"To create the Boklan Art, the artists need four main elements: the seeds, the plywood, the glue and their talent. "Boklan" comes from the word "Bukel" which means seed."

Rice, monggo, ipil-ipil, corn and everything are seeds and grains! And who would expect at first glance that these arts are products of seeds and grains joined together for one purpose? Some of these seeds and grains are very useful for daily living since we eat them but some are not so useful for everyone like the ipil-ipil seeds which just drop down the ground.

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But in this event, all the seeds are useful because the more seeds you have, the better the result of the art. 

To create a colorful and lovely end-product, the artists need many combination of different seeds with different colors and different appearances to achieve a perfect blend and shades of color. 

Last May 2011, I was able to witness the Boklan Arts Festival 2011 showcasing the artistic capabilities of the Ilocanos in turning seeds into a wonderful piece of an art. 

Students, children, adults, professionals, amateurs and the like all gathered at Vigan's Nueva Segovia Street to transform the seeds with them into an awesome craft.

Just in front of the Arzopispado de Nueva Segovia, the only surviving colonial archbishop palace in the Philippines (and probably in Southeast Asia), all the artists sitted on a place while a piece of plywood is laid down then surrounded by themselves to join hands in creating a Boklan Art out of those seeds and the square plywood. To create the Boklan Art, the artists need four main elements: the seeds, the plywood, the glue and their talent. "Boklan" comes from the word "Bukel" which means seed.

Did you see the transformation of these seeds? Isn't it so great that out from these seeds is a hidden beauty and appeal? Truly, art does not choose a medium, anything can be. It just depends on how the hands of the artist can craft them.

Everyone was all busy doing their own craft. The Boklan Art Contest started around 8am and it was finished after 8 hours. Well, it wasn't easy to paste the seeds, design and furnish them. No wonder why 8 hours of making was the time frame. In fact, in the first ever Boklan Arts Festival, I was also an artist (slight, lol) who joined that competition. I was in first year college back then and I was one of the representatives of the VCSO (Vigan City Scholars' Organization) where I belong.

Yes, I was a scholar of the city government and all of us were required to support and join every cultural activity that is happening in our city in return of the favor. So, incidentally, our main artist needed some help to do the art. He is from Manila. Luckily I was endorsed to help him together with one of my scholar-mates. We did the art and fortunately, we won the competition. Our prize was 15, 000 pesos. So, we were the first ever winner of the Boklan art festival and that's already carved in the history of Vigan. Our Boklan art was then displayed at the Vigan Culture and Trade Center where it was viewed by a lot of people as an exhibit. It was a great experience! Now, it's time for the newer generation to bring out the best from them.

There you have some of the finished Boklan Arts which were held into a parade around the old Plaza Salcedo. Hundreds of crowd and tourists as well flocked around Plaza Salcedo to witness the parade of this Boklan Arts.

After the contest has finished, all the finished Boklan Arts were held into a parade around Plaza Salcedo.

Boklan Arts Festival happens annually in Vigan every first week of May which coincides with the Karbo Festival.




Born and Raised in Vigan, Philippines. Hardcore Ilocano-Cordilleran. Professional Nurse on Weekdays. Coffee Addict. Travel Blogger in Between. For collaboration or partnership, email your business proposal at admin@edmaration.com.

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