South Cotabato Honors Late National Artist for Tabih Weaving

South Cotabato province paid tribute to the late Fu Yabing Masalon Dulo, a Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) awardee for tabih weaving, on her 109th birth anniversary on August 8. A wreath-laying and candle-lighting ceremony was held at her grave site in Sitio Amguo, Barangay Landan, Polomolok.

Fu Yabing, as she was fondly called, was a master weaver of the traditional tabih cloth of the Blaan tribe. She received the GAMABA award in 2016 for her exceptional skill and contribution to the preservation of the indigenous art form. She passed away in 2019 at the age of 105.

Her immediate family led the simple program, which was also attended by representatives of the Polomolok local government unit (LGU), provincial employees and invited guests.

Arthur Gulili, grandson of Fu Yabing, delivered the opening remarks and thanked the organizers and participants for remembering his grandmother’s legacy. He also expressed his hope that more people would learn and appreciate the tabih weaving culture of the Blaan people.

Jay Artuz of the Polomolok Arts and Culture Office and Argie Ryan Asaria of the Arts, Culture, Tourism and Museum (ACTM) Unit also gave their messages of gratitude and admiration for Fu Yabing. They highlighted her role as a cultural bearer and a source of inspiration for the younger generation of weavers.

After the wreath-laying, the launching of the Loom Weaving Equipment took place. The equipment was donated by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to support the tabih weavers in Sitio Amguo. NCCA Commissioner Reden Ulo also gave a lecture on culture awareness and emphasized the importance of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of the country.

The event was part of the celebration of Buwan ng Wika (National Language Month) and Buwan ng Kasaysayan (History Month) in South Cotabato. It was also a way of honoring another GAMABA awardee from the province, Boi Lang Dulay, a T’boli dream weaver who celebrated her 95th birth anniversary on August 3. She was recognized for her mastery of t’nalak weaving, another indigenous textile tradition.

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