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Sarok: Consolacion's heritage

- Dionne Dennia B. Monsanto () - February 3, 2007 - 12:00am
Consolacion is known for its sarok industry. Sarok is a head cover made of woven bamboo strips and banana leaves. The weaving process takes two to three hours.

Saroks were made by farmer in the 1920s to protect themselves from the heat of the sun or the cold rain when they were doing the chores at their farms.

A 20-minute motorcycle ride from the national road is Barangay Tolo-Tolo, the home of the many sarok weavers and makers of Consolacion.

Lily Guaca, 63, has woven saroks for 48 years now. "Kaming mga katiguwangan diri ang mga orihinal nga tighimo ug sarok, sukad pa gyud sa una." (We, elders and our parents are the original sarok makers.)

Lily started making saroks when she was only 15 years old. She made the saroks used by the Cabangahan National High School contingent-the Grand prize winner of the Sarok Festival 2006 Folk Dance Competition-and also made the biggest sarok during the 86th Founding Anniversary of the Municipality of Consolacion.

However, Lily fears that the sarok weaving industry may not propagate because most of the youth, especially those in their barangay, are not very interested to learn the skill of weaving.

Lily Guaca's husband, Donato Guaca, also 63, says that despite their passion and love for craft, they still search for other means of livelihood. "Ang baligya sa sarok sauna, mga 1960s, kay 20 - 25 sentimos. Karon, bisag mudagan na sa 40 -60 pisos, dili gyud madala uy. Mangita gihapon mi ug laing panginabuhi para gyud mi mabuhi. Pero amo gihapon ug gihatagan ug dakong pagtagad ug importansya ang sarok." (During 1960's, saroks were sold at 20-25 centavos. At present, even though it is already sold at 40-60 pesos, depending on the size, we still look for other means to earn a living for us to survive, But we still give much importance to sarok making.)

Lily stressed that the probable reason why sarok was chosen as the very attribute of the municipality to be celebrated as a festival - the annual Sarok Festival - is because of the beauty and the notable purpose of the sarok.

The Sarok Festival is an annual festivity in Consolacion celebrated every February 14. The festival holds a street dancing competition participated by different primary end and secondary schools in municipality.

Consolacion Mayor Avelino Gungob Sr. says that the sarok is a majort part of the town's history, a symbol of the people's oneness, development, and love of life.

Indeed, it is a symbol of love.

BARANGAY TOLO-TOLO CABANGAHAN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CONSOLACION CONSOLACION MAYOR AVELINO GUNGOB SR. DONATO GUACA FOLK DANCE COMPETITION FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF CONSOLACION LILY GUACA SAROK SAROK FESTIVAL
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