A Tapestry, An Ikat, & A Mat: The Stories Of The PH's Newest Living Treasures
Ida Damo | Feb 17, 2017
Fu Yabing with Department of Tourism Region 12 Regional Director Nelly Nita Dillera
Weaving is a traditional art that is learned through practice, handed over across generations, and is a story of the tribe from which the weaver belongs. Each thread makes a tapestry of the tribes’ beliefs, culture and traditions, as well as the everyday life of the entire community.
In Mindanao where various fabrics are woven--- the T'nalak of the T'boli, the Tabih of the Blaan, the Yakan Tennun of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the Inaul of the Maguindanaoan, Landap of the Maranao, Dagmay of the Mandaya— each finished cloth is a representation of the history, hopes, and dreams of a people.
Proclamation No. 126 series of 2017 by the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Roa Duterte proclaims Yakan weaver Ambaleng Ausalin, Blaan Ikat Weaver Estelita Tumandan Bantilan and Blaan mat weaver Fu Yabing Masalon Dulo as Manlilikha ng Bayan 2016.
Republic Act (RA) No. 7355 provides for the recognition of “National Living Treasures”, otherwise known as the “Manlilikha ng Bayan”, referring to a citizen or a group of citizens engaged in a traditional art that is uniquely Filipino and whose distinctive skills have reached a high level of technical and artistic excellence.
Ambaleng Ausalin photo by Gabriel Malvar
The three Mindanaoans are recognized for their commitment to the safeguarding and promotion of the Yakkan tennun (tapestry weaving), B’laan mabal tabih (ikat weaving), and B’laan igem (mat weaving) tradition.
These works of art were recently showcased when the 29 Ms. Universe candidates came to Davao for one of the pageant’s ancilliary events. The beautiful ladies sashayed down the ramp in exquisitely made clothes and accessories using Mindanao fabrics and materials as designed by Mindanaoan designers and even Renee Salud, renowned fashion designer and creator of dresses for beauty queens.
Truly, Ambaleng Ausalin, Estelita Tumandan Bantilan, and Fu Yabing Masalon Dulo are living treasures.