It was a dream come true for the Blaans as two weavers from the tribe have been declared as "Manlilikha ng Bayan" or National Living Treasures.
Mabal Tabih
Mabal Tabih. The weaving of traditional Blaan ikat fabric made from abaca called "tabih".
On Monday, January 9, 2017, Malacañang Palace announced that President Rodrigo Duterte through his Proclamation No. 126 has named Fu Yabing Masalon Dulo from Polomolok, South Cotabato and Estelita Tumandan Bantilan from Malapatan, Sarangani as national living treasures.

Fu Yabing, who hails from Brgy. Landan in Polomolok is the oldest living master weaver of Tabih, the traditional Blaan fabric made from abaca. The 97-year old weaver is “recognized for her commitment to the safeguarding and promotion of the Blaan ‘mabal tabih’ (ikat weaving) tradition,” the proclamation read.

She is now the second GAMABA (Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan) or National Living Treasure awardee from South Cotabato. The first awardee was the late Tnalak master dreamweaver Lang Dulay of the Tboli tribe from Lake Sebu who passed away in 2015.

Meanwhile, Estelita Tumandan Bantilan from Malapatan, Sarangani was recognized for her promotion of the Blaan “igem” (mat weaving) tradition. A Yakan tapestry weaver from Basilan was also declared as national treasure.

Read the text of Proclamation No. 126 below.
Blaan weavers from South Cotabato, Sarangani declared "National Living Treasures"

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