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‘Taltallak’ becomes Cordillera town icon

Posted in Luzon, Rest and Liesure, Tourism, Travel by Erineus on May 18, 2009

By EV Espiritu
Inquirer Northern Luzon
First Posted 21:27:00 05/17/2009

BALBALAN, Kalinga—This interior Cordillera town is a three-hour drive from Tabuk City, but people who drive through its quaint mountains and teeming forest cover end up skirting wooden carts that dart off its hills carrying many of its residents.

They call these carts “taltallak,” which have their own steering and brake mechanisms that allow them to accelerate down the sloping hills of this town.

During summer, some of these wooden cars are driven by children.

According to Regino Wacas, municipal tourism officer, taltallak are as common to the Kalinga towns of Pasil, Balbalan, Lubuagan, Tinglayan, and Pinukpuk, as the hand tractors or “kuliglig” are in the Ilocos and Cagayan regions.

There are 50 taltallak in Balbalan that residents use mainly to haul firewood. Until now, firewood is more commonly used for cooking than liquefied petroleum gas.

These contraptions are fixed together only by nails and rubber straps.

Residents first hammered together their taltallak in 1956. The term is a childish transliteration of trucks.

The taltallak’s inventor, Daniel Lopez, 63, said it was shaped after the only post-war vehicle in his village in the 1950s.

Lopez said he had pursued a childhood obsession for the “Weapon,” a heavy-duty World War II truck that was used in his village to transport ammunition and medical and food supplies.

At 10, he fashioned miniature toys looking like the Weapon. He nailed together his first taltallak, based on his toys, so he could take back firewood to his parents.http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/regions/view/20090517-205570/Taltallak-becomes-Cordillera-town-icon

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