I’ve left the cool Cordillera mountains for the warmth of the plains and a rather amazing city (more like town) by the name of Vigan. Vigan is supposed to have the highest amount of preserved colonial buildings anywhere in the Philippines and I have to say that these old Spanish/Mexican/Chinese/Filipino “relics” make the town very atmospheric indeed. I’ll touch more on that in a future post.
For now I’d like to draw your attention to a specific place in which I’ve spent some time over the past couple of days – a pot factory that has been around since 1922, that’s when the grandfather of a Chinese-Filipino by the name of Fidel started the operation. Fidel’s father continued it the best he could, but eventually went to China, leaving the factory solely to Fidel to look after.
The factory has flourished under Fidel’s care, it has even become somewhat of a national icon and for maintaining the ways of the past Fidel has received the honor of being a living national treasure (I saw the certificate on his wall).
The factory is a fascinating place, after all a buffalo is used to mix the clay and the entire process is about as archaic as can be, but I was also amazed by something else that became apparent during my few visits. That something is the patience and the extremely laid back attitude of everybody at the factory.
Not only were the workers relatively oblivious to my presence and continuous clicking of the shutter, they were extremely co-operative with what seemed like a whole bus of young, noisy Filipino tourists. I don’t know where they were from exactly, but judging by how “otherworldly” their visit to the factory seemed to them, they must have come from somewhere far, like Manila.
It was rather hilarious how fascinated they were by everything, how some were scared of the buffalo and how amused they were, how many joyous screams filled the air. I’d normally be pretty disappointed to come to a place where I’d planned to shoot at the same time as a tourist bus, but I wasn’t too much in this case. These people were rather likable, they were child-like and I guess it is cool that they care enough to visit and to find out about their heritage.
One of the funnier moments came when a couple of girls wanted to ride the buffalo. Again, surprisingly the man who worked with the buffalo obliged to their requests. In the video you see the first girl, I wish I filmed the second one because she let out a really loud scream as soon as the buffalo started to move – weird, awkward, but funny.
If you’re interested in seeing more videos or if you want to have an idea of what I do on a more regular basis, you can “like” my Facebook page. The link is in the top left corner. I’ll be posting more videos, thoughts and behind the scenes stuff there. It’s kinda like an addition to the blog and not everything from the Facebook page will necessarily make it here.
Ok, that’s all for now. More to come soon.