W O R L D -
C L A S S
P O T T E R Y -
M A K I N G
My second day in Albay for my "I Love Albay!" Blog Series Tour was supposed to be a boat ride to Rapu-rapu Island and other neighboring islands off the shore of Bacacay. Unfortunately, there was a Low Pressure Area (LPA) declared by the PAGASA that early morning as I sat hunched up on my Tyche Boutique Hotel bed before a TV set. Gloom came over me. A certain gloom that was as nondescript as the overcast sky outside my hotel room.
I'm normally a curious traveler so I psyched myself up with a cheery disposition. Unperturbed by the bad weather, I changed into my island tour outfit -- board shorts and all. Just as I was about to apply suntan lotion on my body, I received the worse news. The boat ride was canceled and the luau party was going to be held at a mainland resort... inside a mess hall. The whole day of boating was to be converted into a tour of a site with jars of clay for display. My heart skipped a beat. My warm countenance suddenly became as fragile as the relics that I dreaded of viewing that morning.
|An American tourist inspecting the ceramic displays|
Century-old Practice of Pottery-making
Upon seeing the facility where the decorative ceramics are produced in Philceramics, I realised that they were not relics at all. Nothing was old at the site except the practice of pottery as craftmanship in Tiwi where the tour destination was set. Made of red clay called terra cotta, the earthenware was all over the place, lined up in interesting patterns. Some were against the walls and a few were stashed inside giant ovens.
Two or three pottery makers were seated at an open space of the facility like they were grooming pet dogs for the public to see. It was interesting to view the actual process of how jars of various types were being shaped from having no shape at all. I actually took a video of one such process with my digicam.
Tiwi As The Terra Cotta Center
I learned from Tabaco Travel and Adven-tour's Maria Anna Banadera that Philceramics is located in Barangay Putsan and the site's name is short for Philippine Ceramics Arts and Crafts Center. The site is in the municipality of Tiwi which is 12 kilometers from the commercial center of Tabaco City, 39 kilometers from Legazpi City, and 538 kilometers from the center of Metro Manila.
The art of pottery is considered a century-old practice in Tiwi which is why a lot of Filipiniana-oriented shops in other cities in the Philippines prefer to get their wares there. The clay that's being used there is actually considered world-class and in good quality for export. Funded by the government under the General Appropriations Act of 1994, the facility aims to promote the development of the terra cotta industry in the Bicol Region towards global competitiveness. Pottery makers from neighboring barangays like Bolo and Baybay also find the site to be a decent showroom of their skills.
Photography by Josua Chan
and Karl Ace
My tour of Philceramics was made possible by Tabaco Travel Adven-tour.
For tour updates, contact Maria Anna Banadera at 0916-293-8743 or 0947-690-9098 or 0932-882-3771. Check out the official Facebook fan page here.
My "I Love Albay!" Blog Series Tour:
More Photos Below: