries are flourishing, trade and commerce are doing well, but tupig, one little cheap food remains to soar high with pride from the community.

[PIDIGAN] ▬ Virginia Tobacco Farming: The Harsh Wealth of Abra

_________________
TEASER ► For sure there is a harsh effect to health and at the opposite side, there is a harsh effect for the livelihood of the people. Indeed a big debate."

[VIGAN] ▬ Palaspas-Weaving, Waving: a Philippine Holy Week Culture

_________________
TEASER ► This is just another Filipino culture that goes in 4 ways - arts, economy, religion and tradition...

[CAOAYAN] ▬ A Corny Post: Weekend at the Corn Fields isn't Corny

_________________
TEASER ► This post might be corny, uh... trite, dated, melodramatic, or mawkishly sentimental, dull and tiresome but with pretensions of significance or originality, yet I think it is safe to say that spending quality moments at the corn fields isn't a corny stuff.

[BICOL] ▬ The Cultural Shopping: Things to Buy in Bicol

_________________
TEASER ► These products have been a part of the daily living of the Bicolanos and have become their identity - hence a part of their culture. Shop the culture of Bicol now!

[SAN FABIAN] ▬ Pangasinan: Tuba and Talaba, Kings of the Road

_________________
TEASER ► It is noteworthy that these roads hail their own king. They ignore the jeepneys and tricycles but it has given way for industries to thrive in this town.
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.