Traditional artists from South Cotabato among nominees for National Living Treasures Award

tnalak weaving

Eight (8) traditional artists belonging to the Tboli tribe and one (1) from the Blaan tribe from South Cotabato are nominated for this year's edition of the prestigious Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) or National Living Treasures Award.

Among the nominees are Boi Luming Maguan Tuan and Maria Fe Flang for hegelung (wooden two-stringed lute); Linda Usman Weaver for klintang (kulintang); Rosie “Boi Lemingon” Sula for chanting; Maria “Oyog” Todi for performing arts; Yab Trulan Man and Barbara “Buwat” Kibed Ofong for T’nalak weaving; and, Bernadeth “Nadet” Ofong for Malong weaving.

Fu Yabing, the oldest living master weaver of Tabih (the traditional Blaan fabric made from abaca) from Brgy. Landan in Polomolok according to another source is also nominated for the same award this year.

The Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan or the National Living Treasures Award was institutionalized through Republic Act No. 7355 in 1992. It is considered as the highest award given by the national government to traditional artists in the country to honor, support and ensure that their skills and crafts are preserved.

The late T'nalak master dreamweaver Be Lang Dulay was the first GAMABA awardee from South Cotabato. She received the award in 1998.

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