BILA, BAUKO, MOUNTAIN PROVINCE – Diwin is a traditional pottery technique and a local craft practiced through generations in the community of Bila since time immemorial. According to Rosita Coneng, a traditional pot maker of Bila, one of the summer destinations and activities loved by tourists in their municipality is the traditional pottery making unique to their barangay.
“Pag summer lalo na kapag pandemic, maraming turista dito,” she added.
A lot of tourists also came to visit the barangay because of diwin sessions and apprenticeships offered by the local potters. Coneng shared that tourists do not miss the chance of experiencing local pottery making. Hence, after visiting the surrounding farms and mountains in their barangay, tourists ensure to have a fulfilling experience of their local spirit.
“Masaya lagi ang reaksyon nila habang ginagawa nila yung mug nila,” she said. This traditional pottery making is truly a spectacle in which visitors of barangay Bila should not forget to include in their itinerary.
On cultural preservation
Coneng also emphasized that pottery making is not just a form of livelihood for them but an identity of their community as a whole, which they make sure to share and pass for future generations.
Additionally, Baltazar Gao-ay, Administrative Assistant, Municipal Tourism Office, reiterated the significance of youth involvement in the preservation of such traditions that serve as their livelihood.
“As one of the livelihood and attractions here in Bauko, we educate young ones by helping the LGUs nurture children into that specific tradition,” he said. Young apprentices, especially elementary students are also being taught by the potters, because it is fun and easy to learn, added by Coneng.
On community development
Preserving the old way of pottery making was also emphasized by Gao-ay. According to him, it shows how people help one another by teaching new skills to their community members. He reiterated that traditional pottery-making is also a source of sustainable livelihood.
The increase in the number of tourists in Bauko continues to give hope to the tourism industry of Bauko. But, as stated by Gao-ay, there is a problem monitoring the number of visitors in Bauko. Cases like this can be dangerous because visitors might encounter unfortunate events during their visit without the municipality’s knowledge.
With this, the Tourism Awareness Program established in 2022 is being developed once again. The program aims to educate the residents, tourists, tour guides, and tricycle drivers on the importance of tourism for the municipality.
“If people will understand tourism and embrace tourism it helps to uplift the economic status of the people. It provides a livelihood and works for tour guides, the booming of tourism in a locality can be one of the backbones of some sectors such as agriculture, business, food industry, and accommodations,” Gao-ay reiterated.
He also reminded tourists to register online, be responsible, and pay the 100-peso environmental fee, to fully enjoy the tourist spots and traditional pottery making with zero worries.