SAN QUINTIN, Abra, June 28(PIA) – The tradition of the Abra’s indigenous white squash (upo) hat, the famous and distinct “Tabungaw Kattokong”, lives on.
The tabungaw kattukong is an all-weather headgear that can last for years if properly taken care of. It was popularized by Teofilo Garcia, Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Living Treasure) Awardee for Hat Weaving in 2012.
The National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) has been funding the technology transfer project on the production of the tabungaw kattokong in this municipality since 2013.
Garcia himself serves as the trainer. He is a pride of San Quintin.
The project is being implemented in partnership with the San Quintin National High School (SQNHS) headed by Dr. Herman Barcena.
Garcia teaches the students of SQNHS every details of the production process from planting the choice seeds of the round-shape upo and caring until the fruit grows unscratched and perfectly shaped and collected and dried.
The intricate design of the tabungaw kattukong is supported by finely-split bamboo slats to protect the upo from being broken and de-formed from its natural round-shape. The hat is further finished by varnishing it to make it shiny and attractive and to enhance and preserve its color and durability for more marketability.
The work of Garcia as an artist is being documented and his book will be published soon, District Supervisor Christopher C. Benigno of the San Quintin Department of Education informed. The NCCA is funding the book project on Garcia. Maria Teresa B. Benas(JDP/MTBB - PIA CAR, Abra)