In celebration of the Elderly Filipino Week and International Day of Older Persons, the Sampung Ulirang Nakatatanda Awards is held annually on first Sunday of October to recognize the outstanding Filipino older people who have made exemplary contributions to the country.
Ms. Agatona Cachero or Nana Agatona to many, 97, one of the Sampung Ulirang Nakatatanda Awardee is a native of Barangay Pong-ol, Vigan City. She was born on December 26, 1919. To this day, she continually upholds the preservation of one of the city’s traditional industries – the Terra Cotta or Damili Making.
The Terra Cotta or Damili Making Industry has been existing in Vigan City since the 19th century and has been popularly known for the production of traditional cooking pots and stoves, flower pots, bricks, water pipes, decorative pottery, and other clay products. Nana Agatona who has been one of the pioneers of this damili-making continues to share her precious techniques to the younger generation.
Moreover, as a manifestation of her love for literature and the arts, she is annually invited to be the resource person of Historia Oral Competition, one of the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage Cities Solidarity and Cultural Festival which is held every September.
The participating students from the different public and private schools love to listen to Nana Agatona’s stories on old custom and traditions of Ilocano women and stories during the Japanese Occupation.
With her valuable contribution to the society, she has brought great impact into the lives of the young Bigueños. (Joan Guiterrez)