My former SLU psych professor, Fr. Evarist Verlinden, once showed us a beautifully (and painstakingly) carved 1-piece Belen (with complete characters!). We all agreed that it was really very beautiful work of art.
Then he ranted that the carvers of Baguio and Benguet should instead put the pieces of wood to good use like making an art piece like the Belen he showed us, instead of those nasty wood carvings sold in the market.
When I was a kid, one of the popular Baguio souvenirs was an Igorot in a barrel, whose sex organ would pop out once you lift out the barrel. It was more or less, funny.
In the late 80s, wood carvers became more daring by carving the almost exact replica of the male sex organ with its size more than the normal. It was no longer funny. It was obnoxious, and it was too shameful for somebody to buy one as a souvenir.
Now, perhaps, with the low sales from those pieces, the male phallic symbol is smaller and more discreet. However, it has been "mass-produced" by making the penis "more affordable" through key chains!
Now, I wonder, "Is this how Baguio wants to be remembered?"
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
1:22 AM INKBLOTS 4 comments