Bacarra Public Market
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The Tobako of Ilocos Norte - Bacarra, Philippines
Rice paddies are abundant in almost every scenic area of Southeast Asia and the northern provinces of the Philippine Islands is no different. There are rice fields as far as the eye can see and the landscape is dominated by mountains, sea, palm trees, and rice fields. As you approach the northern most tip of the Philippine Archipelago the rice starts to give way lush green tobacco fields. A product of Spanish colonialism tobacco continues to be a cash crop for the region. The native tobacco is air-cured, ripening the leaves to a reddish brown color. It is called tatabakuen or moscada (cigar or chewing tobacco) and its not uncommon to see old women smoking large hand-rolled cigars.
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