Montag Living Museum: Bringing Back the Past

We traveled to the Motag Living Musem in Malay, Aklan, the Philippines on a very fine day. Today, you will go on a very special adventure with me back into the past. Ready? Yes. Yes, you are.

Pricing | Opening and Closing Hours

So before we start our trip, I should let you guys know the details to get in first. You’ll have to pay for your ticket so the following will be the list of prices and package deals:

Adult —> ₱700

Child —> ₱300

Babies are free

Family ticket (which consists of two adults and two children) —> ₱1,600

Student with ID —> ₱500

So…… those are the prices you may as a well know the opening and closing hour ^__^ which are:

Opening days are on: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Close days are on: Monday

Save the dates!!!!

By the way, the best way to enjoy all the fun interactivity in this living museum, I suggest wearing some sort of flip flop or slippers. And, make sure you prepare yourself to get messy. Cause, it can get messy. Real messy.

Our Adventure Begins…

From Wells to Faucets: “Hmm….”

Once we paid our entrance fee, our guide showed us a to a deep well which kids would visit every day to get water for washing dishes and clothes. This was the contribution of the kids for their parents in their chores. My siblings and I each took turns bringing the bucket (which was basically a bamboo cut in half connected to a loooong stick with string) up with water from the bottom of the well. It was quite heavy. But, can you imagine that, compared to the present, kids had to run up the hills or wherever these wells were placed and bring the bucket (A.K.A bamboo cut in half) back to their homes nearly every day. Nowadays, we could just walk to our faucets and twist that handle to make water (which seems to flow forever) flow and flow and flow. Back then, they would appreciate the water more as it was hard work but now some people just let their water run on. The schedule for most kids was before they went to school they would get a bucket of water and run back home, then, at the end of the day after school, they would go back to the well and bring back some water home. This was a good training, right? Although, some people still get their water this way, the “hard” way. Would you want to bring this piece of history back and spread it around??

Showers and Toilets: “Could I have some privacy, please?”

We were then brought to the showers that they used to use before. It was a medium size stall with no door. There was this big pot which had a big scoop made of bamboo. The scoop looked like the ones we use to scoop up some soup. That was pretty much it. I liked the simplicity it had.

Now onto the toilets….  It was a small hut with a hole on the floor. The hole went deep down where they would you know poo and pee. Heh. Personally, I did not enjoy the simplicity in this one, on the other, hand because I was utterly shaken. But, did you know, that even in Taiwan this is how their toilets are? Anyways, apparently, it’s better to poo while squatting. And, I’ve even encountered a toilet like this in France, once! Heh, I was confused when I first saw these. My mind was filling up with questions like: “Why?” “What does it expect me to do?” “Do I still have to go to the bathroom? Eh.”. I refused to go to the toilet for a while, hahaha. Would you want these toilets to be everywhere? At least in France, they had a choice of whether you wanted to squat or sit. But in Taiwan, it seemed as if all the public toilet stalls were already occupied by this type of toilet. At least you get to defecate better?

Shampoo, Condition, Deodorant: “Healthy and Organic”

I was struck by the scent of their shampoo, conditioner, and deodorant. Do you want to know what they use? Yes. Yes, you do. Their shampoo was just pure coconut oil, it has the best texture ever. I think you should try it! WAIT! I know you should try it. It’s amazing how this community in the museum and most people from the past use this before. This is very healthy to nourish your scalp. BTW, the coconut oil comes from coconuts.

Next, their conditioner was just as simple as the coconut oil. What they used was a type of leaf called Maria Maria. My nose melted from the sweet scent of it. I could literally smell 24 hours and 365 days. I didn’t want to leave it. All they did was mash up the delicate leaves in their hands and apply it to the hair. Simple.

Last but not least, deodorant!!!! Even back then people’s armpits smelt so here comes the life saver. To make this you will need Coconut oil + coconut shredded meat + Maria Maria = Happy armpits. Yay.

I’m actually considering converting all of my shampoos, conditioners, and deodorant (which I don’t know the last I used) into homemade natural and safe products rather than these chemically very good smelling products on the market. Care to join me? You can literally buy coconut oil at your local drugstore (well, most of the time). I’ll report back to you guys if my hair has changed by the coconut oil… Or, you could test it out and report back to me. That works too.

Hous- er, Bahay Kubo: “Bahay Kubo is house in Tagalog (language lesson!!!)”

 Since they used only materials that are local, the house was constructed of bamboo. THE WHOLE HOUSE!!! Their walls were cut in half pounded bamboo to make it look straight and wall like. While their flooring was cut up straight line pieces of a bamboo all tied together. Just look at the pictures if you have zero clues as to what I am describing, please.

Inside the house: “DUN DUN DUN!! YAY!”

