July 25, 2024

BAUKO, Mountain Province – Intangible heritage like knowledge of folk arts and crafts is perhaps one of the greatest legacies an ethnic community could receive from their ancestors. These cultures and traditions being passed down create an identity that makes every indigenous group unique from each other.
In Barangay Bila, Bauko, Mountain Province thrive the traditional pottery called “diwin”. There are no records of when pottery started in the village but this craft is believed to have been practiced way before the record of the barangay’s first ever leaders in the early 1900s.
Diwin is not just a tradition; it is one of the community’s economic sources.
Bila is known for its clay pots or “banga” used for cooking and jars for water storage. In the olden times, the people of Bila traded their products as far as the lowlands bartering them with the goods they needed like fish and salt.
With the emerging challenges in the changing times, innovations of bringing together culture and science in the diwin are introduced to benefit more people.
The Department of Science and Technology partnered with the local government of Bauko for the ceramic water filter production project after Bila’s clay passed the requirements for the ceramic water filter technology patented by the DOST-Industrial Development Institution.
Bila’s ceramic water filters, which are easy to carry and useful during emergencies, have even reached Mindanao.
DOST-CAR is regularly acquiring the locally produced ceramic water filters as part of the non-food item stockpile for emergencies.
Bila Punong Barangay Rodrigo Payacda said making the diwin through traditional methods has become a livelihood for some members of the community.
Aside from DOST, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Trade and Industry have extended support through trainings and equipment.
“Adu iman nan tulong di gobyerno kaman sinan Tesda, DOLE, ya DTI. Wada nan inted da ay tulong para sinan nay da kaman kuma sinan livelihood program, equipment, ya training,” (The government, through Tesda, DOLE and DTI, has given a lot of assistance. They have given livelihood programs, equipment, and training) he said.
The local pottery making is also becoming a tourist attraction.
Testament to this is the Bila Tourism Village featuring the barangay’s pottery placing second in the 2023 Cordillera’s Search for Best Tourism Village organized by the Department of Tourism-Cordillera. It placed sixth in 2022.
Local officials are taking steps to preserve and promote the diwin. The barangay LGU institutionalized the celebration of the Diwin Festival every last week of December.
Officials are also planning to collaborate with the Department of Education to include diwin as one of the curricula for grades 5 and 6 pupils to nurture the craft and strengthen its conservation.