The last caravan

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Text and photo by Bernard Testa

Fifty-five year old Ben Sison is the last of Marikina’s ‘caravan riders.’

For 10 years, he joined 19 others like him, all from his native town of San Carlos in Pangasinan province.

Each traveled to Manila, selling cribs, walkers, brooms, Venetian blinds, and other handicraft items during the day and sleeping in the carabao-driven cart by night.

The trip took them to the eastern parts of Rizal: San Mateo, Montalban, Taytay, Cainta, and Angono.

These days, while the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, Sison makes his way alone, selling Baguio-made walis tambo and walis ting-ting—all for his four children back in Pangasinan.



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