We were greeted by an elder woman who was smoking hand made tobacco. She was smoking tobacco while making tobacco sticks. I watched as she rolled up something like leaves in a paper thingy. That was tobacco. But, what you need to know is that their humungous farms of tobacco were replaced by a hotel. A hotel! That hotel is located in Boracay and is called Fairways.

Anyways, their bed is just a mat on the floor. The bigger the family = the bigger the mat. What I enjoyed discovering was their baby crib. No, it wasn’t a square basket made of bamboo (which I’m thinking of now sounds pretty cool). It was a big cloth connect to a string connected to the ceiling. What was cool about this, was that if the child or baby peed, all they had to do was pull the cloth a bit down so that the part of the cloth that contained the pee would go around and the baby would be laying on dry cloth without ever needing to get out or any hassle. *Pants* Y-you g-g-get that right??? Hopefully, that means yes.

Pillowssss. The cotton that they use is straight from the tree. It’s

The Kitchen: “Mm. My favorite place.”

I love food. How about you?

Their kitchen it connected to their dining area. I’d describe their kitchen as a small rectangular area with the view of the farm. We’ll get there. Patience. Anyways, they place their pots of a small firewood area which they light with some fire. Their ref is a small pot. This confused me. A pot? Really? What does this do? It was a metal pot so maybe it helped to keep cold things cold and hot things hot? The cover of their small, small (, small, small) fridge was made of bamboo. I guess they don’t store things for long. Or, they don’t hide things (like chocolate) in there as there is barely enough space for a bowl of porridge to fit.

Their cups were bamboo. All they had to do was cup a portion of the bamboo then *BAM* cup. Next, their spoon and forks. You might have guessed, bamboo was the material used to make the spoon and forks. Okay, literally everything was made of bamboo. Except for the fridge. Which I’m still contemplating about….

Just got home! Time to drinkkkk! 

I mean juice, guys.

Just outside the Bahay Kubo, our guide showed us some sugar cane plants which she explained that whenever someone came home or someone was just thirsty, all they had to do was bite into the sugar cane and sweet juice came out.  I didn’t get to try it there. But, I’ve tried thiis before. And, I have a few words to share… IT… WAS….. DA……BEST. (Yes, I know I said “DA” not “The ” ~_~, lol). The juice is like so mouth watering. Even though I’m not so fond with the sugar cane juice (for some reason my tongue won’t accept the taste…) I’m in love with eating it. But, you can’t swallow it, BTW. You just chew it, take in the juice and spit it out. Try it some time. It’s an adventure itself

Rice. Rice. Rice: “It’s hard work, dudes…”

Before we get into the rice, lemme say that I rode a carabao! It was so cool. I kinda felt like it was just a 10x bigger doggie, haha. No, they didn’t have those seats that are usually attached to a horse. Anyways, just to mention, it was quite the struggle hanging on to the carabao with hopes of not falling into his poop and pee. It was all worthwhile though. It was a good thing we had our guide to help us with the carabao because I’m 100% sure our guide saved me from his poop. 100%  sure, guys. Funny thing is that 2 seconds before I made the decision to ride, it pooped….. big time. Just a bit of extra info on the carabao because he was awesome: His name is Daiwao and he is 6 years old. He weighs up to 500 kilos. I wonder what he eats.

Time to RICE (suppose to be spice…. get it? heh.) up the partttteeeeyyyy. I had to.

Every year, before, they only got to plant and harvest 1 time a year. Now, they plant and harvest 3 times a year. But, whilst (cool word) our guide explained all this, what went on in my head was “JUST 3 times a year?!”. But, the work can be tedious at times and it’s difficult.

Anyways, have you ever tried planting rice plants? They have to plant one at a time. I tried it. My feet sank into the muddy waters. It felt like I was in quicksand. I went towards the woman who was planting the rice and she handed me a few plants. I carefully placed one plant at a time into the mud while wet soil seeped into my nails. “She does this all by herself?” I ask myself every now and then. We shouldn’t waste rice. There’s hard work behind rice.

More on Rice

That’s not all! In a separate area of the rice farm, was the rice crops which were already ready for picking which they individually cut up the rice and place in a basket. The next step is to dry everything up. Then, we separated the rice from the husks by stepping on it on top of a small elevated floor with small holes on the floor. While the rice fell down, the wind helped to carry away the dead and empty rice from the full rice.

Our adventure was such a great time. I enjoyed finding more about our history. The work that we’ve put into this day was what they usually do everyday before and sometimes now. Did I mention that the only reason as to why this farm doesn’t get any machines for plowing and other is because they don’t want to replace their farmers? This is a very good example for a healthy and happy community which all works together. You should visit! You’ll enjoy ^__^

Yours truly,