Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mindanao Roundup (Lake Sebu, South Cotabato): T'nalak Weaving and Lang Dulay's Legacy

It was a day before her 89th birthday, but the mood in that sunlit and simple hut where we met her was far from festive. There were only faint conversations in the vernacular T'boli being translated to us by her granddaughters because she could not speak Tagalog. Sitting comfortably in that old rattan chair, she looked every inch a master. Donned in a beautiful T'boli costume, which is by the way her usual attire with or without visitors, I felt very honored to be in the presence of this amazing woman, the legendary dream weaver, Lang Dulay.

Me with Lang Dulay at her weaving school in Lake Sebu

A recipient of Gawad sa Manlilikha sa Bayan Award and declared a National Living Treasure by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in 1998, Lang Dulay was recognized for her excellent craftsmanship in weaving the prized T'nalak or the traditional T'boli cloth.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mindanao Roundup (South Cotabato): Placid and Picturesque Lake Sebu

The wisp of the cold breeze did not escape me the moment the non-airconditioned van trailed the well-paved and uphill road dotted with nipa houses, corn plantation and  forested hills. I was enjoying the green scenery outside my window, and as soon as the sight of the lake came to view, my excitement started to swell. I instantly knew we have finally reached our destination -- the dreamy town of Lake Sebu.

The verdant mountains mirrored in the calm waters of Lake Sebu

We were dropped off at the poblacion where a number of habal-habal drivers wait for passengers. In that early Friday morning of August, it seemed like Anchi and I were the only tourists amidst the busy mass of people going about with their daily grind-- children in their school uniform, brimming commuters and some busy vendors.

As we were taking the roads from the town proper to Punta Isla Lake Resort, we passed by some stands selling tilapia, a common agricultural product from the lake. There are also a number of guesthouses and resorts near the lake and most serve food, mainly fried fish.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Kindness of Auntie Cubic

Kindness on the Road. Auntie Rose and Auntie Cubic opened their home to a solo traveler

I was already feeling sore after missing the boat going to San Jose in Dinagat Islands. At 11:30 a.m., I haven't had my breakfast yet and my body was a bit tired after a painful van ride from Butuan City to Surigao City. The scorching heat that day was taking its toll on me and I was growing impatient walking in that crowded boulevard while asking random people for the next boat going to Dinagat. I was on a solo trip, and I was feeling all the more alone at that very moment.

I got a tip that a boat is leaving at 12 noon. I rushed to the docking area, and sure enough people were crowding up to the ticket line. I saw a rainbow somewhere, such a relief to be in that boat!
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