The “Sarukod ti Apo” Product launch was held last September 6-10, 2018 in time for Panagdadapun Festival 2018, the most awaited founding anniversary celebration of the Province of Quirino where all Quirinians come together to celebrate their unity amidst diverse and colorful culture. One of the highlights of the event was the first ever Quirino’s Indigenous Arts and Crafts Exhibit, the Sarukod Ti Apo being at the centerpiece. It is also the culminating activity of a project in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the “Sarukod ti Apo” Project.
The “Sarukod ti Apo” is being inspired by the province’s bounty of nature that includes numerous hiking trails leading to beautiful tourist spots of caves, waterfalls, rivers, viewpoints and mountain peaks. Currently, the province’s tourism industry promotes Quirino as a province of Nature, Culture and Adventure. Clean, swift rivers, soaring limestone cliffs, roaring waterfalls, rolling cornfields and lush forests are just some of the sights that inspire its residents and tourists. It also has a very rich and diverse culture and is home to twenty-one (21) cultural groups including the Indigenous Groups of Agta and Bugkalot who were the first to live and hunt in the forested foothills of the Sierra Madre mountains.
“Sarukod” is an Ilocano word which means hiking pole, is the embodiment of what Quirino is all about: beautiful natural landscapes, unique and diverse culture and rich history and cultural heritage. The pole head which is the Philippine Scarlet Hornbill, also known as kalaw, plays a very important role in the history and culture of the Bugkalots living in the southwestern part of the province. It symbolizes status, maturity and bravery. The rings attached to the pole represent the many hiking trails leading to the many beautiful tourist spots in the province.
Finally, a product is out to represent the province of Quirino. Through the Sarukod ti Apo, the cultural heritage of the 21 cultural groups was translated into one item and through the process of conceptualization and development of the product, the almost forgotten richness of culture is enriched and conserved.
The “Sarukod” is a product of three (3) groups of local artists: the Bugkalots of Nagtipunan, the Ifugao Wood Carvers of Cabarroguis and the IMAQ (I am an Artist of Quirino)/Quirino Visual Artists/Art Teachers. The Sarukod serves as a souvenir item from the province of Quirino and must not be used as a working pole.