Pottery Center, Balay ni Juan-a Launched at University of Antique


After five decades of hiatus, University of Antique (UA) re-introduced pottery-and-ceramics-making as part of its initiatives in β€œtransforming lives and building communities” in a launching ceremony at the UA Cultural Center on November 29, 2021. UA, formerly Antique School of Arts and Trades (ASAT), was first known as a ceramics school that rose to fame when it was much-admired as one of the best ceramics schools in the country in the 1960s.

The enterprise of reviving the pottery and ceramics industry in the municipality of Sibalom, particularly in Bari village, was inspired by the efforts of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda and the initiative of UA president Dr. Pablo S. Crespo Jr.

According to Dr. Crespo, making Bari village as a pottery center in Sibalom is a β€œcommunity-based tourism concept” where the potters will be organized as an association creating a cooperative that sells their products together.

In a press conference held after the ceremony, Dr. Crespo said that UA curricular programs relating to marketing will be tapped to market the pottery products online through an e-marketing scheme via the Juan-a Go application.

In preparation for this huge project, selected faculty and members of the Bari Potters Association attended a 10-day training on pottery production, kiln operation, and firing techniques conducted by the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in December 2020.

This project involved the development of electric kilns under the Shared Service Facility (SSF) program and Technology Transfer Training to capacitate potters of Bari village in producing quality pottery products and ceramics.

To strengthen this initiative and embed its relevance to the institution, Dr. Crespo said that the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology major in Ceramics Technology will be offered soon in the university to catapult the long-forgotten identity of UA as a popular ceramics school to the top once again.

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As part of the events in the Thanksgiving Day celebration during the golden birth anniversary of Dr. Crespo, Balay ni Juan-a was opened to the public.

Balay ni Juan-a is a bamboo themed hotel which is a component of the Juan-A-Go Tourism Program under the Edutourism initiative of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) which aims to establish local and international linkages and capabilities towards efficient and effective delivery of learning and to improve the infrastructure to support innovations in knowledge generation and education.

The hotel which is partly decorated with bamboo furniture and crafts showcases the mechanism of UA to establish a bamboo nursery project led by main campus director and project manager, Dr. Nelly E. Mistio, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture (DA).

This bamboo project, according to Dr. Crespo, is a totem included in UA’s new tagline β€œBasta UA, may K!” composing the three K’s in 𝘬𝘒𝘸𝘒𝘺𝘒𝘯 (bamboo), 𝘬𝘰𝘳𝘰𝘯 (pottery), 𝘬𝘒𝘳𝘒𝘯-𝘰𝘯 (food and delicacies) which will eventually become the university’s brand.

The launching ceremony was attended by potters from Bari as represented by Mr. Alvin Obrique, president of Bari Potters Association, Hon. Vice Governor Edgar Denosta and Hon. SP Member Alfie Jay Niquia representing the provincial government, Engr. Abraham Fabila, provincial director DOST Antique, representing DOST VI regional director Engr. Rowen Gelonga, and UA’s linkage partners and consultants among others. | π—œπ—”π—£