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Teofilo Garcia, a National Living Treasure Awardee who specializes in making traditional hats made from gourds (upo) or kattokong nga tabungaw. The all-weather headgear is primarily made from native gourds that he grows and harvests himself. The insides are hollowed out, dried, and lined with finely woven rattan matting, while the top part is applied with bright orange or red varnish to make for weather resistance. Mr. Garcia is the only one left in his village who still makes these rather whimsical looking masterpieces. He is currently reaching out to young people in his village who are interested in learning the craft. Visitors are welcome to see his workshop and buy a hat in support of keeping the traditional tabungaw-making alive and vibrant.

How to go — Teofilo Garcia’s workshop is located in the town of San Quintin. You can find it along the main road between Bangued and Narvacan, Ilocos Sur. From the highway intersection in San Quintin, drive or walk up the narrow uphill road. The workshop is located a few hundred meters ahead.


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