Every time I see the topographical features of the barangays in the Cordillera, I always wonder how do they carry their babies?
Obviously, strollers are not an option here. Mother’s in the Cordillera carry their child by tying both ends of a cloth together and wrapping it around their body and placing the child in the cloth. The mother then does her everyday work/chores carrying the child. They call this style of child-carrying Aban.
The cloth used can be a simple blanket, flour sack or their famous ethnic weaving. But they rarely use the ethnic weaving because of its thickness making it hard to tie a knot.
What are the advantages of using the child-carrying style Aban?
- The mother and the child feels each others rhythm making them closer together.
- The mother’s hand can be free making her do work or chores while carrying her child.
- The child will see the reality of life by seeing the everyday life of their mother.
- The mother feels the weight of her child making her stronger.
- Whenever the mother will use the stairs, she does not have to worry or look for another route, unlike the stroller. She could also use her hands to hold onto the railings of the stairs to for additional balance.
- Whenever the mother will not use the Aban, she will just fold the cloth and put it inside her bag, unlike the stroller.
- If the time comes that the Aban can no longer be used, the cloth can be used as a rag and since cloth are biodegradable it can be disposed without having much effect on the environment. Unlike the stroller that has plastic parts.
- Strollers are big that you need to have a car or get a taxi just to transport them. The cloth can just be folded and placed inside the bag and you can ride the jeepney or bus while carrying your child.
If you use your creativity, you’ll notice that even a modern woman can also use the Aban. In fact, one of my favorite Pinoy Travel Bloggers uses the child-carrying style Aban, she’s the Pinay Travel Junkie.
The city may not have the same topographical features of the mountains in Codillera but if you observe carefully we actually go up and down a lot of steps and stairs in our daily lives. So if you do not want to be hassled by these small obstacles and you want to be closer to your child while they grow and still be hip, cool, environment-friendly and strong, do not be ashamed to use the Aban.