blame me if this was what i immediately visualized the day i dropped by wilcon builders depot along alabang-zapote road last week and saw the different pots for sale.
i think this scene became partly unforgettable because it made me see that pottery making needed a lot of concentration and not a welcome diversion or temptation.
well, i did not go there for these pots but rather to look for three pieces of floor tiles which would substitute the cracked ones in our house. i was unsuccessful in finding the tiles with a similar design, but it did not give me a reason to leave the place right away. you see, builders depots are actually one of the places i enjoy exploring even if i wouldn’t really be buying anything. the sight of construction materials would allow me to build my dream house in minutes subconsciously.
that day, after finishing my usual tour, i lingered at the landscape gardening section because of these pots. as i took photos, i wondered where they were made.
back in bicol, pottery making is an in-demand source of livelihood and industry in tiwi, albay.
i had a very vivid recollection of this place since my first set of cooking “utensils” was made of clay and was bought in tiwi during a visit with my family. i took care of those clay cooking set because its fragile. having it in tact would make it really looked good as i pretended cooking in it with my playmates.
it is because of this childhood fondness which made me approve of my sister nano’s ingenious suggestion to have these mini clay cooking pots as my wedding giveaways in 1997. she took care of everything from buying and shipping from tiwi. a family friend and my oldest brother’s “kumpare“, miguel “bong” zuñiga, handpainted the data on the “kuron” (bikol term for clay pot) while we manually glued the accents. everything became a labor of love!
i guess it’s no surprise now why i have this special affinity to pots. seeing them will always give me those indelible flashbacks which have made me appreciate my ethnicity a lot.