Sablot (Litsea glutinosa), Lour Rob., A Symbol of Ilocano Ingenuity in Construction

Norma A. Esguerra


This paper presents a unique Ilocano culture through the amazing nature of constructing antique houses and churches with the sablot leaves. The crude formulation of the original sablot paste was reconstituted to relate to the modern day context.
This study attempts to widen the Ilocano culture through the Ilokano built environment with the end view of enriching its present collection of subjects unfolding the Ilocano engineering using indigenous resources.
This study made use of a mixture of qualitative and quantitative type of research. Interview was the method of gathering information and the researcher conducted experiment based on what she learned from the interview on the use of sablot as paste.
Four major Ilocano values were deemed evident and highly associated with the indigenous construction material known as sablot. They are prudence (kinamanagsakbay), self-reliance (panagwayas), caring (panangilala), and ingenuity (kinawido).
The findings disclose four amazing discoveries: 1) The strength of the samples out of sablot paste are as strong as those of cement as binder. 2) There is an effect of soaking time to the strength of the sablot samples. 3) The strength of the grout and mortar for concrete hollow blocks using sablot paste as binder is as strong as the grout and mortar using cement. and 4) The plaster out of sablot paste is 35 percent lower in cost than the cement plaster, taking the area of application and thickness of the plaster similar for both.
Sablot trees were found still thriving in Vigan City, Sto. Domingo, and Sinait, all in Ilocos Sur. The presence of sablot trees within the Ilocos Region is still with a high percentage of probability, basing on the existence of the trees in the three municipalities of Ilocos Sur, owing to the fact that these places have churches built using the sablot paste.


binder, sablot paste, cement, concrete, compression test

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