of the interior plains of Pangasinan. While the bamboo industry is spread out in different parts of the archipelago, it is only in Caboloan where the tradition of transporting bamboo-based products through the cattle caravan persists up to this day and age.
Tourism takes delight in this seemingly quaint, exotic, museum piece of cattle caravans parading at the outskirts of Manila which are occasionally used to attract foreign tourists. The Tourism office however fails to look at the caravan beyond its cultural significance.
In Pangasinan alone, handicraft industry is boasted as the top dollar earner. Ironically, the industry does not translate to the upliftment of small handicraft family businesses, more so, the mercantile needs of viajeros of the cattle caravan. It is the class of middlemen and big-time exporters who benefit from its economic advantages, citing Pepe Ferrer’s phenomenal success. Viajeros and handicraft makers alike succumb to loans with interests which middlemen force on them. In the end, they become indebted for life.
The cattle caravan is merely a recipient of reject products which did not pass the export standard NACIDA has established during Marcos time. Today, young, aggressive and mostly Chinese entrepreneurs are the ones which replaced the NACIDA, as exporters of bamboo-based products. The rejects from this exporting companies are the ones which trickle down the local market including those peddled by the caravan traders. The debilitating effect of the plastic wares’ competition against the bamboo in recent times heightens the already disadvantaged position of small merchant traders.
How will globalization affect the cattle caravans of Ancient Caboloan? Will the world economic system submerge it by its gigantic tentacles from first world capitalists? Will it be obscured by dominant cultures? Or will its recuperative nomenclature ‘glocalization’ recognize the distinctiveness of its existence? Locating the caravans of Caboloan in the context of globalization, this researcher finds the persistence of feudal culture in an age of robust commercialization and industrialization.
In summary, this ethnocultural mapping is deemed important because it privileges the articulation and the lifeways of the folk and how their stories, narratives and thought patterns intersect in the elite construction of Pangasinan history. With this presentation, I hope that it deepened somehow your understanding of the popular cultural archetypes such as Princess Urduja and the Virgin of Manaoag. Furthermore, I hope that it gave you a sense of pride in terms of our roots and origins through the anachronistic cattle caravan and the earlier historical and trading relations between the coastal Panag-asinan and the interior Caboloan.
This general introduction to the study of Pangasinan is also hoped to expand the limited texts that we have. While we do have many schools and universities in Pangasinan concentrated mostly in Dagupan such as the University of Luzon, University