SAN NICOLAS, Ilocos Norte, April 25 (PIA) – For Cora Cudal of Barangay San Rufino here, the earthenware (damili) industry has sustained her family and brought success to her two children, now Yuppies (young professionls).
Fondly called Nana Cora by her neighbors, she is in her late 50s but still strong to create earthenware products.
She is one of the more than 100 expert potters from seven barangays (Barangays 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 23 and 24) of San Nicolas who currently sustain the centuries-old earthenware livelihood industry of the town.
Despite working under the heat of the sun and with mud in her hands, Nana Cora regards her work worthy as it gives her not only income but joy and happiness. To her, pottery is life.
Nana Cora, who has been making pottery products for almost 30 years already, is a mother of two working professionals. She is one of the potters, who supply the neighboring markets with her earthenware crafts.
“It was originally from Paoay town. I got married to a San Nicoleño (residents of San Nicolas), who is engaged in the pottery making industry. Since I started living in San Nicolas, our neighbors and relatives influenced me to to join the pottery making. As I watched them mold clays, I easily learned the technique on how to create one and since then I began to love the craft,” Cudal narrated.
Aside from banga (cooking pot), Nana Cora also produces maseterya (plant pots), dalikan (clay stove), lusob and malabi (water containers). Like other potters in San Nicolas, Cora supports her family by being a damilian (potter).
Nana Cora and her three co-clay makers including her husband could produce an average of 50 pieces of “plant pots” in a day with an estimated market gross price of P2,000. Her initial expense for “plant pot” making is P250, the cost of a clay soil.
Although work is tough, she is pleased with her pottery products. With her delicate hands and creative mind, she could produce artistic pottery products that help her earned added income for the education of her two children.
“I’m proud that my two children had finished college and landed a job. My daughter is now a pharmacist and my son is now an architect. I can say that without this earthenware business industry, I could not have supported all the school needs of my children during their studies,” Nana Cora revealed. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA- 1 Ilocos Norte/Alyanna Bianca Q. Andres, NWU Intern)