The three weavers were selected as Manlilikha ng Bayan based primarily on the excellence of their crafts and their ability to transfer the skills in their varying mediums to younger members of their communities.
MANILA, Philippines – Yakan weaver Ambalang Ausalin, Blaan ikat (tie-dye fabric) weaver Yabing Masalon Dulo, and Blaan mat weaver Estelita Tumandan Bantilan shall be recognized as new awardees for the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) in a ceremony happening on October 24, 2018, Thursday, PM, at the Rizal Hall, Malacanang Palace, Malacanang Complex, San Miguel, Manila.
Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan or the National Living Treasures Award is the highest Presidential recognition given to individuals who excel in various indigenous arts, customs, and traditional practices which may include, but are not limited to, folk architecture, maritime transport, weaving, carving, performing arts, literature, graphic and plastic art, ornament, textile and fiber art, pottery, and other artistic expressions of traditional culture.
Chosen after a rigorous selection process administrated by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ through the GAMABA Committee and an Ad Hoc Panel of Experts, the three Mindanawon women weavers were officially declared GAMABA by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 126 signed last January 6, 2017.
The three weavers were selected based primarily on the excellence of their crafts and their ability to transfer the skills in their varying mediums to younger members of their communities.
|Ambalang Ausalin wearing a Yakan headdress (seputangan). (Photo by Faith Yangyang)|
Magtetennun of Basilan
Ambalang Ausalin, a renowned ‘magtetenun’ (weaver) from Lamitan, Basilan, was selected for her unparalleled craft. Ausalin is respected in the community having served two generations of the royal family, weaving and creating traditional attires and costumes for them and the community.
Ausalin started with and later on mastered the crafts of the “sinaluan” and the “seputangan”, two of the most intricately designed textiles of the Yakan community. She was also able to pass the tradition of the tennun to her daughter and nieces through the Pangbasak weaving center in Lamitan City.
Igem-weaver of Sarangani
One of the two Blaan weavers on the list, Estelita Bantilan had been weaving igem (mats) since she was six (6) and by fifteen (15) she has developed mastery of the craft of mat-making using the romblon plant. Bantilan’s craft has been taught to her by her mother who herself was an excellent weaver.
|A Blaan mat weaver laying out the basics for the igem.|
The Blaan igem weaves mastered by Bantilan are made by dyeing romblon leaves with natural colorants like seeds, roots, and bark chips from local plants. Her masterful handiwork is clearly reflected on the smooth and neat weaves that also sport geometric patterns and vivid colors.
|Fu Yabing weaving a tabih (Photo by Roezielle Joy Iglesia).|
Ikat weaver of South Cotabato
Yabing Masalon Dulo, called Fu Yabing, is respected among the Blaans residing on the foothills of Mount Matutum, Polomolok, South Cotabato.
Fu Yabing started weaving at the age of 14 and has created two masterpieces of tabih, Blaan term for handwoven dyed abaka (ikat), which are still both in good condition, a family heirloom kept in her possession and one that is on display at the National Museum.
A master of the tabih, Fu Yabing was made to focus on her craft and at a young age and was exempt in participating in community chores and farming.
Now aged, Yabing Masalon Dulo has successfully transferred the craft of the tabih to her only daughter, Lamina Dulo Gulili, and a few other women who maintain a weaving center in their community in Amgu-o, Polomolok, South Cotabato.
The three weavers are selected for the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan and were recommended for recognition by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, led by Chairman and National Artist Virgilio S. Almario together with Executive Director Rico S. Pableo Jr., and Deputy Executive Director Marichu G. Tellano. NCCA is responsible for the facilitation of the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan by virtue of Republic Act 7355.
For questions on the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan Award, you may reach the Special Awards and Recognitions Unit of the NCCA through 527-2192 loc 507 and look for Ms. Tamara Banez.
For queries on this press release, you may reach the Public Affairs and Information Section headed by Mr. Rene S. Napeñas through numbers 527-5529 / 527-2192 loc 628-630 or email firstname.lastname@example.org