Cagbang: The Pottery World of Miagao
Belle Piccio | Feb 19, 2016
Pottery-making is one of the undying arts in Miagao, Iloilo next to its hablon weaving industry. The making of pots and earthenware comes from skillful hands combined with creativity. These wares are as it can be used to adorn our houses and, at the same time, serve as storage for things.
Brgy. Cagbang is a small barrio in the western portion of the Miagao Municipality. The community has been known in Iloilo’s history of its pottery-making as it was once the only source of earthenware in the province.
Most residents of the barangay are into pottery-making. It is their main source of livelihood. The barangay is a laid back community that enjoys a simple way-of-living and showcasing the barrio’s creativity through pottery.
Cagbang is known for a variety of earthenware, here’s a list of what they commonly produce:
- Banga (jars for clean water storage)
- Kalan (stove)
- Kulon (native cooking pot)
- Paso (pot for plants)
The products are sold in their local market and to nearby municipalities like Oton. They also have big clients coming from the province of Antique that orders in bulk.
Traditional method of pottery-making is still being practiced in Brgy. Cagbang. The “daga” or clays used are just found in their own backyard. The daga is also found in open fields near a body of water like rivers.
Making pots the traditional way using daga is a long and tiring process.
The clay is usually mixed with sand and water before molding. The amount of mixture depends on what kind of pottery you’ll be making. Knead the mixture using your bare hands working out the air bubbles. When the mixture is ready, you can mold the clay using a wooden paddle or placing it on a potter’s wheel. Mold the clay with your bare hands while spinning the wheel.
The freshly molded pot or product is then stored in a cool dry place away from the direct heat of the sun to dry. When the pot is ready, it is cooked for a few minutes to about an hour on fire using dry hay. The last part is painting the product with wet cement to make it smooth. Let it dry again. You can again paint the pot, now using colored paint, before selling it.
Pottery-making is the main source of income for Cagbanganons. Making pots and other earthenware has been part of their lives for many years. Some families have been in the pottery-making business since from their ancestors.
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How to Get There
From Manila, you can fly to Iloilo (estimated cost of Php3,000++, round trip, one hour).
The Iloilo Airport is 30 minutes (approximately 19 km) away from Iloilo City. From Iloilo City, you can take a “Miagao” or any southbound jeep from Mohon Terminal in Molo District or from the Iloilo Terminal Market.
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