T’nalak: the art amidst modernity and the festival


July is the most festive month of the year for South Cotabato as it celebrates its foundation anniversary and the T’nalak Festival. But for the Tboli indigenous women who create the revered T’nalak cloth where the festival name is attributed, it is just like any other month where one has to weave for art and for a living. 



For Barbara K. Ofong, one of the few living Tboli master weavers of T’nalak, an abaca-based cloth with unique and intricate geometric designs in prominently red and black colors, in the scenic Lake Sebu town, July is no different from the usual days. Tnalak na gina himo ko sir halin dose anyos ko, amu na ni kabuhi ko bisan ano nga bulan (I’ve been weaving T’nalak since I was 12, this has been my life no matter the month), she said in broken Hiligaynon dialect in a shy voice. Tbolis have their own dialect but Hiligaynon is widely used as a medium in the province.

Hinugyaw Festival 2016 in 16 photos


Thousands of people were gathered at the brightened Koronadal rotunda (fondly called the "roundball" by the locals) one Sunday evening. The city center was at its brightest. The deafening drumbeats once again filled the air and it was complemented by stomps of hundreds of performers!

It’s the culmination night of Hinugyaw Festival which, held every 10th of January, and the commemoration of the 76th foundation anniversary of Koronadal City formerly called Marbel!

The mood fits the literal meaning of the festival which comes from the word hugyaw, a Hiligaynon term for merrymaking. Children clad in colorful indigenous and folk costumes set the momentum of the celebration. When the street performers were called, history and colorful stories that contributed to what Koronadal is today were narrated in euphoric beats and heavy dances.

More than the beats and the dances, the street revelry is a history lesson in itself telling of the lives of the different ethnic groups (mostly of Christian pioneer settlers, the Maguindanaoans and the indigenous Blaan peoples) that inhabited Koronadal Valley in the heart of South Cotabato province.

The following photographs capsulize the night that was during the Hinugyaw Festival 2016 culmination:

Presenting the stories of Maguindanoaan tribe as one of the ethnic groups in Koronadal Valley

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My Wrangler Ultimate True Wanderer Contest Entries - Set 2


This journey isn't about winning. I'm taking this chance to forward my advocacy of promoting Mindanao island, the discriminated and mis-understood part of the Philippines, as a beautiful and safe riding destination. With me in this challenge too are the people who are my inspirations in all my journeys in life.


The following is the second set of my entries of creative photos for the Wranger Asia Pacific Ultimate True Wanderer challenge:

My Wrangler Ultimate True Wanderer Contest Entries - Set 1


The journey of a true wanderer is "not about conquering the last trip or the next big ride. He is always looking for new roads and the next challenge." His journey never ends.  



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