Town relives its past through ‘bahay kubo’
TAYUG, Pangasinan—The town square here has turned into a “subdivision” of bahay kubo (bamboo huts) as residents relived history in celebrating the fiesta this month.
“I saw a photo of the original municipal hall of this town and it was a bahay kubo. So, I said, ‘OK, let’s have a bahay kubo competition among the villages,’” Mayor Tyrone Agabas said.
Twenty-one huts, each representing a barangay (village), lined one side of the plaza. Each structure was made of bamboo and cogon as roofing material, surrounded by vegetables and ornamental plants.
“We also asked them to display their products. So, if you noticed, one village displayed eggplants while another had handicrafts and food,” Agabas said.
Barangay Lichauco’s hut was designed by the village chief, Antonio Jacob, said Jocelyn Tugade, secretary of the barangay. “This is more useful as a meeting place, a waiting area.”
On both sides of the hut’s interior are bamboo seats attached to the walls. Above is a ledge for flower pots. Hanging bamboo slabs are planted with Chinese kangkong (water spinach). On the front yard are different vegetables produced by a seed company hosted by the village.
Myrna Custodio, village chief of Carriedo, said she designed her hut the way it looked in the olden times. The hut has a receiving area in front with bamboo seats on both sides. An old wood chest serves as center table.
“We did not coat our hut with varnish because this was how a bahay kubo looked liked before,” Custodio said.
She also built a kitchen and planted all the vegetables enumerated in the song “Bahay Kubo” around the hut.
Agabas said that aside from reliving the past, the bahay kubo exhibition was a way of harnessing local construction skills.
“And of course, this is also a good attraction for our town, in time for the fiesta because we do not have natural tourist destinations,” Agabas said.
This was also a way of pushing the municipality’s initiative to enhance its bamboo industry.
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