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Thriving garlic industry inspires Ilocos town to open new museum

PINILI, Ilocos Norte — Once used as a hide out and training ground of the Sandatahans formed by rebel priest, Monsignor Gregorio Aglipay who founded the Aglipayan Church, the town of Pinili in Ilocos Norte is set to open a new museum and make known of this historic municipality as the center of garlic industry in the Philippines.

Pinili, Ilocos Norte (Photo courtesy of Google Map)

Pinili, Ilocos Norte (Photo courtesy of Google Map)

Located along the national highway in Darat, Pinili town or about 38 kilometers from Laoag City, the Pinili Garlic Center houses a new museum featuring the multiple uses of garlic claimed for its medical benefits and a main ingredient in various culinary delights.

Adorned with baskets of harvested garlic as the centerpiece of the museum, other arts and crafts and memorabilia that describe the traditional Ilocano way of life are also on exhibit.

Freshly-harvested garlic, onions and other high value crops and processed agricultural products including garlic chips, salt, vinegar, bagoong (fish sauce) are also neatly arranged at the right corner for sale.

At the right corner is also a display of binakol (an Ilocano term for twill) loom weaving materials where visitors can actually see how the intricate geometric design likened to an optical illusion are made.

Pinili residents also take pride of its master weaver Magdalena Gamayo, a national living treasure) whose works up to this day are admired by many. Her works are also available for purchase at the museum.

Evay Aguinaldo, a long-time garlic vendor in Darat, Pinili town said the new museum is an added tourism attraction in their municipality which also allows them to earn more as visitors would stop and buy their products for take home and pasalubong to family and friends.