2012 Gamaba Awardees: Teofilo Garcia & Magdalena Gamayo
February 08, 2013
On Nov. 8, 2012, an inabel weaver and a tabungaw maker, both Ilocano, wereconferred the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan by Pres. Benigno Aquino, III, at the Malacañan Palace.
Awarded were tabungaw maker Teofilo Garcia from San Quintin, Abra, and inabel weaver Magdalena Gamayo from Pinili, Ilocos Norte.
Seventy-one-year-old Garcia is a maker of gourd casque or tabungaw (which also the name of the gourd, Lagenaria leucantha). He is a complete craftsman who executes all the phases of his craft production from the planting of his raw materials to the finishing of the manufactured form. He makes his indigenous tools. His kattukong exhibits the finest workmanship. The outer nito weave on the edges as well as the inner lining of the casque are highly refined and excellently crafted. The designs he uses show mastery of traditional form and his ability to creatively innovate from within the tradition.
On the other hand, 88-year-old Gamayo is adept in using the pangablan (Ilocano loom), whose works display sensitivity to color and material, possessing an impressive range of designs. In spite of the traditional character of her work, a modern sensibility can be discerned. Her woven works display masterful workmanship, using techniques rarely used.
The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan or the National Living Treasures Award gives recognition to Filipino traditional craftsmen or artisans whose skills have reached a high level of technical and artistic excellence and who are tasked to pass on to the present generation knowledge threatened with extinction. NCCA chairman Felipe M. de Leon Jr. spearheaded the institutionalization of the award. The law was authored by senators Edgardo J. Angara, Heherson Alvarez, Leticia Ramos-Shahani, Sotero Laurel and congresswoman Kate Gordon. On April 3, 1992, President Corazon C. Aquino signed Republic Act No. 7355, providing for the recognition of the national living treasures, otherwise known as the Manlilikha ng Bayan, and the promotion and development of traditional folk arts. On December 17, 1993, the first awarding ceremony for the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan was held at the Malacañan Palace.